Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “I was convicted of my DUI in Mississippi several years ago. I heard something about being able to have the DUI expunged from my driving record. What is an expungement and can I get one for a Mississippi DUI?”
Although you may not have felt the negative impacts of a DUI conviction yet, at some point in the future, you might find that your arrest record for a Mississippi DUI has created any number of different barriers to accomplishing your life’s goals. For instance, it might make it difficult to get a job, obtain a loan, or to get into college.
The good news is Mississippi DUI laws have been updated within the last several years, allowing expungement for DUIs under very specific conditions.
What is an expungement?
An expungement allows someone to clear their criminal record and restore their driving record and criminal status to what it was prior to the DUI arrest and conviction. Additionally, if a driver’s DUI record is expunged, they do not have to admit to an arrest or conviction for the expunged offense under any circumstances and they cannot be charged with perjury.
Does this mean that no one will know about the Mississippi DUI arrest? No, the Mississippi Criminal Information Center will retain information, which is considered nonpublic, so they will know how to proceed in the future if the driver is arrested a second time for DUI.
What type of Mississippi DUI offenses can be expunged?
The Mississippi legislature passed House Bill 412 in 2014, and it was signed into law by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant on April 16, 2014. Under this new law, certain DUI convictions can now be expunged.
Specifically, any driver who is convicted of a first DUI offense under Miss. Code Ann. § 63-11-30(2) or (3) may petition the circuit court of the county of conviction for an order to expunge the record of the conviction. Drivers must ask for the expungement within five years from the date they have completed all the requirements for the action.
Now, while this sounds great for some drivers, not all drivers will qualify. In fact, there are several groups of drivers who will not qualify for the Mississippi expungement. For example, expungement is not offered to the following:
- Commercial drivers
- Commercial learning permit drivers
- Drivers who did not complete the conditions and penalties assessed against them
- Drivers who refused to take the chemical test at the time of the DUI arrest
- Drivers whose blood alcohol concentration was 0.16% or higher
- Drivers who have other pending driving under the influence charges against them
- Drivers who have previous convictions for other DUI offenses
Talk to a DUI lawyer
Drivers who have been arrested, charged, and convicted of their first Mississippi DUI and who have questions about their rights to expunge their conviction should review their state’s laws and talk to a DUI lawyer. Waiting too long to meet the requirements may eliminate your rights to expunge your record.
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