Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can have long-lasting effects on your life. You may face time in jail, have to pay large fines, or lose your driving privileges. Despite common belief, a California DUI charge does not drop off your criminal record over time. It will stay on your record for life unless you take the steps needed to expunge the conviction.
Expunging a DUI is a lengthy and challenging process for anyone to go through alone. To better understand the process, reach out to a skilled California DUI attorney. Attorney Dod with Dod Law will be able to handle court matters and answer any legal questions you may have.
What Does Expunging a DUI Entail?
DUI expungement in California is a post-conviction process through which the convicted person withdraws their plea of guilt or no contest and enters a new plea of “not guilty.” You may expunge a criminal record in California under Penal Code 1203.4.
Benefits of a DUI Expungement
There are many benefits to having your DUI expunged in California. One of the most significant benefits is that you can tell future employers you have not been convicted of a crime. Further, California’s Fair Chance Act prohibits employers from asking about prior arrests and convictions on job applications. Other benefits of expunging your conviction include:
- Your record will be sealed from the general public
- You will become eligible for professional licenses
- You can apply for a change in immigrant status
Additionally, expunging a DUI will also lift the stigmatization you may have felt since your conviction. It’s important to note that a DUI expungement will likely not overturn a driver’s license suspension.
Am I Eligible for a DUI Expungement?
Now that you know the benefits of having your DUI expunged, you need to find out if you’re eligible. Fortunately, expungement is available to anyone in California who was convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. However, there are a few other factors you must meet:
- You completed all terms of your sentence, including any jail time, probation, or community service.
- You did not serve time in state prison as a result of the conviction.
- There are no pending charges for any other criminal offense.
If you have any doubts about your eligibility, it’s best to check before going too far in the process. If your attorney offers a free consultation, use this time to check your eligibility.
How Long Does a DUI Expungement Take?
It takes about six to 12 weeks to expunge a DUI conviction in California. However, the actual length will vary depending on the county. A good rule of thumb is to start the process as soon as you are eligible.
What Happens If I Receive Another DUI in the Future?
California DUI convictions are known as “prior-able” offenses. This means that with each subsequent sentence in 10 years, the penalties may become more severe. An expunged conviction still counts as a DUI prior if you are charged for a subsequent DUI.
Suppose you were convicted of a first-time DUI, and you complete all terms of your sentencing. Your DUI attorney may then be able to help you expunge your record. But, if you’re convicted of another DUI a few years later, you may still be subject to a second-time DUI charge, which carries harsher penalties upon a conviction than a conviction for a first DUI.
Contact Dod Law for Help Expunging a DUI
DUI convictions can lead to a lifetime of hardship, but it is possible to expunge the crime from your criminal record and secure your future. To have a fair chance at a successful expungement, you need competent legal representation. Attorney Dod has practiced criminal defense for more than 17 years and can guide you through the expungement process.
Call (619) 814-5110 or complete an online contact form to speak with Attorney Dod today.