What Is DUI Expungement?
DUI expungement is a post-conviction process in which you can withdraw the plea of guilty or no contest for the intent to get the case dismissed. This allows the conviction to be erased from your criminal record, preventing prospective employers from seeing it on a background check. The DUI conviction will still be counted in the eyes of the DMV but cannot be used against you for hiring or promotion purposes at your job.
Am I Eligible For Getting My DUI Conviction Expunged?
Most California residents are eligible for expungement, although there are a few requirements. These requirements include:
- You successfully completed probation
- You have no pending criminal issues facing you
- You did not serve time in state prison, or you would’ve served time in county jail after the implementation of “realignment” under Prop 47
How Does Expungement Work?
To expunge a DUI conviction, you will petition the court to clear the conviction from your criminal record. This will prompt the judge to review your petition and determine whether you are eligible for expungement or not. If the expungement is granted, one of two things will happen:
- You will withdraw your plea of guilty or no contest and re-enter a “not guilty” plea, or…
- If you were found guilty in the trial, the judge will set aside the verdict and dismiss the case.
Why Should I Expunge My California DUI?
DUI expungement grants you the ability to legally say “No” when asked if you have been convicted of a crime. It also removes the conviction being used against you when applying for a job or promotion. Without expungement, the DUI will remain on your criminal record forever, and you won’t be able to:
- Tell employers, friends, and family you were not convicted of a crime
- Gain eligibility for professional licenses
- Not fear people doing a background check on you
When Can I Expunge My DUI Conviction?
There is no waiting period when it comes to DUI expungements in California, which means you can remove the conviction from your criminal record as soon as your probation term ends. Although it is difficult to do, you could also apply for early termination of probation to have the conviction expunged earlier.
Do I Need An Attorney?
It is a good idea to hire an attorney due to the standards and regulations on expungements being higher than ever. This is partly due to courts having the need to find expungements in the “interest of justice.” Overall, an experienced attorney will increase your chances of a successful expungement process.
Does This Make It Easier For Me To Find A Job?
Yes, once the conviction has been expunged, your prospective employer will not be able to use it as a means not to hire you. Expunged convictions do not have to be disclosed to your employer; and, if your employer does find out, they cannot legally use it as a basis to fire you. The only time you will need to disclose the conviction is when applying for state licenses or teaching credentials.
Will I Get My Driver’s License Back?
An expungement cannot overturn driver’s license suspensions and revocations. However, probations usually last longer than suspensions, which means your driver’s license will be returned before the probation period ends.
What To Keep In Mind
DUI conviction penalties increase depending on the amount of prior DUIs you have had, which means the second conviction’s consequences will be worse than the first. Unfortunately, an expunged DUI is still considered a previous conviction in court and will be used against you if convicted of another DUI.
Additionally, some employers have access to expunged criminal records. Professional licensing boards and hiring agencies at government facilities can often see your expunged convictions.
If you don’t qualify for an expungement, another option is a DUI non-disclosure. Although your DUI will remain on your criminal record, a non-disclosure will seal the conviction from future employers who do standard background checks.
Apply For DUI Expungement Today
If a DUI conviction is getting in the way of you being hired for a job, give us a call today. We will help you petition for an expungement that will erase the conviction from your criminal record. This will bring your more employment opportunities in the future. Contact an attorney today by calling (657) 217-2799 or taking our free online expungement assessment.