Can I expunge my DUI arrest from my driving record?
Many drivers plead guilty to drunken driving charges thinking that the penalties will be minimal and they can just expunge the DUI from their driving record. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many drivers realize, after it is too late, that a DUI arrest and conviction can make it difficult to obtain professional licenses or find employment because their employer may be able to access their criminal record.
So can you expunge your DUI? It will depend on your state's laws. Expunging your criminal record generally is considered the actual physical destruction of the criminal record. Another option is to have the records sealed, which does not destroy the information but rather "seals" it from the public's requests to view the information without a Court Order.
Unfortunately, most states do not allow for drunken driving convictions to be expunged. As mentioned above, however, state laws do vary, and it is important to discuss your state's laws with a DUI lawyer. What information can generally be expunged or sealed?
- If your DUI charges were dismissed by the state
- If your DUI charges were not prosecuted
- If your DUI charges were thrown out of court
Keep in mind, there are some states, such as Florida, which offer a pre-trial diversion program. If you are allowed to participate in this program and you complete it, the State Attorney's Office may drop the DUI charges completely or amend the charge to a lesser offense. If this occurs, you may be able to have your DUI record sealed or expunged. If your charge is reduced to a wet reckless, you may also be able to have your records sealed. If the charges are dropped or you are found not guilty, you may also have your driving record expunged.
Unfortunately, in most states, the process to expunge or seal criminal records is confusing. In some states if you fail to do it correctly the sealing or expunging may be denied. For this reason you may choose to hire a DUI lawyer if you have questions or need help with the DUI expungement process.
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If you have a protection from abuse order issued against you, you also may have the legal right to seek to have the order modified or terminated. To terminate the order you will have to file a written motion and submit it to the court clerk in the appropriate district court.
Category: Criminal Law