The 3 Steps to Getting Your California DUI Expunged Being convicted of a DUI in California comes with severe consequences that can follow you for the rest of your life. However, by getting a conviction wiped off your record, you’ll be able to enjoy these benefits:
If you need to get a DUI dismissal (expungement) to better your and your family’s life situation, here are the steps to follow.
- It doesn’t show up on most background checks such as those required for come job and loan applications.
- You’ll have an easier time qualifying for professional licenses and joining professional organizations.
- Your credibility in certain court proceedings will be maintained.
- You and your family will no longer carry the burden and stigma that comes with holding a criminal record.
1. Determine If You are Eligible You are eligible to petition the court to remove your DUI from your record, even if your DUI was a felony conviction if you:
- Did not serve time in state prison (not county jail) as part of your sentence
- Are not currently being charged with any other crime in California
- Have completed your DUI probationary term, which is usually three years. If you are in urgent need of expungement, it is suggested you complete at least 45% of your probationary term before applying.
- Have completed all of your sentence requirements, including paying all fines and fees and completing all mandatory classes and community service.
2. Know What to Expect Once you have filled out the paperwork and filed it with the court, a judge will review your case. If the judge grants your request, you will withdraw your plea of guilty or “no contest” and re-enter a not-guilty plea (or the judge sets aside the guilty verdict that was entered after trial). Your case is now dismissed. The process of DUI expungement can vary drastically from county to county and is dependent on the court’s caseload. The average time in California, from the time the papers are filed with the court to the time your dismissal is granted, is only 6-12 weeks. It’s important to have correct expectations when it comes to your expungement. First, an expungement of a DUI will NOT overturn your driver’s license period of suspension or revocation if it extends beyond your probation or if it is permanently revoked. Second, a DUI is a “priorable” offense in California which means that DUI penalties increase with every DUI conviction you receive within a ten-year window. So, even if your conviction is expunged, if you are convicted of another DUI, you are subject to the harsher penalties that come with a second-time DUI.
3. Call a DUI Attorney A DUI dismissal is highly discretionary, dependent on specific circumstances as well as your judge. You must present a strong and compelling case to the court as to why you deserve to have your conviction erased. That’s why it really is best to gain the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer who knows the ins-and-outs of California law and its legal system. Call San Diego lawyer Bradley Corbett today to get your DUI expunged from your record!
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.