How to Expunge DUI in CaliforniaWe live in a digital world. Any or all of our personal records are saved online in databases rather than in paper form. While this is beneficial in terms of space, it also makes it almost too easy for just about anyone to access personal information. And when that anyone is a potential employer, the last thing you’ll want them to know is that you were arrested for a DUI several years back.
Personal Means PersonalEveryone makes mistakes. It’s a part of life. But some mistakes shouldn’t have to follow you around and hang over your head, impeding your chance at progressing and living a normal life.
Unfortunately, today, criminal records are entered into a national database that can be accessed by employers and other organizations quickly. This means they will be able to see any of your prior arrests or injunctions, including DUIs.
You don’t want this kind of personal information hanging around for just anyone to see. You should have the chance to keep what’s in the past in the past, especially if it’s something that you regret.
What Is Expungement and How Does It Work?To expunge something is to clean, erase, or remove completely any stains. Expunging a criminal record, therefore, means to wipe it clean. If your record is expunged, it will be as if you were never convicted of a DUI in the first place.
Expungement, in general, is different for every state. California DUI expungement is pretty straightforward. The steps are as follows:
- Complete Probation: After you finish your probation sentence, you can petition the court to expunge the record of your conviction.
- Petition Court: A judge will review your case and see if it qualifies for expungement.
- Change Plea: If the judge grants your petition, one of two things will happen.
- First, you withdraw your guilty plea or nolo contendere (no contest) plea and submit a new plea for “not guilty.”
- Second, if you were found guilty after a bench or jury trial, the judge sets the verdict aside.
If your petition and plea are successful, you will come away from the experience with a newly minted criminal record cleaned of the DUI charge.
Benefits of DUI ExpungementThe benefits that come from having your DUI expunged from your record include:
- After the expungement, you can legally say “no” on nearly all applications (job, school, housing, etc.) when asked if you have a criminal record, as long as the DUI was your only offense.
- The DUI will be taken off almost every single employment background check run in the state of California.
- Your earning potential will increase thanks to the chance you’ll have to get good employment.
- Legally, private employers cannot ask you about an expunged DUI.
- Some countries view DUI as a felony, but with your DUI expunged, your chance of travel across borders becomes significantly more likely.