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DUI Expungement

California DUI Expungement

Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Though the decision may seem innocuous at the time, it can often bring severe consequences. In addition to putting yourself and others in danger, the law does not view DUI convictions lightly. They can come with hefty fines, loss of license, jail time, and a lifelong blemish on your criminal record. 

Many people that have a DUI conviction on their record have long since rehabilitated themselves and no longer make such ill-advised decisions. Unfortunately, once it is on your record, it will stay there unless it is expunged. At ExpungeAmerica, we have helped countless people to clear their records of DUI convictions.

Fill out our online form or give us a call at (844) 9-XPUNGE to get connected with an experienced California DUI attorney today. 

What is a California DUI Expungement?

If you have received a DUI in California, your conviction does have to be a permanent fixture on your record. With a California DUI expungement, you can put your mistakes behind you and move on with your life. 

Under California Penal Code 1203.4, legally known as the 1203.4 Dismissal, the courts can legally set aside guilty or no contest plea, dismissing a conviction for those who have received a DUI and served their sentence.

If granted, the individual’s record of the DUI will not show up on most background checks, and they will legally be allowed to answer “no” when asked if they have ever been convicted of a crime on an employment application. This then allows individuals to pursue more employment and housing opportunities that they would otherwise be cut off from.

How a DUI Impacts Your Life in California

Like most states, California takes DUI convictions seriously. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you can expect to experience the following legal consequences:

  • Fines ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars
  • Jail time 30 days to four years
  • License Suspension
  • Court-ordered ignition interlock devices installation 
  • Court-ordered driving school

In addition to the legal ramifications of a DUI conviction, there are ancillary consequences as well. Convictions are permanent on your criminal record (unless expunged). They can limit your work opportunities, housing options, etc. Not only can they have an initial negative impact, but the consequences of a DUI can potentially follow you for the rest of your life.  

Who Uses Criminal Background Checks in California?

In today’s world, just about every organization uses background checks to ensure the people that they consider doing long-term business with have a high moral character. Background checks are used to judge a person’s character by employers, licensing agencies, property management companies, and loan officers. Having a DUI conviction on your criminal record can affect the most important areas of your life, such as career and housing. 

Will an Expungement Hide a DUI?

An expungement will not “hide” the fact that you were arrested for a DUI. However, instead of a conviction on your criminal record, it will show that the case was dismissed. Thus, it does effectively hide your record from the general public and most inquiring parties (but not all). The courts, the DMV, and law enforcement agencies like the FBI and local departments may still be able to see your record. It should be noted that a DUI expungement does not affect your driving record. 

Will My DUI Be Removed From the DMV Records? 

Whether or not a DUI conviction will be expunged from a DMV record after being expunged is one of the most common questions people have when seeking an expungement. While a DUI expungement will remove your conviction from almost all background checks, it will not remove it from DMV records. 

This means that any job that involves driving or one that looks at the history of your DMV record will be able to see your DUI, stopping any future employment. You will also not be able to hide it from your insurance company, who may want to raise your rates due to a DUI. 

Won’t My DUI Automatically Be Removed from My Record After 10 Years? 

You may have heard that a DUI is automatically removed from your criminal record ten years after your conviction. This is false, and your conviction will remain on your criminal record until you are able to have it expunged. 

The only way your DUI will be removed from your criminal record is through the California Penal Code 1203.4 and by petitioning the court to dismiss your conviction. 

Until you have your DUI expunged from your criminal record, you will not be able to answer “no” on job applications when asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime. Your DUI will also continue to show up on all background checks. 

While your DUI will not be automatically removed from your criminal record after ten years, it will be removed from your DMV record ten years after your conviction.

How to Expunge a DUI Conviction in California

It is recommended to work with an experienced DUI expungement attorney who can complete and file the necessary paperwork for you. In general, you will need to complete the following steps to have a DUI record expunged:

  1. Obtain your criminal record from the courthouse where you were found guilty
  2. File a petition for dismissal
  3. File a motion for early termination of probation (if necessary)
  4. Attend hearing (an expungement attorney can do this for you)
  5. Wait for the judge’s ruling (Order of dismissal approved or petition denied)

What if I have Multiple DUIs?

Getting a DUI can have a major impact on your life, and getting it expunged is one of the best things you can do, but what if you have more than one? 

For most people, getting a DUI is enough to keep them from driving under the influence again. However, some people make that mistake more than once. Just because you have multiple DUIs in your past does not mean that you are still that same person today, and you haven’t been rehabilitated. Everyone’s journey is different. 

If you have received multiple DUIs, you can still have them expunged. There is no limitation as to how many DUIs can be expunged from your record, as long as you never served your sentence in prison. If you served time in the county jail, this does not count as serving time in prison. 

Although you can expunge multiple DUIs from your record, keep in mind that the more convictions you have, the harder it will be to expunge them. You should be prepared to provide additional evidence of rehabilitation for each DUI you received to prove to the court that you have truly learned your lesson. 

If you have multiple DUIs, be sure to contact ExpungeAmerica to discuss your case and whether or not your DUIs are eligible for expungement.

Limits of a California DUI Expungement

A DUI expungement remains on court databases, and the DMV and law enforcement agencies can still see them. Furthermore, if you are charged with another DUI within ten years of the expunged conviction, the DMV can use this information to increase the time that your license will be suspended. The court will also view it as a “strike” and take it into consideration when sentencing occurs. 

Moreover, you will still be obligated to disclose DUI convictions when applying for professional licenses and/or for employment opportunities with government agencies. In most cases, an expunged DUI conviction will not limit your eligibility to apply for most licenses. 

Benefits of Expunging Your DUI

Getting your DUI license expunged from your record can have life-changing benefits. With a DUI on your record, employers may be hesitant to hire you, or you may not be able to acquire certain professional licenses and certificates. It can also prevent you from going back to school, living in the housing you want, gaining housing assistance, or even traveling to other countries. 

Plus, for most people, having a DUI on their record can be a source of shame and embarrassment that will follow them around for the rest of their lives. Getting your DUI expunged can open new doors and restores your confidence. 

Here are the top benefits of getting your California DUI expunged with ExpungeAmerica:

  • Your DUI will not show up on almost all employee background checks, providing you more employment opportunities
  • Legally answer “no” when asked if you have been convicted of a crime on a job application.
  • Be eligible for more professional licenses and certificates that you otherwise would not be able to get, allowing you to pursue the career of your choice.
  • Go back to school with more financial assistance available to you.
  • Be able to find more available housing options, as most places conduct criminal background checks before allowing you to move in.
  • Many countries, including Canada, view DUI convictions more harshly and may refuse you entry. Getting your DUI expunged will increase your chances of being allowed entry into another country.
  • Being able to finally move on with your life! After your record is expunged and your DUI is dismissed, you will be able to hold your head high with confidence and honestly say that you have not been convicted of a crime.

Am I Eligible for a DUI Expungement?

Everyone with a DUI conviction is not eligible to have it expunged, and certain criteria must be satisfied before you can be eligible. If you have served any time in state prison as a result of your DUI conviction, you are not eligible for an expungement. 

However, there are other options, such as a Certification of Rehabilitation or Pardon that can help to alleviate some of the negative consequences that come along with a DUI conviction.

Becoming Eligible for a California DUI Expungement:

  • Satisfied all conditions of your sentence like completed jail time, probation (or granted early termination of probation), paid all fines
  • Wait at least one year from the date of conviction 
  • Did not serve any time in the state prison
  • Not commit another crime 

Why Hire a California DUI Expungement Attorney

Getting a DUI expunged can be confusing and time-consuming. Submitting your paperwork without the help of an experienced DUI expungement attorney can cause delays and in some instances, denials. Our expungement attorneys at ExpungeAmerica are prepared to help you to get your DUI conviction expunged in as little as six weeks (it typically takes two months). 
We are confident in our team and offer a money-back guarantee to all of our customers. Do not allow mistakes that you made in the past affect your future any longer. Fill out our easy online form or give us a call at (844) 9-XPUNGE to connect with a top-notch DUI expungement attorney today.