California’s DUI laws can be complex and confusing. In this section, our attorneys break down the rules and explain the process.
Call or Message Us 24/7
A DUI arrest record is a report created by a police department after one of its officers arrest someone for driving under the influence of alcohol. The report includes:
Arrest records are often found during a background check. However, some states require that an arrest record has to be erased if a DUI arrest does not lead to
Further, state laws differ on whether or not an employer can consider an arrest record in making employment decisions. While some states permit the act, other states bar it or limit the use of an arrest record.
Arrest records and generally considered different documents than criminal records. The latter is a document that details a person’s criminal history, including any convictions for misdemeanor or felony offenses.
DUI arrest records are generally part of the public record or public information. Depending on the state in which the arrest was made, you can access an arrest record by contacting:
With that said, however, some states say that these records must be destroyed or erased from the public record if:
Arrest records can be found by an employer or third-party company when the entity performs a background check. But note that many background check agencies will not include details about a person’s arrest history in their background check reports.
The answer generally depends on the laws of the state in which the arrest was made.
Note that according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an employer cannot deny you employment simply because you were arrested.2
But depending on the situation, an employer can ask you questions about the conduct leading to your arrest. The employer can then consider the conduct in employment decisions.3
Keep in mind, though, that the information provided by the EEOC is technically only guidance for employers to follow in order to avoid some type of employment discrimination claim. In general, there are no federal laws that prohibit employers from considering an arrest when making employment decisions.4
But many states have passed laws that limit, regulate, or ban employers from using arrest records when deciding to hire an applicant.5
If you believe an employer has refused to hire you because of a DUI arrest, it is wise to consult with a DUI attorney/DUI lawyer to learn the specific laws of your state.
Sometimes, yes. An expungement or a sealing of records works to remove a record of an arrest and/or conviction from a person’s criminal record. The arrest or conviction is treated as if it never occurred.
Some states treat expungements and sealing of records as two distinct procedures.
Some jurisdictions also reserve expungements for records of an arrest that also led to a conviction of a crime (either a misdemeanor or a felony).
To clear a record of a DUI arrest, most states require you to file a petition with the city or county in which the arrest occurred.6
Sometimes you can obtain a copy of your arrest record by making a records request to the police department where you were taken into custody at.
But typically the only way to get the record is by requesting it from the prosecutor in your DUI case. You or your criminal defense attorney can make this request during the discovery process in court.
A criminal record is generally considered a separate and distinct document from an arrest record.
Criminal records set forth a person’s criminal history, including a listing of court orders and court records on any criminal convictions recorded in the U.S. court system (including both federal and state courts).
Criminal history records are maintained by the United States Department of Justice as well as state and local law enforcement agencies.
A background check will usually disclose if a person has a criminal record. But note that state and federal laws usually place limits on how an employer may use a criminal record in making employment decisions. Some of these laws include:
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.