A DUI conviction is an unfortunate incident that can follow you around for a long time. Not only do you have the penalties to contend with, the conviction stays on your criminal record for ten years in California.
Many people do not want a DUI conviction on their record for numerous reasons. It can be seen by anyone who pulls up your record, which can affect employment, obtaining professional certifications and licensing agencies. The good news is in many cases a DUI can be removed from your record, which is called an expungement. If your record is expunged, your DUI cannot be used against you in any way.
It is important to note expungement of DUI records in California is priorable for 10 years. This means that while it is removed from your record, if you get another DUI within a 10 year period it counts as an additional offense.
Am I Eligible?
In order to be eligible for an expungement, you must have completed probation and not currently be charged with any crime. You will not be able if you have been to state prison for your offense, or if you have been convicted of the following crimes:
- Lewd acts with a child
- Sodomizing a child
- Oral copulation with a child
- Statutory rape
People often wish to have their record expunged for professional purposes. Once the DUI is removed, it cannot be used to impeach you in any way. It also can help if you have an immigration issue. While it will clear your record, it will not overturn a license revocation or suspension, eliminate the duty to register as a sex offender or restore your right to possess firearms.
Note that the crime of DUI goes by other names in other states: Some call it DWI (driving while intoxicated) or OWI (operating while intoxicated). By any name, DUIs, DWIs, and OWIs are crimes throughout the U.S.