If you are pulled over while driving under the influence, you may be arrested and convicted of a DUI. Even after you have paid the consequences, such as serving jail time or paying fines, it will still be on your record. While not a major crime, it can keep you from getting an apartment or qualifying for a job when they run your background check.
Removing a DUI offense from your record is called expunging your record. It is not available in every state and there are some strict guidelines to follow. Here is more information about how to remove the DUI from your permanent record.
When can a DUI record be expunged?
The state where you live determines exactly how long you have to wait to get the DUI off your public record. Some states do not even allow it, so you should find this out first. If you live in a state that does allow it, such as California, you can find out from the court how long you need to wait. In some cases, it will be about a year after you have paid your dues and faced the consequences of your conviction.
Can you also remove it from your driving record?
One thing to keep in mind is that your DUI appears on two different records: your criminal record and your driving record. If you only try to get it removed from your criminal record, it may still show up when an employer or lender runs your background check, but it shows up under your driving record. When you start the process of expunging it from your public record, make sure you can remove it from both records. It is less likely that it can be removed from your driving record, so while a landlord might be lenient, your insurance company may not.
What eligibility requirements are there for expunging a DUI record?
Even if it has been the length of time required by the court, the judge will look at each case to decide if the record can be expunged. If you have other criminal convictions on your record, the judge is much less likely to remove the DUI from your record. However, if this was a first time offense and you completed all community service, paid your fines and caused no problems, they will be more likely to grant it to you.
While not mandatory, it is highly recommended that you get an attorney who specializes in DUI cases. They will let you know how long you need to wait and what exactly you have to do to get the DUI removed from your record. To learn more, contact a company like http://www.caplanlaw.com with any concerns you might have.