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Expunging A DUI: What To Know

Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) is both embarrassing and costly in a number of ways. If convicted, defendants can face thousands of dollars in fines and fees, lose their driving privileges, and even go to jail. The best way to avoid all of that is to avoid being convicted. To find out why and how you might want to hide your DUI, read on.

Get Your Charges Dropped

You might be surprised at how often the state reduces or drops DUI charges. Usually, the state uses the plea bargaining process to keep the jails clear of DUI offenders while still meting out some form of punishment. Many defendants don't realize that the evidence the state has against them can turn their case from a conviction for DUI to something far less damaging. Speak to a DUI lawyer about your case and find out what can be done to make your case go away before you ever have to worry about the ramifications in the future.

Hiding Your DUI Conviction

If you do get convicted, it will go on your permanent criminal record. Whether or not anyone other than law enforcement can view that record depends on several factors, however. When you can hide certain facts about the conviction, that is called expungement. In any case, you cannot wipe out a criminal conviction entirely – some government entities will always be able to look at your record. For example, if you are applying for a security clearance for a federal job, even expunged records are visible during the background check at that level of inquiry. Every state handles expungement differently but here are some things to keep in mind when seeking one:

  1. Your arrest, even if you are not convicted, can live on forever thanks to mugshot websites
  2. Almost any job that requires you to handle money or drive will check your criminal record.
  3. Chances of getting your record expunged can improve if your DUI was a first-time offense
  4. Almost all states have a waiting period to endure before you can apply for an expungement
  5. Judges have to approve of expungement and they will revisit the facts of the case when doing so. Low blood alcohol concentrations (BAC), simple DUI arrests, first-time offenders, the reason for the requested expungement, and more, often go into the decision

If you have been arrested, don't let things get far enough along to need an expungement. Talk to a criminal defense lawyer about your case right away. If you already have a conviction and are interested in expungement, speak to a criminal lawyer to find out more.