How Do I Get a DUI Off My Record?

Long Beach DUI Attorney Assisting with Expungements

A DUI conviction can be damaging to your record. It could stop you from getting certain jobs, and it can also negatively affect you in other ways. In certain situations, it is possible to get DUI records expunged, meaning that your public records are changed to show that your case did not end in a conviction. In order to be eligible for this process, there are certain requirements that you need to meet. There are also numerous steps that you will need to take when requesting an expungement from the court.

Leonard Matsuk, our Long Beach criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Leonard Matsuk, can help you determine whether you are eligible to apply for DUI expungement. He can also help you ensure that you are taking all the appropriate steps in the expungement request process. With Attorney Matsuk's help, you might be able to move forward with your life without a DUI conviction hanging over your head.

How Expungements Work in California

When an expungement request is granted, the criminal case is reopened, the convicted person's guilty plea or guilty verdict is removed, the charges are dismissed and the case is again closed, as explained by the Sacramento County Public Law Library. While the conviction will still show up on a person's record, the record will be changed to show that the conviction was dismissed, therefore making it so that the individual is no longer considered a convicted person. Once people have their records expunged, they are legally allowed to answer on job applications for private employers that they have not been convicted of any crimes. Individuals cannot, however, answer this way when they are applying for government jobs or licenses that are issued by government entities. Furthermore, expunged convictions can still be considered "priors" by the court in any future criminal proceedings. There are also other restrictions that affect individuals with expunged records.

Getting Started on Your DUI Expungement

If you are interested in having your DUI conviction expunged, the first thing you will need to do—aside from obtaining legal counsel—is determine whether you actually qualify. Expungement is available only to those who were convicted of misdemeanors in which they successfully completed the terms of their sentences, which can include probation, fines and/or time in county jail. Those who have been convicted of felonies are sometimes able to obtain expungements after they have the charges from their cases lowered to the misdemeanor level. A few other requirements for expungement applicants include the following: it has been at least one year since the applicant was convicted, no other convictions have occurred within this time period, the applicant is not currently charged with or serving a sentence for any other crime.

DUI offenses tend to be misdemeanors, though there are some that are counted as felonies because of aggravating factors. At our criminal defense law firm, we can help you explore your expungement options. Do not simply assume that you do not qualify or that the process will be too difficult. Contact us so we can provide you with step-by-step legal guidance!