Your criminal background plays a significant role in your everyday life. Everyone from potential employers to creditors can look at this record and decide whether or not to approve your application for a job, loan, housing, or other transactions.
When you have long served your time and paid back your debt to society, you may want to have the conviction removed from your criminal history. You might convince the court to approve your request for DUI expungement by hiring a DUI attorney to assist you in the legal expungement process.
What is Expungement?
What does it mean to expunge record entries of any DUI convictions you might have received in the past? Simply put, a DUI expungement conceals the offense from anyone conducting a background check on you. When they review your criminal record, they will not be able to view the details of your conviction and use that information against you.
You also may wonder if the expungement of the DUI can adversely affect your driving privileges. The DMV cannot use the fact that you had it concealed on your record against you. You still must be allotted the typical privileges as any other driver in your state as long as you comply with current driving laws.
However, what does expunged mean in terms of how it can be used against you in future legal cases? While expungement lawyers can conceal this record from potential employers, creditors, landlords, and other people, they cannot hide it from law enforcement officers, judges, and other attorneys.
If you are arrested for any other offense, you could be convicted and sentenced in part based on the fact that you have a prior DUI conviction on your record. These individuals will be able to see the offense when they conduct a background check on you.
Even so, you may benefit by having the conviction expunged so that you can carry on your normal life without this offense hanging over your every move. It is important that if you succeed at having the DUI offense expunged that you take every care to avoid committing crimes and being arrested in the future.
Eligibility for Expungement
Your ability to have the record expunged depends on a number of different factors. The primary factor that comes into play is what state you live in and in which state you were convicted of drinking and driving.
Some states allow DUI offenses to be concealed while others restrict or outlaw expungement entirely. When you retain a DUI lawyer, you should ask if expungement is possible in the state in which you live or were arrested.
The states that currently allow DUI convictions to be expunged from people’s records are:
- South Dakota
- North Carolina
- New Hampshire
Second, your ability to have your record expunged depends on the seriousness of your DUI arrest. Was it your first offense, or are you a repeat DUI offender? Did you harm or kill anyone while driving under the influence? How much property damage did you cause?
These questions all are taken into consideration before a judge decides to expunge the conviction. If you are a first-time offender, you may be granted your request more readily than if this were your second or third conviction. Likewise, the judge may deny your request if you caused damages to anyone or anything while driving intoxicated.
Third, your ability to have the record expunged could depend on whether you were arrested and exonerated or arrested and found guilty. Some states allow for DUI arrests to be concealed if you were not found guilty on the charges.
If you were arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to any kind of punishment for the crime, you may have to deal with the conviction staying on your record for its rightful duration. Again, this stipulation varies from state to state. Your lawyer will know if it applies to your particular case.
Finally, you may have the offense expunged if you are or were a juvenile when the DUI occurred. Most states treat juvenile DUI convictions differently than adult DUI cases. They typically allow the conviction to fall off your record by the time you reach 21 years of age.
Again, this scenario depends on the state you live in and the extent of the damages that you caused while driving inebriated. Your lawyer can give you all of the facts when you set up an initial consultation with him or her to discuss expunging your record.
Why Hire an Expungement Lawyer?
Why should you hire a lawyer to help you with having your record expunged? Could you not do the work yourself and have the conviction removed without legal help?
The answer to both questions is yes, you are entitled to take care of your own expungement request. A judge cannot tell you that you have to hire a lawyer to assist in the process.
However, given how complex the expungement laws can be in any state, chances are that you will not understand the process in the first place or how to navigate it successfully to get your expungement petition approved. You need a lawyer who is well-versed in DUI and expungement laws to assist you if you are serious about having this entry concealed on your record.
Moreover, the process for expungement can be time consuming, frustrating, and full of details that you may forget or fail to appreciate. When you have a lawyer working with you on your request, you can essentially take a backseat and allow your attorney to handle all of the specifics. You can provide the information he or she needs to research your arrest, court case, and conviction and then sit back while he or she navigates the legalities for expunging the record.
Letting an attorney handle the specifics can be critical if you do not want the judge to throw out your petition before it is reviewed. If you forget even one requirement, such as providing proof that you completed your sentence, the judge could toss it on a technicality. All of your hard work would be for nothing because you failed to comply fully with the process.
Your attorney, however, will know what details to include and ensure that the request is filed in full compliance with the court’s rules. You may then anticipate having your request approved and your record expunged successfully.
Where to Find an Expungement Lawyer
So where do you begin to find an attorney in your area who has the experience with and knowledge of your state’s expungement laws? Start your quest to find the ideal lawyer for your case by going online.
The attorneys suited to take your case do not list themselves as expungement attorneys but rather DUI or criminal defense lawyers. Read the reviews for each DUI attorney in your city to determine what ones to contact and vet for your expungement request.
If you know anyone in your family or circle of friends who has been through the process, you should ask those individuals for input about what attorney to hire. Driving under the influence is one of the most common offenses committed in the U.S. Many people, some of whom you might even know, are familiar with having DUI convictions expunged from their records.
Employers, landlords, creditors, and others can readily view a DUI conviction that is in your criminal history. Have it concealed and regain your normal life by asking the court for a DUI expungement. Keep these facts in mind when searching for a lawyer to help you with this legal process.
How To Get A DUI or DWI Expunged?
Meta – Getting a DUI expunged from your record will open up a variety of new opportunities including better career options, the reinstatement of your license, and easier access to loans.
Once a DUI is on your record, it could impact almost every facet of your life. In addition to potential employers seeing your DUI, you might not be able to acquire a home loan or find a place to rent due to your record. That is why you should immediately begin exploring some of the methods you can use to have your DUI expunged. The process of getting a DUI expunged is not always easy, but it is almost always worth the effort. With an experienced attorney by your side, you might be able to have your DUI expunged within just a few months of filing the initial paperwork.
Should My Records Be Expunged?
There are quite a few different reasons why you should consider speaking with an attorney about having your records expunged. A DUI can remain on your record for a very long period of time, and that means almost anyone will see those charges unless they are expunged. Whenever you apply for a new job, the employer will most likely conduct a background check. In some states, nearly 80 percent of employers claim that they conduct background checks on all new applicants. With that type of charge on your record, it will be very difficult to land any job that comes with serious responsibilities.
Another reason why you should have your DUI expunged is to help with your finances. While these charges won’t be taken into consideration when determining your credit score, most loan officers will look at your criminal record or inquire about it. If you don’t have your DUI expunged, then you might not be able to apply for certain loans. Even if you end up qualifying for the loan, you can expect your interest rates to be much higher because the loan officer will see you as an unpredictable individual.
In addition to higher loan rates, it will also be difficult to find a place to live if you don’t have your DUI expunged. The vast majority of landlords will check an individual’s record before renting them a place. Within just a few days of having your DUI expunged, you can begin looking for new places to live without worrying about your history. When your record is not expunged, you can expect to pay much higher monthly rates and deposits.
Is It Even Possible to Have My DUI Expunged?
While you should always consult with an attorney before deciding if you would like your records expunged, you might want to take a closer look at the local laws and regulations on your own. In some areas, a driver can only have their DUI expunged if it is a misdemeanor. If you were arrested and charged with a DUI but not convicted, then you might be able to have your arrest expunged as well. Unfortunately, quite a few states and counties throughout the country won’t allow a driver to have their DUI expunged if it was a felony charge. Even if you can’t have your DUI expunged, you should still speak with an attorney to discuss all of your legal options.
Judges and Expunged Records
In order to have your DUI expunged, you will need to plead your case before a judge. Unlike your initial arraignment and hearing, this will be a short meeting between you, your attorney, and a judge to determine if you are eligible to have your records expunged. Before making a decision on whether you will have your DUI expunged, the judge will look at a wide variety of variables including how you have conducted yourself since your arrest. They will also carefully inspect your records to see if you have paid your fines and fees. Many drivers can’t have their charges expunged until they have paid their fines or completed specific courses. Others must wait a certain period of time before having the charges expunged.
The Process of Getting a DUI Expunged
You and your attorney will need to follow a very specific process in order to have your DUI expunged. That begins with taking a closer look at county and state laws to see if the judge will even allow a driver to have their DUI expunged. When it comes to having a DUI expunged, judges have quite a bit of leeway, but there are certain statutes that they must follow at all times. For instance, some states won’t allow a driver to apply to have their charges expunged until a year after their conviction. Others won’t allow you to have your DUI expunged unless you take additional sobriety courses or complete a certain number of community service hours.
The next step in this process is to collect all pertinent paperwork. That includes local forms to have your DUI expunged and a copy of your criminal records. Each state has its own unique forms that drivers must fill out, and that is one more reason why you should work with a local attorney who is familiar with those forms. In order to put yourself in the best possible position for getting your DUI expunged, you should only fill out these forms with your attorney present. These documents often ask for very specific information such as the exact laws you broke and what took place during your hearing. You might not be able to have your charges expunged if you fill out the paperwork incorrectly or omit any information.
Working With a District Attorney to Have Your Charges Expunged
Unless you have spent quite a bit of time researching expungement laws, you might not realize that you must contact the local D.A. before you can have your DUI expunged. The district attorney who was in charge of your case has quite a bit of say over these proceedings, and you want to be sure that you file the correct paperwork with them as soon as possible. You must also pay a filing fee and fill out a waiver before you can have your DUI expunged.
Quickly and Affordably Getting Your DUI Expunged
You might be able to get your DUI expunged on your own, but this process can be extremely complicated. Without an experienced attorney by your side, you could make any number of mistakes that will ruin your case. Much like beating a DUI, getting your DUI expunged must be done in a very specific way. That includes collecting certain information, working with the local district attorney’s office, and filing your paperwork in a very specific order. Even when all of those steps are carried out perfectly, you might still have to wait for 30 days or longer to receive a reply.
What All Drivers Should Know About Expungements
Even though an expungement makes it nearly impossible for the general public to uncover your past charges, you should realize that law enforcement officers and judges will still be able to view your records. That being said, this legal process can be incredibly beneficial. If you plan on applying for any new jobs or loans in the future, then you want to be absolutely sure that your background checks are going to come back pristine. Even a minor blemish on your record could ruin your chances of buying a new home or starting down the career path of your dreams.
Due to the complexity of these cases, you should schedule an expungement consultation with a local attorney to explore all of your options. These professionals are ready to help you navigate the complex pathways of the legal system so that you can avoid some of the most common mistakes.
How To Get Out Of A DUI or DWI?
After being arrested, fingerprinted, and placed in a holding cell, you might ask yourself: “Can I get out of a DUI?” These types of charges are extremely serious, and they are unlike any other traffic infractions or violations you will ever experience. Getting out of a DUI can be a somewhat complicated process, but it will always be worth your time and energy. An experienced attorney can show you how to get out of a DUI as quickly and affordably as possible so that you can move on with your life. Here is a closer look at why beating a DUI is necessary and some popular methods that can be used to reduce your charges or have them dropped entirely.
Why Is Beating a DUI So Important?
There are a few different reasons why getting out of a DUI is going to positively impact your life. Many drivers don’t realize just how serious these charges are and what penalties they are going to face if they are convicted. The average driver doesn’t know how to get out of a DUI on their own, and that means there is a very good chance they will be convicted if they don’t work with an experienced attorney. In some locations, even first-time offenders will end up paying thousands of dollars in court fines and DMV fees. While those expenses might seem overwhelming, your new insurance premiums could be staggering as well. Some drivers end up paying thousands of dollars extra every year for the same insurance policies they had before.
Getting out of a DUI will also allow an individual to retain their license. In most states, a mandatory license suspension will take place if a driver is convicted of these charges. Those who refuse to take the chemical BAC test while they are being arrested might have their license suspended on the spot. Repeat offenders often have their licenses permanently revoked, and that penalty could change the course of your life for many decades to come. Getting out of a DUI with an airtight case could also help you avoid spending weeks in jail or hours doing community service. Not only are these convictions expensive, but they can also be quite time-consuming.
Can I Get Out of a DUI?
No matter how hopeless your case might seem, getting out of a DUI is always a possibility if you have an experienced lawyer working closely alongside you. Even if the charges are not dropped entirely, your attorney might be able to put together a very compelling case. In some states and counties, a judge can reduce a DUI to a “wet reckless” or reckless driving charge if the evidence is not compelling enough. Before entering any plea at your arraignment, you should first schedule a free consultation with an attorney to take a closer look at all of your options.
During and After Your Arrest
What you say and do in the days following your arrest can have a major impact on your case. During the traffic stop itself, you should say as little as possible to the police officer. Getting out of a DUI is much more difficult if you try to talk your way out of the charges and accidentally incriminate yourself. Beating a DUI is always going to be a complicated process, and drivers shouldn’t make the situation any worse by arguing with the officer or refusing to follow their commands.
Once the law enforcement officer believes that they have sufficient evidence to charge you, they will then officially arrest and book you. This process can take quite some time depending on how busy the agency is. Throughout this process, you must remember that getting out of a DUI is going to be extremely difficult if you refuse to be fingerprinted or submit to a chemical BAC test. You might even receive further penalties such as having the DMV suspend your license for a minimum of one year.
Contacting a Lawyer
As soon as you have access to a phone or pay bail, you must immediately find a local attorney who specializes in DUIs. Without a legal representative, getting out of a DUI is going to be a long and expensive process that will most likely end in a conviction. From the moment that you first consult with an attorney, you will be given vital information such as which forms you need to fill out and how to schedule your first DMV hearing. Many drivers never even consider contacting an attorney due to financial concerns, but most lawyers offer free consultations to those who are facing these charges. Once you have hired the attorney, you can begin the process of building your case and fighting the DUI.
Getting Out of a DUI With a Solid Case
Even information that doesn’t seem to be relevant to your case could actually make all the difference when it comes time to stand before a judge. Getting out of a DUI entirely is going to require an exhaustive look at information such as what took place during the traffic stop, how the officer acted, and when the breathalyzer was last calibrated. Law enforcement officers must follow very specific rules when making an arrest and charging a driver with a DUI, and failing to adhere to those rules could result in the case getting thrown out.
Beating a DUI will be much easier if the driver was arrested at an illegal DUI checkpoint. These checkpoints are currently legal throughout the country, but they can only be established in certain locations. Once the checkpoint is set up, all of the officers involved must continue to follow specific rules. Whenever those rules are broken, getting out of a DUI is going to be a much more straightforward process. All of these issues must be called into question in order to make an airtight case.
Reducing the Charges
In some instances, getting out of a DUI is going to be completely impossible. Luckily, many judges will work with drivers and their legal representatives to reduce the charges and penalties. While no one wants a “wet reckless” on their record, these charges are nothing compared to a full DUI. Not only are the fines and fees lower, but you should also be able to keep your license. Those who have their charges reduced can avoid some of the worst penalties by taking DUI or sobriety classes. The judge and district attorney might be inclined to offer you a plea bargain so that they don’t have to spend countless hours coming up with a case against you.
Moving on With Your Life
DUIWise works with attorneys throughout the country who are ready to help their clients navigate through these proceedings. While it might seem easier to simply plead guilty and accept the penalties, having this type of blemish on your record could end up affecting your career and social life. Whenever you apply for a loan or turn in a resume, you will most likely be asked about your DUI. Some landlords and employers refuse to work with anyone who has been convicted of these types of charges.
There is no reason for you to leave your DUI case up to chance. Even if you admitted guilt or refused to take the chemical BAC test, you might still be able to build a strong case to have your charges reduced. Your attorney is going to pour over all of the information and evidence in order to help you create the best possible case. Within just a few weeks of being arrested, you might be able to beat these charges and finally move on with your life. Those who fail to contact an attorney will most likely face years of harsh penalties ranging from sobriety classes and community service to skyrocketing insurance premiums and time in prison.