1. What is a DUI Expungement?
Expungement is a court process that partially seals one's criminal record after a conviction. A DUI expungement “erases” a DUI conviction for some purposes, but not for others.
2. What are the Benefits of Expunging My DUI Record?
The main benefit of an expunged DUI is that you do not have to disclose it on most job applications. However, you will still need to disclose an expunged conviction when:
- You are seeking to become a peace officer,
- You are running for public office,
- You want to contract with the California Lottery commission, or
- You are applying for a state license.
3. Does an Expunged Conviction Count as a Prior DUI?
An expunged conviction still counts as a prior offense under California DUI laws. If you get another conviction within 10 years of a conviction for a DUI or a “wet recklesswet reckless,” it is considered a second offense – even if the first DUI was expunged.
4. Who is Eligible for a DUI Expungement?
You can expunge a California DUI or drunk driving conviction as long as:
- You pleaded guilty or no contest to the charges, or were convicted at trial,
- You were placed on probation, and
- You successfully completed your probation.
5. How Do I Get a DUI Expungement?
To expunge a DUI, you must file a petition with the court. If the judge grants the expungement, you will be allowed to withdraw your plea of guilty or no contest and re-enter a plea of "not guilty." The judge will then dismiss your case.
6. Can I Get a Felony DUI Expunged?
If your felony conviction was for a “wobbler” offense, you may be eligible for expungement. A wobbler offense is one that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, in the prosecutor's discretion. The most common DUI wobbler is “DUI causing injury,” California Vehicle Code 23153 VC.
To be eligible for expungement of a felony conviction for a DUI wobbler, you must have been given and successfully completed probation (you cannot expunge a felony DUI if you were sent to state prison). Expungement is then a two-step process.
Step one is to petition the court to have the felony DUI reduced to a misdemeanor. Once it has been reduced to a misdemeanor, the conviction can be expunged.
7. Early Termination of Probation
If you have been conviction of misdemeanor DUI, the court may sometimes be willing to terminate your probation after one (1) year. Whether it will do so, however, is up to the judge.
To be eligible for early termination of probation, you must have successfully completed all of your probation's terms and conditions. If you are granted early termination, you can petition the court to expunge your conviction.
Call Us For Help...
If you or a loved one is looking to expunge the record of a California DUI case, we invite you to call our Los Angeles DUI lawyers for help.