Many people are under the assumption that a DUI conviction only remains on their record for a period of seven years in California. DUI attorneys can help remove the conviction, but it won’t disappear on its own. A DUI conviction remains on an offender’s record permanently. Expungement of these charges, for obvious reasons, is the ultimate goal. Practically no California DUI attorneys will be able to completely clear a person’s record of DUI charges, but they can be reduced to traffic violations that only affect your driving privileges with the DMV.
When an individual is convicted and placed on probation, at the time they complete that term, their record may be expunged via filing what is known as an Expungement Petition. This form of “post-conviction relief” is authorized by Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code. The main factor a court considers in granting an expungement is whether there were any further arrests or law violations during the probationary period. If the answer is no and all fines and fees have been paid, courts must grant the expungement. If there was a law violation during the probationary period, the court has discretion to deny the expungement. Similarly, if a person has never been on probation for a DUI offense, they may have their record expunged one year after the conviction if no new law violations have occurred.
There are benefits to expungement, although many of these are psychological in nature. Once a person’s record is expunged, there is little reason for them to mention to family, friends, or employers that they have ever been convicted of a DUI – this can afford an individual a certain modicum of peace of mind. Once California DUI attorneys have convictions expunged, it is not necessary for offenders to disclose the conviction on most job applications.
However, even the expungement of a DUI conviction does not clear one’s record as far as background checks. One may not be able to acquire certain state licenses or acquire application to institutions for teaching credentials. Depending on the severity of the conviction, it may still show up. Additionally, the expunged offense is still priorable, meaning that subsequent DUI convictions will still carry the same increased penalties and fines as they would if the first conviction had not been expunged. Work with the renowned California DUI attorneys at Summit Defense to clear your name as much as possible.