Each year, more than one million Americans are arrested for driving under the influence. Have you been arrested for a DWI? If so, you probably have some questions about how this affects your record now and in the future.
After a DWI case is over, how long does a DWI stay on your record? Learn more about driving records and how you could get your DWI removed.
Getting a DWI
A DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. These convictions are also called DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or OWI (Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated. There are four different categories of DWI. Getting a DWI in Louisiana has serious implications and punishments that affect you now and in the future.
The first and second offenses are misdemeanors. However, the third and fourth offenses move up to felonies. Punishments for DWIs include fines, jail time, community service, and re-education along with driver’s license penalties — not to mention all the financial impacts this conviction can cause you.
How a DWI Affects Your Record
One of the biggest factors changes after a DWI conviction is your insurance, which could be more than just your car insurance. Your driving record is one of the biggest factors that insurance companies use to determine your rate for multiple types of insurance. They usually look at your last three to five years driving records, which also includes tickets and accidents.
If you have a DWI, you are now considered a higher risk driver. This means your rates will increase. Your insurance company may even cancel your policy, so you will have to find another insurer at a premium price.
A DWI can also affect your employment, especially if your job involves driving or a commercial license. If your job doesn’t involve driving, your employer may not even check your driving record. It’s important to know that your driving record is private, so your employer needs your consent to check your driving record.
You will also have to fulfill Louisiana’s SR-22 requirements. A DWI leads to automatic suspension of your driver’s license in Louisiana. If your license is suspended, you are required to file for SR-22.
An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility. In order to get your license reinstated, you need to prove you have minimum liability insurance and an SR-22.
How Long Does a DWI Stay On Your Record?
This is a common question. The court will also consider other factors. The short answer to this question is to expect ten years.
After those ten years, a prior DWI conviction cannot be used against a person charged with another DWI to increase charges. This ten-year period only applies to the sentencing of DWI convictions.
Even after the cleansing period, a Louisiana DWI conviction remains on your record. There is some good news — you can have a DWI removed from your record with a process called DWI expungement.
Can You Remove a DWI From Your Record?
A DWI stays on your record permanently unless you file for expungement to get it erased. You need this expungement to seal your conviction so it cannot be disclosed to any person for any reason like future employers or landlords.
If your DWI has been on your record and is causing you problems, you can request it to be expunged from your records. You can only have a conviction removed after following certain processes.
First, the DWI needs to have been on your record at least 10 years. After your expungement, the records would be kept for the next years but would remain classified. No employer would be able to find it when checking your background.
What is the Expungement Procedure for DWI?
To clean up your record, you need to follow certain procedures. First, you need to make sure you meet all the restrictions and requirements that were named during your probation period. After those requirements are done, you can file a written petition to the court to request an expungement of the DWI from your criminal record.
You also need to ensure that the District Attorney is also in agreement for this conviction to be expunged from your record. If you don’t have this agreement, your request for expungement will likely fail.
After the petition is made, the court begins gathering all details about the offender, which includes birth date and fingerprints. They also need your Social Security Number and a copy of your driver’s license. To start this, you will have to pay a fee to the court.
After this starts, you need a letter from the Department of Safety and Corrections in Louisiana. This letter needs to show that all your earlier requirements have been fulfilled in accordance with Louisiana’s laws.
In order to show that you are fit to have your record expunged, you need to show that you don’t have any other similar situations over that 10 year period. Once you can show all these requirements, the court begins the review and determines if you have satisfied this procedure and all the obligations.
Contacting an Attorney
You can see that the requirements for getting your record expunged can be difficult — and expensive. This is why you should consider a DWI lawyer to guide you through this procedure. You will probably have questions throughout the process, and you need the advice of an experienced professional.
DWI laws can be quite complex and complicated. You want to have a clean record for the best chance at future employment, housing, and more, so it’s important you have the right lawyer fighting for you.
We’ve answered the question “how long does a DWI stay on your record.” Now, it’s time to discuss your future. If you find yourself in a DWI situation, you should hire an experienced DWI attorney because these cases can be rather complex.
Contact Carl Barkemeyer anytime to see how he can help you. He will work with you to guide you through the process and see if he can reduce your charges.