When Can A DUI Be Expunged?
Are you wondering – when can a DUI be expunged? This is a question we get asked a lot over at Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney law firm. And if you ever had a DUI conviction for driving under the influence, you may want to know if you can ever get it off your record.
If you can secure an expungement or record sealing, it may be possible to have this criminal charge removed from your Record of Arrests and Prosecution – or RAP – sheet.
Difference Between Expungement And Record Sealing
If you obtain an expungement, your criminal history record will no longer show the DUI like it never happened. Many people don’t realize that if they were arrested but not convicted of something, it will still show up on background checks for things like jobs, cars, or mortgages. This may cause awkward conversations or loss of opportunities. Getting your record expunged for that arrest or something more serious can help in many ways while having things on your record could cause you problems for the rest of your life.
Getting Your Record Expunged
If you manage to get your record expunged, the record will be sealed from the courts and not show up during a public record search. Those doing background checks won’t even see charges that were filed against you.
Getting Your Record Sealed
If you get your record sealed, that means the public cannot see your court file. Many people and states use the terms “expungement” and “sealing” interchangeably, which is incorrect and confusing. Different states also handle these differently and the laws are always changing. It’s best to check the most updated statutes in your state to see what the current laws say.
How Do I Become Eligible For A DUI Expungement?
There are three general requirements you must meet to make you eligible:
- You must have had a probation period awarded. If your DUI charge was so serious that a judge sent you right to the state prison without probation, they won’t likely allow an expungement afterward.
- You must have satisfied the DUI probation and all its requirements. If there was any sort of violation, the chances are low that you can get your DUI expunged.
- You should not be facing any other criminal charges. If you are while you are requesting the DUI expungement and a judge feels your request for the expungement is to benefit you in the other case, they will not likely approve your request.
How to Petition for a DUI Expungement
If you and your lawyer feel you meet your state’s requirement to get your DUI expunged, you need to file a petition with an affidavit and a motion for relief. You must pay between $100 and $400 for a filing fee and then inform the prosecutor’s office of your intentions. The prosecutor will then file a challenge to your request. A judge then reviews the petition and may have to sign off on it before it is submitted to a court.
You then request a final hearing, and if granted, you will show the judge why you should have your DUI expunged. Your attorney will argue on your behalf, but you may also give a statement and the judge may ask you questions directly.
How Long Will an Expungement Take?
To apply for an expungement, you must fill out several forms. You or your attorney must communicate with the state and judicial systems. There may be back-and-forth conversations with various involved parties, including those who arrested you, to get all the information needed.
Hire An Experienced Attorney
It’s best if you wish to take on this process to hire an experienced attorney with a proven track record who can help you with this process so that it won’t take quite as long. They can handle all the communication between interested people so that you won’t have to track everyone down and try to get them to talk to you. The average time it can take is fifteen to eighteen months. If there are many agencies involved and it’s a more complicated case, it can take even longer. All the agencies will have to erase your conviction from their records. Your attorney can make sure this all happens in a timelier manner and that every agency is properly contacted.
What if Your State Won’t Allow DUI Expungements?
If your state does not authorize an expungement for your record, one thing you can do is try to get a governor’s pardon, although this is rare. Each state has special criteria to qualify, including successful release from prison and following parole laws for years. To try to get a pardon, you would put your request in writing to your state’s parole board. Then, you must wait for their decision. Your attorney or state website may be able to let you know how long it will be.
Get Your DUI Expunged Today And Hire Carl Barkemeyer To Help
Overall, trying for an expungement is worth it to shed the shadow of your DUI. Just be sure to hire an experienced attorney for the best outcome. Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney is a Louisiana based criminal defense attorney specializing in DWI charges and expungements. You should now have a better idea of the topic – when can a DUI be expunged and we wish you luck with your case!