A drunk driving conviction can have dire consequences on many aspects of your life. If you are an immigrant, it can lead to the cancellation of your immigrant visa, it can affect your admission to a prestigious college and can lead to you being expelled or fired from the organization you are working for.
Even after you have attended all the classes, paid the fine, served your sentence and completed all the other formalities to get your driving license back, the DUI conviction on your record will keep affecting aspects of your life, especially related to work and education.
There have been many instances where individuals who have cleaned up their act, quit drinking and remained sober for years have still had to deal with the consequences of a DUI conviction on their record.
Fortunately, there are a few conditions under which a DUI conviction can be expunged. In this blog, we talk about how to apply for an expungement and whether you are eligible for it or not.
What Is An Expungement?
An expungement is when the record of a conviction is sealed or erased from appearing in any background checks. This means if a potential employer, landlord, lender or any other company or individual runs a background check, the conviction will not appear in your records.
Note that the record is not completely erased, it can be viewed by law enforcement and court officials.
How Can You Get An Expungement?
Whether you can apply for an expungement or not depends on the state you are living in. Some states do not allow expungement while others will let you clear your record under certain circumstances.
Some factors on which the expungement decision relies on are:
- Was it your first and only DUI Conviction?
- How long has it been since the conviction?
- What was the severity of the crime?
To determine whether you are eligible for the expungement or not, it is best to consult a criminal lawyer that deals with DUI convictions. Moreover, know that if you have other convictions on your record you will most likely be ineligible for an expungement. Moreover, if you have multiple DUI convictions chances of expungement are almost zero.
The Process To Apply For Expungement
If your state offers expungement and if you are eligible, you will have to fill out an application or a petition to file with the court. The paperwork is quite extensive and you might have to pay hefty court fees as well.
Some states require you to file the petition with the clerk of the court while others need you to file the case with the district attorney’s office. In most jurisdictions, the judge will determine if you will be granted an expungement or not after going through your papers. However, some states require a public hearing on an expungement petition.
Is It Worth The Effort?
If the DUI conviction is hindering different aspects of your life, then going for expungement is better. Although it is a long and tedious process, it will help you smoothly go through with your life especially if it is your only conviction.
From landlords and employers, university administration and law enforcement, everyone does a background check for different reasons. Even if there is a minor discrepancy, your application is rejected.
An expungement can save you a lot of hassle. To ensure proper filing of the petition, you should hire a criminal lawyer with ample experience in DUI.
About Slaferek Law
Slaferek lawyers are highly proficient at strategizing effective expungement petitions and have ample experience in dealing with DUI. Our experts create strategies that can lead to case dismissal, reduced charges, reduced penalties, and more. To get in touch with us today, click here.