If you have been convicted of Driving under the Influence and have successfully completed your probation and/or other requirements, you may be eligible to petition for an expungement of your DUI conviction with the assistance of an Orange County expungement lawyer. This means that if the Court grants your request for expungement, the conviction is dismissed. Expungement of a misdemeanor or felony conviction is authorized under Penal Code sections 1203.4, 1203.4(a), or 1203.41.
Most regular DUIs (i.e., those that result only in DUI charges and not more serious felonies) are misdemeanors and eligible for expungement. If your conviction of DUI resulted in a felony conviction, then you must first request that the felony conviction be reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged. If you have successfully completed probation with no violations, this is usually granted. After successfully completing probation without any violation of the probation terms, the court must grant your petition for expungement. If you violated any term of your probation, the granting of the petition becomes discretionary to the court and may be granted in the "interests of justice." In order to petition for an expungement of your DUI conviction, you cannot be serving any sentence (including probation) for another conviction and you cannot have any charges pending against you. An expungement lawyer in Orange County can help you determine whether you are eligible for this remedy.
Some of the typical terms and conditions of a DUI conviction, which must be successfully completed in order to petition for a mandatory dismissal of the conviction, are paying fines, attending an alcohol education program, performing community work, attending Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel, Hospital and Morgue Programs, driver license suspension or restriction of the defendant's California driving privileges. If you successfully complete these requirements, you are eligible to have your guilty plea withdrawn and the case dismissed.
Be aware that this does not prevent the DA from using that conviction as a prior in the event of a future arrest and prosecution Even though the conviction is considered dismissed, it can still be used as a basis for a second (or more) DUI. Thus, for example, if you suffered a first DUI conviction and successfully had that conviction expunged, but then got arrested for a DUI within a ten year period of the first DUI, this DUI would be considered by the State of California as a second DUI. Furthermore, an expungement does not entirely erase the arrest and conviction from your record, but the record will show that the conviction was dismissed. After an expungement is granted, you no longer have to divulge that you had the conviction on any employment application, etc. as the conviction has been legally dismissed. (There are some exceptions to this law concerning employment applications to law enforcement agencies and other sensitive positions.)
There are many benefits to having your conviction of DUI expunged, as an expungement attorney in Orange County can explain.
- You can tell prospective employers that you have not been convicted of a crime;
- You become eligible for some professional licenses;
- You can apply for a change in immigrant status more confidently; and
- Stop being afraid or embarrassed when someone does a background check on you.
Getting your DUI expunged can be the best decision you ever make. In most cases, a petition for an expungement of a DUI conviction is a relatively simple process and can be accomplished at minimal costs compared to the potential benefits, especially employment opportunities, that come with a record free of convictions. Orange County expungement attorney William Weinberg has filed many petitions for dismissal of DUI convictions on behalf of his clients with outstanding results. If you have a DUI conviction that's been "hanging over your head," contact Mr. Weinberg to discuss getting that conviction dismissed.