Everyone in their lives makes mistakes. Sometimes these errors can be harmless and just cause you a little inconvenience. These little gaffes can include forgetting to buy something at the store, buying clothes that end up being the wrong size, or any mistake along the same path as these. However, some mistakes no matter how unintentional they might be can carry substantial consequences. One of and probably the most typical of these types of mistakes is driving after you have had too much to drink, known as a DUI. Most people are of the belief that a mistake should not haunt you the rest of your life and a DUI falls under that category. The way society forgives a DUI is, a DUI expungement. A DUI expungement is the process of making your DUI invisible for anyone to see after a certain amount of time.
Consequences of Having a DUI on Your Record
Having a DUI on your record can change your life for the worse. In some cases, you can lose your job for getting a DUI. Also, if you are applying for a job that involves driving you can be automatically disqualified from the position. It is a very common practice to undergo a background check when applying for a job these days. Your employer will find out about a previous DUI, and it can be very damaging to your chances even if the job involves no driving. Another reason it can be hard to get a job once you have a DUI on your record is because you can also be disqualified from jobs that require a state license such as being a teacher, doctor, or attorney.
A DUI can also end up being very costly financially. Not only do you have to pay court and lawyer fees but your auto insurance can also skyrocket. In many states, if you are found guilty of a DUI you must have a particular type of insurance policy, an SR22. This specific type of insurance can be very expensive.
America as a society is pretty forgiving. There is so much going on all the time we tend to not dwell on one thing for very long. The same goes for DUI, in some cases. After you have a DUI on your record, there is a possibility to have it removed. This complete removal makes it invisible to the public and any law enforcement agency.
However, not everyone is eligible for a DUI expungement. There are a few requirements you have to meet before filing the court to have your DUI expunged. The three questions you must pass are:
- Are you a first-time offender?
- Were you convicted of a “crime of violence” or not?
- Have you waited the required period?
Anyone who passes all three of these questions is eligible to have their record expunged. Anyone who has been previously found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor, or put on probation on more than one occasion fails the first question and can not have their DUI expunged. A crime of violence includes murder, manslaughter, arson, kidnapping, robbery, larceny, sexual assault, and burglary. The last question is also the easiest question but the answer changes depending on the severity of your charge. If you were charged with a misdemeanor, then you have to wait five years after the completion of your probation and/or sentence. If the charge was a felony than that number jumps to ten years.
There are many steps to go through in order for a successful DUI expungement. The first phase of this process is to obtain your record from the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Identification Unit and confirm your eligibility. Next, you must file a motion with the clerk at the original courthouse where charges were brought. At this point, you will receive a court date. Lastly, you must give notice of the court date to both the Attorney General’s office and to the original police department that arrested you.
Once in court, there are a few benchmarks you have to prove. They are as follows:
- Are a first-time offender
- Have not committed a ‘crime of violence’
- Exhibit good moral character
- Have been successfully rehabilitated
- The expungement of your record is consistent with the public interest
A DUI expungement from your record or any conviction for that matter can be a huge step in getting your life back on the right track. Make sure you have an attorney by your side who gives you the best chance of winning the case. Having an experienced attorney can help streamline the paperwork and motioning process. Once all the procedural work is done you, and your attorney can focus solely on proving all the criteria you need to expunge your DUI successfully.