How to Expunge a DUI in California - The Goss Law Firm Can Help You with It!
Driving under the influence of alcohol or psychotropic substances that alter or limit the driver's mental and physical faculties is dangerous for everyone close to that person since they could cause an accident at any time. The state wants to prevent any problem from happening, so California law is severe when it comes to drunk drivers.
Even if they don't cause an accident, people with a DUI conviction face harsh consequences, such as losing their driver's license for some months, serving jail time, and attending DUI school for years. Regardless of that, those are not always the worst penalties that come with a DUI conviction.
When someone faces DUI charges in California, having an arrest or conviction record is often worse than losing their driver's license. Drivers with a DUI conviction can recover their licenses after some months, but DUI convictions stay on their criminal record forever.
Employers, banks, colleges, and even car insurance companies can access a driver's records and see any criminal convictions they may have. Fortunately, there's a way to get those stains out of those drivers' records, and it's with a DUI expungement.
Going through an expungement process is not that difficult itself, but people need a lawyer to file an expungement petition and make sure they are eligible for the whole process. The Goss Law Firm is here to help anyone looking forward to getting their DUI conviction expunged, so anyone in Sacramento, California, can call now! Goss Law can answer questions such as, "How long does a DUI stay on your record in California?"
This page has all the information someone should know before going through a DUI expungement process.
How Does Expungement Work?
People often confuse expunging a DUI conviction with sealing it. When someone seals a record, that record becomes unavailable to the public, but it still exists legally and physically. Expunged records, on the other hand, are destroyed completely, so no one but government entities has access to them.
In both cases, a DUI conviction shouldn't appear on a background check, but expungements are better since they offer more confidentiality than sealed records. Any criminal conviction expunged is only available to the clerk of a court, the district attorney general, and the judge in a criminal court.
Not everyone is eligible for a criminal conviction expungement, so everyone should know its eligibility requirements to make sure they can go through that process. The first is that former state prison prisoners can't ask for an expungement if they served time for the conviction they want to take out their record.
Hence, no one can expunge a conviction that sent them to state prison. Nonetheless, drivers who went to county jail instead of a state prison can still get a DUI expungement.
People trying to go through a criminal conviction expungement process also need to be done with probation and have completed their sentence. Needless to say, people currently facing criminal charges or facing a criminal defense settlement can't ask for a DUI expungement.
No one can expunge a felony offense directly, so they have to file a petition to reduce it to a misdemeanor and then ask for a DUI expungement.
Can Drivers Get a DUI Conviction Out of Their Driving and Criminal Record?
While drivers can get a DUI expunged from their criminal record, things change a bit when dealing with their driving records. No one can either seal or expunge a California DUI conviction from their driving record, according to California law. However, that stain won't stay there forever, as it would happen with a criminal history.
Any California DUI conviction will disappear from a driver's driving record up to 10 years after the conviction date, and they can ask for a revision of their settlement during that time.
How to Get Your DUI Expunged
Although many people think getting a California DUI expunged from their records is difficult, the process to file an expungement petition is pretty straightforward and doesn't take that much time. Regardless of that, drivers need to follow every step of the process carefully if they want the judge to approve their expungement petition.
Goss Law Sacramento DUI lawyers know everything they need to do to expunge a California DUI successfully, so they are the best option people in Sacramento, CA, can hire for the job.
These are the steps people facing a DUI criminal conviction need to expunge their California DUI from their criminal record:
Get a Copy of Your Criminal Record
Getting a copy of the driver's criminal record is essential to filing a DUI expungement petition. However, clients can give all those files to their lawyers for them to take care of the paperwork themselves.
Naturally, having a clean criminal history is helpful when asking a judge to expunge a DUI, and the record will also let the court know if the case is a first offense or if the defendant has had any prior DUI convictions or arrests under their belt before the one they are facing at that moment.
People facing a DUI need to go to DUI school and undergo a probation period before asking a judge to expunge their charges. Anyone who hasn't finished probation or their DUI classes can get an expungement. However, if that person needs to have their criminal record clean and hasn't ended their probation period, they can ask for an early termination of that process.
The problem with that is that getting an early termination of probation is not easy at all, and not many judges concede it. Nonetheless, some judges may allow drivers to get an early termination if they prove they are trying to get a job, and having charges on their record may keep them from getting it.
Make Sure You Meet All Eligibility Requirements
Even if someone manages to get an early termination of probation and has all the paperwork they need to undergo the expungement process, they can't get their record expunged if they don't meet all the eligibility requirements.
Both prosecutors and judges tend to take an aggressive stand towards DUI cases due to how dangerous drunk drivers are, so they won't let anyone who doesn't check all those boxes slide. Lawyers from Goss Law will tell their clients if they are eligible for a DUI expungement in California on their initial free consultation.
Submit a Petition for Dismissal
Once people successfully complete probation and know they are eligible for an expungement, they need to file a petition for dismissal, which is the same as an expungement petition. All the details of the DUI case the defendant went through need to be explained in that file.
If the court approves the petition, they will send the defendant's lawyer an Order of Dismissal that will allow them to go on with the expungement process.
This is the last step to follow since, after that, people only need to wait to see if their records for the court to expunge their DUI.
Benefits of DUI Expungement
Not all DUI convictions are eligible for an expungement, but the ones that do have excellent benefits for defendants. While government entities will still be able to see those records, any prospective employer won't have any idea their new employee was arrested or convicted of drunk driving.
The same happens with bank loans, car insurance companies, and any other entity that needs to background check the people coming to them. Regardless of that, if someone with an expunged conviction gets a second offense, it will still count as a second offense.
What Happens If I Have DUI Convictions in My Criminal Record?
As mentioned before, having convictions or DUI arrests on a record brings many problems to that person's life since not many people like the fact that someone was drunk driving around. Employers, for example, don't want to hire a driver that will cause an accident in the future since that accident may be linked to the company. Goss Law Firm can advise on what happens if you get 3 DUIs in California.
No one wants to have a drunk driver as a neighbor either, so landlords often reject applications from people with a prior conviction. The same happens with banks since they won't offer a loan to someone that may later have to pay thousands of dollars for a car accident lawsuit.
Conclusion - Hire a DUI Lawyer from the Goss Law Firm!
Whether it's to keep potential employers from finding any felonies or misdemeanors on background checks or to make sure their children can be admitted to a decent school with no problems, expunging a record stained with a DUI is the best thing DUI offenders can do to reduce the consequences of what they did.
Regardless of that, the best way to keep DUIs out of someone's criminal and driving record is to never drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Anyone going through this problem can rely on Goss Law. This law firm is willing to help anyone who needs to have their records expunged as soon as possible, so people with a DUI should call it now to schedule a free consultation with one of its lawyers.