Suppose you were convicted of
driving under the influence (DUI) in California. Now you’re wondering, “Should I get my
DUI expunged? What are the advantages anyway?” In order to have
a DUI expunged under
Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code, the following must be true: 1) you received probation for the DUI, and
2) you completed the DUI probation.
If you successfully completed your DUI probation, you can immediately petition
the court for an expungement; you cannot file a petition until the probation
is completed. If the judge grants you an expungement, you will change
your plea from “no contest” or “guilty” to “not-guilty,”
and the case will subsequently be dismissed.
Why an Expungement is Good for You
If you’ve tried to look for a job since your DUI conviction, you
probably noticed how much harder it is to land a job with a criminal record.
In other words, DUI convictions definitely stigmatize job applicants.
One of the greatest advantages of a DUI expungement is how you’re
no longer required to disclose the DUI on job applications, with the exception
of state licenses and teaching credentials.
State license boards maintain the right to not issue or renew licenses
or credentials if you are convicted of DUI; however, having one’s
DUI expunged paints them in a more favorable light and improves their
chances of a positive outcome with a state licensing board. Why? Because,
it shows the board that the offender has done all he or she can do to
take responsibility for their mistake.
Note: A DUI is considered a “priorable” offense in California. This
means that even if your DUI is expunged, if you’re re-arrested for
DUI within 10 years of the
first offense, you will face enhanced penalties because of the prior offense. The expungement
will not reduce the penalties that you face.
To learn more about the benefits of an expungement,
contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. All of our first consultations are free!