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Can a DUI Be Expunged Early From a Driving Record?

As you are likely well-aware, once you have a DUI conviction, you can expect your automobile insurance rates to shoot through the roof. Clearly, DUI becomes a real hassle when it comes to affordable auto insurance. If you’re nervous about a DUI costing you thousands more each year for auto insurance (for several years), you have every right to be concerned!

What if this was your first DUI, and you don’t have any prior DUI or wet reckless offenses, can you expunge it early from your driving record, or will it stay on your driving record for the entire 10 years? Since this question comes up a lot, we’re going to shed some light on this subject. Here is what you need to know: California doesn’t have a true “expungement,” so DUIs cannot be 100% erased. What one can do in this situation is file a petition to dismiss their offense under PC 1203.4. That removes the guilty plea, inserts a not guilty plea and shows that the case was “dismissed.” Once that is done, the person can deny that they were ever convicted of DUI.

Though it wouldn’t be considered a conviction for most employment purposes, it’s still considered a priorable offense, meaning, if the driver gets another DUI within 10 years, it could still be used as a prior offense. What does it take to qualify for a dismissal under PC 1203.4? For someone to be eligible for a dismissal, they must be off their probation and not have any other criminal matters pending.

No ‘Expungement’ for DMV Records

Can a person remove DUI convictions from their driving record? No, they cannot unless there are errors. In California, one cannot expunge, remove, or erase a DUI from their driving record, nor are there steps to remove it before the 10-year mark. Even if a person gets their DUI expunged criminally, it does not erase it from their driving record. DUIs will always show on the DMV record, NOTHING will remove the DUI early from the DMV driving history.

Note: DMV records go back 10 years, so it’s important to shop around for the cheapest auto insurance policy.

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