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!