When Does a DUI Fall Off My Record?

gavel next to handcuffs

If you’re facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges, you have every reason to wonder how long a conviction for DUI stays on your criminal record. After all, nothing good comes out of criminal convictions. If you are convicted of DUI, even a misdemeanor DUI, it will likely affect housing, employment, and professional licenses for years to come.

Since DUI convictions lead to criminal records, it makes sense to want to do everything within your power to avoid a DUI conviction and if that’s impossible because there’s too much evidence against you, to do what you can to minimizethe effects of a conviction.


Naturally, people convicted of DUI want to know two things: 1) how long a DUI stays on their criminal record, and 2) if DUIs can be expunged. A DUI conviction stays on a person’s criminal record indefinitely unless they have it dismissed. California does not technically “expunge” DUIs, but it has a process for dismissing them.

“What is a dismissal and why would I want one?” If you are convicted of DUI and you are not sentenced to state prison or placed under the care of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, you can ask the court to dismiss your DUI. In California, people often use the word “expungement” when they’re actually referring to a dismissal.

Essentially, defendants are eligible to seek a dismissal if they were fined, placed on probation, or sentenced to county jail, or a combination of the three and were NOT sentenced to state prison.

If you ask the court for a dismissal and it allows it, the court would withdraw your guilty or no contest plea, and enter a not guilty plea. From there, the court would set aside your conviction and dismiss it. After that, you are no longer considered to be “convicted” of DUI. Your record will say dismissed instead of convicted. Sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?

To learn more about seeking a dismissal of a DUI conviction, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. today. We’d be glad to discuss all of your options!

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