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Does a DUI Stay on My Criminal Record?

While most convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) are “minor” misdemeanor offenses, there is nothing minor about the consequences. A conviction for DUI can lead to fines, incarceration, community service, AA classes, DUI School, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), attending a MADD Impact Panel and let us not forget – a criminal record.

Criminal records are BAD news regardless if they’re for a misdemeanor DUI or a more serious offense. Essentially, a criminal record has long-lasting consequences in the realm of employment. A DUI can affect existing and future career opportunities, and it can lead to the cancellation and denial of professional licenses. In other words, a DUI can impact your ability to find a good job, your ability to advance in your occupation, and your ability to reach your true earning potential.

Are DUI Convictions Permanent?

Like all criminal convictions, DUIs are reported on an individual’s criminal record indefinitely. That means that if you were to be convicted of DUI and you did nothing to change that, it could turn up on a background check 10, 20, or even 40 years from now.

“Can a DUI be expunged?” Possibly and if you qualify, it’s something you should definitely consider doing. If your DUI qualifies for an expungement under Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code and it is granted by a judge, your DUI case will be dismissed. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? It’s the best you can do to clean up your DUI record.

You may qualify for an expungement if:

  • You were placed on probation for the DUI.
  • You successfully completed the probation sentence.

As with any other criminal offense, there is a stigma associated with DUI convictions. You might be surprised but one single DUI defense can close a lot of doors employment-wise. But, once a DUI is expunged, you’re no longer required to disclose the DUI on job applications, with limited exceptions (teaching credentials and state-issued licenses).

After our clients complete DUI probation, we always encourage them to petition the court to have their DUI expunged. It is the final step in minimizing the consequences of a DUI conviction, even if the sentencing and penalties were reduced through a DUI plea bargain.

Recommended reading: “Advantages of Expunging a California DUI.”

To speak with a Board-Certified DUI defense specialist for free, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. today.