Anyone can have their conviction for DUI expunged as long as they were placed on probation and have successfully completed their probation. When we say, “successfully completed their probation”, for purposes of expungement, this means that you have completed your probation without any probation violations. In a case where your probation has been completed but you had a probation violation, the judge has the discretion of whether or not to grant the expungement. If the probation violation was something minor, like forgetting to make a payment, the judge will usually grant the expungement. However, if the violation was more serious then the judge may exercise his discretion and deny the petition. So, what this means is that even if you have completed your probationary period, the judge may not grant the petition for expungement if during your probationary period you violated your probation. Some of the more serious violation that may prevent an expungement from being granted might be a conviction of driving on a suspended license or being arrested on another misdemeanor or felony matter while on probation for your original DUI conviction.
The good news is that if the judge denies your petition for expungement, you may, at a later date, again petition the court for an expungement of your conviction for DUI. If enough time has passed, and you have no arrests or new convictions, the chances of getting your case expunged are much higher. In this situation, you would need to consult with an attorney to discuss the type of violation and get an opinion from that attorney as to whether or not they believe you may be successful. There is no guarantee, and an attorney will not be able to say with 100% certainty whether or not you will be successful, but an attorney who has had experience expunging DUI convictions will have a pretty good idea of whether or not you will be successful.
So what affect does an expungement have on your record? Most people believe that once your case has been expunged, it simply disappears from your record. This is not the case. When expunging a conviction of any kind including a DUI conviction, rather than your case showing up as a conviction for DUI and a plea of guilty, the case will show, a plea of not guilty and the case dismissed.
So here is a detailed explanation of how it works: Your attorney will file a Petition for Expungement with the Court. A Judge will review the Petition and if it is granted, you withdraw your guilty plea, re-enter a plea of not guilty and your case is dismissed.
For most people, the benefit of having your conviction expunged is for employment purposes. Once your case is expunged, your employer or perspective employer cannot use your conviction when deciding whether or not to hire or promote you. Also, you no longer have to admit to the conviction on a job application. However, there is an exception to this. The obligation to disclose or not disclose your conviction does not apply when it comes to state licensing or to teachers. The licensing board may use your conviction when determining whether or not to grant or renew your license.
Anyone who has a conviction for DUI, or any misdemeanor conviction for that matter, should consult with an attorney to determine whether or not they are a candidate for an expungement. There are definite benefits and could make the difference is being hired or promoted within your current job.
If you would like to know more about expunging your conviction for DUI, contact Orange County DUI defense attorney William Weinberg at his Irvine, CA office at 949-474-8008 or at www.williamweinberg.com.