Expungement is a term used to describe when a record of criminal conviction is publicly sealed and legally erased from records. Usually anyone can exounge a DUI or drunk driving conviction if:

  1. He or she was placed on probation AND
  2. He or she successfully completed probation

When Does DUI Expungement Occur?

Expungment is not an automatic process or right. Rather, it must be petitioned for before the court where the conviction occurred. Typically, expungement can occur after a certain amount of time has passed. The amount of time will vary by state, but note that the time frame begins after the DUI conviction, and not the arrest or when charges were filed. Expungement can also occur after a person has fulfilled certain court-imposed obligations, such as probation or parole.

What Effect Can Expungement of a DUI Conviction Have?

The main reason for a DUI conviction expungement is to avoid having to mention it for employment purposes, especially if the employment involves driving. Once a record has been expunged, potential employers may no longer hold the DUI record against you in the hiring process and you do not even have to disclose the DUI conviction on any job applications. After expunging a DUI, that conviction also does not need to be mentioned to others, including:

  • Educational institutions
  • Government agencies

After expungement, a DUI conviction will typically not show up in a background search of an individual’s public record. However, certain agencies, such as the courts and law enforcement, will still be able to view the conviction.

Can Expunged DUI Convictions Come up in Later Criminal Proceedings?

This varies from state to state. Some states allow expunged DUI convictions to be considered in later criminal proceedings, including subsequent DUI proceedings, as proof of prior conviction during the sentencing phase of the later criminal proceeding. Other states, however, treat them as inadmissible.

Can a Juvenile Expunge a DUI Conviction?

Yes. Many states allow juveniles to have their records expunged if the offenses were relatively minor, and the juvenile has remained clear of the law for a certain time.

Should I Contact a Lawyer?

The laws regarding DUI arrests and convictions are inconsistent and vary from state to state. If you are interested in having your DUI record expunged, you should contact a DUI /DWI lawyer about your eligibility for expungement.