If you want to clear your DUI criminal record, you have two options:
When your DUI records are sealed, it means that all the information regarding your arrest or conviction cannot be accessed by the public. All the physical and electronic documentations of your DUI case are flagged to prevent them from being shared with the outside public.
After your criminal record is sealed, it is confidential and unavailable for future employers, background checks, and public records. It's like the whole thing never happened.
This also means that during a job interview you're not legally obligated to talk about your criminal history. You can deny your dui arrest, acquittal, conviction or that the fact that your criminal record was sealed.
An expungment is a process to physically destroy all the documentations about your DUI arrest.
This is different from sealing your record where your records are still kept within the criminal justice system.
Sealing your criminal record simply makes them inaccessible. Expugement erases your entire record.
However, even with an expungement, one copy of your DUI criminal record is always maintained within the law enforcement agency.
Many people ask "Why can't I just expunge my record instead of sealing it?." The reason is that the requirements for expungement may be slightly different than sealing your record.
You can only expunge your DUI criminal record if:
If you entered a plea of guilty, you are only allowed to seal your criminal record. Then after several years, if your record remains clean, you may be able to get your record expunged.
In order to seal or expunge your records, you typically must meet the following requirements:
In order for you to clean you record you will have to check both your driving record and criminal record. The court and DMV keep separate records and you will want to check that both of them have been cleared.
To begin you will need to hire a DUI lawyer or hire a specialized service such as Expungement Assistance Service that deals specifically with clearing drunk driving records.
Here is how the process typically works:
The whole process takes approximately 6 months.
It always depends on the specifics of your offense and your state dui laws. However, If you hire a lawyer , you should expect to pay between $1,000- $5,000
Even if you are able to successfully seal or expunge your DUI criminal record, one copy will always remain within the criminal justice system.
Having your criminal record expunged or sealed will not protect you if you are arrested for another DUI. For example, if DUI number 1 was expunged and you were arrested for DUI number 2, you will be prosecuted with a second offense DUI. This means you will get harsher fines and longer jail time for being a repeat offender.
The existence of your criminal record ( though not the content) may also be revealed if you were applying for a job, membership or license with a government, criminal, or education agency. This includes places like :
Although your DUI criminal will not be completely wiped clean, it is the best thing you can do. By either sealing or expunging your arrest, you will be able to move on and return back to your normal life.