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Los Angeles DUI Expungement Attorney

If you have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you are already aware of at least some of the negative consequences of that conviction. You have likely been exposed to the loss of your driver’s license, possible jail time, probation, fines, DUI school, and, of course, the existence of the (public) record of your conviction. One question that you may ask is whether there is any way to have the record of that conviction expunged. The answer is yes, although the issue involves the definition of the word “expungement.”

Who is Eligible to have a DUI Conviction “Expunged” in California?

Expungement in California is permitted under PC 1203.4. So how does this apply to a drunk driving or drugged driving conviction? The law is that if you have been convicted of DUI, then after the expiration and successful completion of probation (an application for early termination of probation also can be filed), you may have the conviction of the offense “expunged,” provided that you have also complied with any other conditions related to the conviction. This includes payment of any fines imposed in connection with the conviction, completing DUI school, etc. It also does not apply if there is a pending criminal charge against you.

Having said that, most people convicted of DUI will be eligible to have their conviction expunged, provided they were not sentenced to serve time in state prison.

What are the Benefits of Expungement of a DUI Conviction?

Unlike expungement in some states, California law not only has a specific procedure to follow, it also contains limitations on the effect of the “expungement.” The procedure for obtaining a DUI expungement is fairly simple. After taking care of the obligations of probation, etc., you apply to the court for relief under PC 1203.4. As a technical matter, this means that you will withdraw your guilty plea (or a plea of nolo contendere) or ask the court to set aside a verdict of guilty (if your conviction came after a trial). Your DUI case is then dismissed. Having said that, you still should be aware of what the limitations of the process are.

Limitations on DUI Expungement in California

Many people who hear the word “expungement” assume it means that the record of your conviction will be completely erased, as if it had never happened. While this may be the case in some states, and while expungement in California is certainly beneficial, the term has an extremely specific meaning in this state. While you must disclose an expunged DUI in situations in which you are applying for a state license or other government credentials, employers cannot hold an expunged DUI conviction against you. On the other hand, the expungement will not have an effect in the following areas:

  • The suspension of your driver’s license will not allow you to get your license back early if, for example, it continues past the period of your probation.
  • If you are charged with DUI after having an earlier DUI expunged, the expungement does not cause the second DUI to be treated as a first offense. As a result, the increased penalties associated with subsequent DUI convictions will still apply even though the earlier conviction has been expunged.

The result of all this is that the most important benefit related to expungement of a DUI in California relates to employment situations where you are applying for a job or for a promotion at your existing place of employment.

DUI Expungement Attorney in California

As noted above, while there are limitations on the effect of the expungement of a prior DUI conviction, the process is very beneficial when you are seeking to apply for a job or for a promotion. In these cases, you need not disclose the expunged DUI to the employer or prospective employer, except in limited circumstances. You may also request that the court grant an early termination of probation, allowing you to file for expungement sooner than you otherwise could.

This is an area that requires experience with the technical requirements of the expungement laws and the DUI laws in California. At CBS Law, our firm understands what it takes to obtain a DUI expungement, and the best way to go about obtaining it. Contact us for a free consultation. Call CBS Law at (213) 800-8005.

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