Living with a DUI: Before and After Expungement

We were all young once, and, sometimes, we make decisions that leave us in life-changing circumstances, such as getting a DUI case. DUI cases are common. Nearly 200,000 DUI or driving-related cases, such as Reckless Driving convictions took place in 2019, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

For most people who receive a DUI, the Court will order a three-year informal probationary term along with classes and fines. Upon completion of your probationary term, your case will generally qualify to be Expunged. Alternately, when a person is half way through their probationary term, and they have completed all class and paid off all fines and fees, they may qualify for an Early Probation Termination, which brings you one step closer to the Expungement process.

Along with the blemish on your record, there is also the added headache of increased car insurance fees and having to disclose the conviction to employers or losing a job or state license due to the case.

Many people, however, who receive a DUI or other driving-related case are rarely fully informed about what it means to have a driving related conviction, it’s real life consequences, or how it can be rectified. At Lifeback Legal, we pride ourselves on our transparency and straightforward attitude to ensure prospective and current clients are given the full scope of what it means to have a driving related conviction.

Lifeback Legal is a division of the Law Firm of Shea M. Randall, a trusted California Law Firm. We specialize in helping individuals get their life back with California criminal record expungements and federal licensing services.

Our team is ready to review and discuss the best next steps in clearing the record.

To learn about how a DUI affects your record before and after an Expungement, review the following important points:

Before DUI Expungement

  1. Complete your sentence successfully. It is extremely  important to adhere to the sentence that is provided by the Court. Generally speaking, upon receiving a DUI conviction, you will receive a three-year informal probationary term, and be ordered to attend classes, and pay fines and fees. Expungements for driving related offenses are granted on a discretionary basis. In other words, the Judge is not required by law to grant the case, despite you having completed your term. If you violate your probation by failing to pay fees on time, arriving late or not attending classes, then you increase the chances of the judge denying your expungement petition. It is, therefore, extremely important to stay on track by not missing important financial payments, attending classes, and more. 
  2. Know where the record exists. The DUI offense will exist on two records – the criminal record as a criminal conviction and the driving record as a driving offense. This is very important to know, especially if your employment involves driving a company vehicle, such as Uber, Lyft, or delivery for companies like Amazon, UPS, Doordash or others, etc. Since the record will exist on both the criminal and driving record, it’s important to know how they can be cleared from the respective database. For example, on the criminal record end, the DUI will never disappear or be removed. Rather, upon completing the probationary term and paying fines, one must actively file for an Expungement, which our firm can assist you with. The Expungement will change the case from a Conviction to a Dismissal on the criminal record. On the driving record end, the DUI will exist on the driving record for 10 years – the timeframe cannot be expedited or redacted. It’s simply a waiting game with the DMV. Many people think a DUI will fall off the criminal record in 10 years – this is a common misconception and a false one. A DUI will never fall off the criminal record. Rather, as mentioned above, you will have to actively request an Expungement.
  3. Disclosure with your Employer. When you are serving probation or when you have completed your probationary term and have yet to Expunge the case, you will have to disclose the conviction, should an employer ask. However, we strongly encourage you to work with our firm to Expunge the case as soon as you complete your terms, or as long as you’re at the halfway point of your probationary term, so as to file for a Dismissal, which means you’ll then be able to deny the existence of the case. 

After DUI Expungement

  1. Disclosing the Case. As briefly mentioned above, once your case is Expunged, you are legally allowed to deny the existence of the case, except when applying for State Licensing, contracting with the State Lottery, or running for Public Office. Regaining the confidence to deny the existence of the case will open many doors of opportunity and relieve you of the embarrassment and shame the case may have caused in pursuing your career goals.
  2. How your criminal record changes. When the Expungement is Granted, the Conviction will change to a Dismissal under California Penal Code §1203.4, which means the case is no longer considered a Conviction. Based on California’s laws, the case cannot be removed from the record entirely, rather it is an entry that shows that the case has been dismissed.
  3. How your driving record changes. A criminal record Expungement does not affect the driving record or DMV records. The DMV, instead, operates under its own protocols. As briefly mentioned above, there is a 10 year wait period before the DUI falls off the DMV record. There is no way to remove or reduce the 10 year wait period for the case to fall off the DMV record. 

Our firm has an overall 98% success rate with driving-related cases. We’re prepared to take on your case and show the court that you deserve the relief so that you may move on with your life and your goals. 

Should you or a loved one have a driving-related case that you’d like to further discuss and find out if it qualifies for Early Probation Termination or Expungement, please feel welcome to reach our team.

Our team can be reached by filing out the contact form below or by calling our office at (888) 751-5329

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