Once a DUI is on your record, it could impact almost every facet of your life. In addition to potential employers seeing your DUI, you might not be able to acquire a home loan or find a place to rent due to your record. That is why you should immediately begin exploring some of the methods you can use to have your DUI expunged. The process of getting a DUI expunged is not always easy, but it is almost always worth the effort. With an experienced attorney by your side, you might be able to have your DUI expunged within just a few months of filing the initial paperwork.
Should My Records Be Expunged?
There are quite a few different reasons why you should consider speaking with an attorney about having your records expunged. A DUI can remain on your record for a very long period of time, and that means almost anyone will see those charges unless they are expunged. Whenever you apply for a new job, the employer will most likely conduct a background check. In some states, nearly 80 percent of employers claim that they conduct background checks on all new applicants. With that type of charge on your record, it will be very difficult to land any job that comes with serious responsibilities.
Another reason why you should have your DUI expunged is to help with your finances. While these charges won’t be taken into consideration when determining your credit score, most loan officers will look at your criminal record or inquire about it. If you don’t have your DUI expunged, then you might not be able to apply for certain loans. Even if you end up qualifying for the loan, you can expect your interest rates to be much higher because the loan officer will see you as an unpredictable individual.
In addition to higher loan rates, it will also be difficult to find a place to live if you don’t have your DUI expunged. The vast majority of landlords will check an individual’s record before renting them a place. Within just a few days of having your DUI expunged, you can begin looking for new places to live without worrying about your history. When your record is not expunged, you can expect to pay much higher monthly rates and deposits.
Is It Even Possible to Have My DUI Expunged?
While you should always consult with an attorney before deciding if you would like your records expunged, you might want to take a closer look at the local laws and regulations on your own. In some areas, a driver can only have their DUI expunged if it is a misdemeanor. If you were arrested and charged with a DUI but not convicted, then you might be able to have your arrest expunged as well. Unfortunately, quite a few states and counties throughout the country won’t allow a driver to have their DUI expunged if it was a felony charge. Even if you can’t have your DUI expunged, you should still speak with an attorney to discuss all of your legal options.
Judges and Expunged Records
In order to have your DUI expunged, you will need to plead your case before a judge. Unlike your initial arraignment and hearing, this will be a short meeting between you, your attorney, and a judge to determine if you are eligible to have your records expunged. Before making a decision on whether you will have your DUI expunged, the judge will look at a wide variety of variables including how you have conducted yourself since your arrest. They will also carefully inspect your records to see if you have paid your fines and fees. Many drivers can’t have their charges expunged until they have paid their fines or completed specific courses. Others must wait a certain period of time before having the charges expunged.
The Process of Getting a DUI Expunged
You and your attorney will need to follow a very specific process in order to have your DUI expunged. That begins with taking a closer look at county and state laws to see if the judge will even allow a driver to have their DUI expunged. When it comes to having a DUI expunged, judges have quite a bit of leeway, but there are certain statutes that they must follow at all times. For instance, some states won’t allow a driver to apply to have their charges expunged until a year after their conviction. Others won’t allow you to have your DUI expunged unless you take additional sobriety courses or complete a certain number of community service hours.
The next step in this process is to collect all pertinent paperwork. That includes local forms to have your DUI expunged and a copy of your criminal records. Each state has its own unique forms that drivers must fill out, and that is one more reason why you should work with a local attorney who is familiar with those forms. In order to put yourself in the best possible position for getting your DUI expunged, you should only fill out these forms with your attorney present. These documents often ask for very specific information such as the exact laws you broke and what took place during your hearing. You might not be able to have your charges expunged if you fill out the paperwork incorrectly or omit any information.
Working With a District Attorney to Have Your Charges Expunged
Unless you have spent quite a bit of time researching expungement laws, you might not realize that you must contact the local D.A. before you can have your DUI expunged. The district attorney who was in charge of your case has quite a bit of say over these proceedings, and you want to be sure that you file the correct paperwork with them as soon as possible. You must also pay a filing fee and fill out a waiver before you can have your DUI expunged.
Quickly and Affordably Getting Your DUI Expunged
You might be able to get your DUI expunged on your own, but this process can be extremely complicated. Without an experienced attorney by your side, you could make any number of mistakes that will ruin your case. Much like beating a DUI, getting your DUI expunged must be done in a very specific way. That includes collecting certain information, working with the local district attorney’s office, and filing your paperwork in a very specific order. Even when all of those steps are carried out perfectly, you might still have to wait for 30 days or longer to receive a reply.
What All Drivers Should Know About Expungements
Even though an expungement makes it nearly impossible for the general public to uncover your past charges, you should realize that law enforcement officers and judges will still be able to view your records. That being said, this legal process can be incredibly beneficial. If you plan on applying for any new jobs or loans in the future, then you want to be absolutely sure that your background checks are going to come back pristine. Even a minor blemish on your record could ruin your chances of buying a new home or starting down the career path of your dreams.
Due to the complexity of these cases, you should schedule an expungement consultation with a local attorney to explore all of your options. These professionals are ready to help you navigate the complex pathways of the legal system so that you can avoid some of the most common mistakes.