Fullerton DUI Expungements Lawyer
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense in California. State prosecutors tend to pursue conviction in these cases quite aggressively, especially against those who have records of past DUI offenses. The penalties for a DUI offense can include fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and much more. These penalties increase with subsequent offenses, and a record of one or more DUIs can be problematic even years later.
A Fullerton DUI expungements attorney is one of your best assets if you are concerned that a past DUI offense will interfere with job applications and other background checks you must undergo in the future. Your attorney can help you determine the best way to clear your record, if possible, and prevent past mistakes from interfering with your future.
Potential Consequences of a DUI Conviction
DUI is incredibly dangerous, and a DUI conviction can entail very severe penalties. If you are convicted of DUI for the first time, the potential penalties are likely to include fines, driver’s license suspension, and mandatory drug, alcohol, and driving safety courses. If your DUI caused severe or fatal injuries, it is likely you will face civil action from the victims and more substantial legal penalties.
The penalties for DUI escalate with each individual offense. Fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and mandatory alcohol and safety courses are just a few of the possible penalties from a DUI conviction, and each subsequent conviction will lead to more severe penalties. This system is meant to deter repeat offenders, and the DUI expungement offers a chance to have a mistake cleared off of your record so that it does not interfere with your future.
If you plan to explore expungement, it is vital to consult with a Fullerton DUI expungements lawyer. The process of securing an expungement of a DUI conviction is more complicated than most people realize at first. Hiring an experienced attorney to assist with the process is the best way to ensure you obtain the expungement you need.
Can DUI Convictions Be Expunged?
It is possible to have a past DUI conviction expunged under certain conditions. Should you successfully secure expungement of your DUI conviction record with the help of a Fullerton DUI expungements lawyer, it could affect your future. You will have the legal right to state under oath that you were not convicted of the offense. However, it is vital to understand the scope of the expungement as it relates to various state and federal agencies.
To clarify, a DUI conviction creates not only a court record but also a record with the DMV. When an individual is convicted of a DUI, the court will not only suspend their license, but the DMV will also apply their own administrative suspension on the license. Even if a DUI conviction is expunged, if the individual commits another DUI offense within ten years, the DMV will increase the existing suspension regardless of the expungement.
What Are the Benefits of Expunging a DUI?
Expungement can potentially prevent an employer from making a biased decision during hiring processes. Many rental property owners also perform criminal background checks on applicants, and expungement can prevent these parties from making biased decisions. Ultimately, a DUI conviction can be a major embarrassment for anyone, especially younger individuals who might be starting their careers. An employer’s biased decision based on a prior mistake can potentially cause them severe problems for years unless they secure expungement.
If you successfully have your DUI conviction expunged, consider this a fresh start and a chance to prove you are capable of making safe and responsible decisions. A DUI conviction can easily lead to professional consequences, interfere with employment and housing opportunities, and damage one’s public reputation.
How Long Does It Take for a DUI to Be Expunged?
If you have a DUI conviction on your record, it will remain part of your record for at least ten years if you do not secure an expungement. The entire process for obtaining your expungement can last several months, depending on the complexity of the case. This process pales in comparison to the length of time the DUI conviction would remain on your record without expungement.
Will an Expunged DUI Show Up on a Background Check?
Depending on the circumstances of the conviction, it is possible that other law enforcement agencies such as the FBI will retain a record of the DUI conviction. The expungement will effectively hide the record of your DUI conviction from public view. However, you must still disclose the conviction and expungement if you apply for any public employment or professional position.
It is important to note the difference between misdemeanor and felony expungement. You must still disclose your expunged DUI conviction if you intend to pursue employment at a public office, within the US military, real estate agent certification, or Bar certification. If you fail to disclose an expunged conviction as required in these circumstances, you could face perjury charges.
As of January 1, 2018, California employers cannot make inquiries into a job applicant’s criminal history until they have formally offered a conditional position to the applicant. This new law exists to deter employers from basing hiring decisions on an applicant’s past mistakes.
Why Do I Need Legal Counsel?
It is wise to have legal counsel on your side during your initial DUI case. It is just as important to have a reliable attorney with you as you begin the DUI expungement process in California. While this process may seem straightforward at first, there are multiple steps you must complete to secure the expungement you need.
A Fullerton DUI expungements lawyer can dramatically reduce the time and energy required to secure an expungement. Your attorney will help you prove that you completed all of the steps required to qualify for DUI conviction expungement in California:
- The first step in qualifying for expungement is meeting all conditions of your sentence. For example, if your sentence entailed a fine, license suspension, and mandatory counseling, you must prove that you completed these steps.
- It is also necessary to wait until you complete probation assigned during your DUI conviction. During this time, you will likely complete the requirements of your sentencing and can work closely with a Fullerton DUI expungements attorney to start the groundwork for your expungement proceedings.
- Another criterion for DUI expungement is that your sentence did not include incarceration in state prison. This penalty typically only applies when an individual is convicted of DUI four times within ten years or if their DUI conviction resulted in catastrophic injuries or death.
- If you commit any other criminal offense during the year following your DUI conviction, you cannot qualify for DUI expungement.
It is also important to understand how a sentence of probation can influence your effort to have your DUI conviction expunged. As long as you have completed more than 50% of the probation period, you can apply for an early termination of probation. If granted, you may then begin working toward your expungement.
Hiring an experienced Fullerton DUI expungements attorney is the best way to secure a DUI conviction expungement as quickly as possible. Once you have met the necessary criteria for expungement under California state law, your Fullerton DUI expungements lawyer can help you complete the necessary paperwork and court filings. While this may sound like a simple process you could handle yourself, remember that a mistake could significantly delay your expungement proceedings or even lead to a denial. This will then require you to hire a defense attorney to help you file a motion for reconsideration. Ultimately, it is best to prevent this by starting the expungement process with legal representation on your side.
What to Expect from the DUI Conviction Expungement Process
Your Fullerton DUI expungements lawyer will assist you through every phase of the expungement process. First, you and your legal team must file the formal petition for expungement. In some cases, you may need to submit a petition for early termination of probation along with this petition, which the court must grant before expungement proceedings may resume.
The next piece of the process is submitting a written statement that informs the court that you have completed your sentence, you have not broken the law in the past year, and an explanation of how your expungement will help you with job opportunities and benefit you and your family. In some cases, you may need to wait until you have completed the full term of your sentenced probation, but your attorney may still proceed with filing your Petition for Dismissal.
Once the court has compiled all of the paperwork associated with your petition, they must provide them to the prosecution and your probation department. This provides them the legally permitted opportunity to contest the expungement. If there are no objections or the court sides with you over any objections raised, the court will grant the dismissal.
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC are ready to assist you with your DUI conviction expungement in Fullerton. If you made a mistake and have made steps to prevent the same thing from happening again, you have the right to have your record cleared under California law. Contact us today to find out how an experienced Fullerton DUI expungements attorney can assist you.