The Penal Code of California allows for the expungement of criminal records. And getting an expungement can help you avoid many of the severe implications of a California DUI conviction, such as losing your job. You can expunge a DUI conviction in California by withdrawing your guilty or no-contest plea and having the case dismissed. Within the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the conviction still qualifies as a prior DUI, but after your conviction is purged, employers cannot use it against you when recruiting or promoting you. Here are some good tips for getting a DUI off your record in California.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible To Get My DUI Expunged?
Anyone convicted of a California misdemeanor or felony may be eligible for expungement if they meet the following criteria:
- The person successfully completed probation for the charge.
- The person either:
- Did not serve time in a state prison for the offense, or
- Served time in a state prison but would have served it in a county jail following the introduction of “realignment” under Proposition 47.2.
Can an Expungement Make It Easier for You To Get a New Job?
Finding a job with a DUI on your record can be difficult. Therefore, one of the most significant advantages of expunging a California DUI record is that it makes gaining employment easier. A potential employer cannot use a drunk or drugged driving conviction as a reason for unfavorable employment repercussions once the DUI has been expunged. California‘s “ban the box” statute also currently prevents employers from inquiring about arrests or convictions on job applications or elsewhere.
Lastly, an employer cannot lawfully use an expunged conviction as a basis for employment decisions, including whether to keep or promote the employee.
Will an Expungement Allow Me To Get My Driver’s License Back?
Probation for a DUI conviction usually lasts longer than the driver’s license suspension. For example, a first-time DUI conviction will generally result in a six-month license suspension and a three- to five-year probation sentence. In some situations, a license suspension may last longer than probation (for instance, if the license is permanently revoked). Unfortunately, an expungement will not restore your driving rights in this situation.
We know that the law in California can be tough to understand, which is why we hope you have found our recap of tips for getting a DUI off your record in California helpful.