Although most California DUI convictions are misdemeanors, they are still listed on your criminal record. The conviction will remain there indefinitely unless you have your conviction expunged. California Penal Code 1203.4 allows for a dismissal of your conviction, commonly referred to as an “expungement.”
If you were previously convicted of a misdemeanor or felony DUI and have completed your sentence, it is best to file a petition for a dismissal of the conviction. This is especially critical now that the Clean Slate Act has gone into effect in California. For help expunging a California DUI from your record, reach out to our dedicated team.
Beginning January 1st, 2021, eligible DUI convictions will automatically be dismissed once an offender completes his or her sentence. However, any DUI conviction prior to this date will remain on the offender’s record indefinitely unless they petition for a dismissal or expungement. The Clean Slate Act offers excellent news to those with DUI convictions because it makes it illegal to access and report expunged or dismissed convictions to employers or leasing companies to be used for determining employment or tenant eligibility. It is important to note that any DUI conviction that is not expunged or dismissed is a matter of public record and can be used to determine eligibility.
Anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor or certain felonies is eligible to petition the court for an expungement. The right to petition is automatic if the individual completed their sentence. If they violated a term of their probation, they may still file a petition. Depending on the circumstances and specifics of the conviction, the court may still grant their request for an expungement. Once the conviction has been set aside or dismissed, the individual’s criminal record, or “rap sheet,” will no longer show a conviction, only a dismissal. After a DUI expungement, the conviction will no longer need to be disclosed, except in certain circumstances, such as when applying for a license by a state or local agency, in response to a direct question contained in an application for public office, or when contracting with the California State Lottery Commission.
Though several considerable benefits arise from having your DUI conviction expunged from your record, a caveat is the drunk driving conviction will still remain on one’s DMV record. It will also count against a defendant for any subsequent convictions, resulting in harsher sentencing. Additionally, the federal government does not recognize California expungements, so it will remain on the individual’s FBI report. This can be an issue when traveling to certain countries or applying for legal residency or citizenship in the United States.
If you have been convicted of a DUI in the state of California, we strongly urge you to contact our expungement attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Henry for a free consultation. Our experienced expungement attorneys could review your DUI record, determine your eligibility, and handle all aspects of the petition. Let us help put this challenging chapter behind you and give you back all of the opportunities afforded to you before your conviction.