Fortunately for individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI/DWI), state law has provisions that allow for expungement (the sealing of criminal records so it is not publicly available) of the conviction. The expungement of Orange County DUI convictions is available for both misdemeanor and felony convictions. However, it is important to note that the type of relief that is available does vary from one case to the next and it depends on the type of charges and the consequences that followed.

If you have been convicted of drinking and driving, a lawyer from The Law Offices of Scott Henry may be able to assist you in clearing your criminal record. To assist you in making a decision as to whether or not to pursue an expungement of your criminal record, our firm’s attorneys have provided the following guide to assist you.

What Is An Expungement?

An expungement is also referred to as sealing a criminal record and is a legal process that can relieve an individual of the burden of a criminal history. The expungement process in Orange County begins when a formal request is made of the court where the conviction took place to dismiss or set aside the DUI conviction. This process applies to most misdemeanor and minor felony convictions. Serious felonies require alternative procedures to set aside the conviction aside. It is important to note that not all criminal convictions are eligible for expungement. Expungement does not relieve the prior ability of a crime.

The Purpose of Expunging DUI Charges

One of the main reasons someone may wish to seal their criminal record is that can have a negative effect on someone’s educational and career opportunities. Generally, expungement offers you the chance to make a fresh start. If your request for expungement is granted, you will be able to state on private job applications and other forms that you have never been convicted of drinking and driving.

How Long Does the Expungement Process Take?

Expungements for most misdemeanors such as drinking while intoxicated can take anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks from the date the application is filed with the Court. This estimate does not include any time necessary to research court records for additional information needed to file the application. The more information you supply, the faster the application can be filed.

While Felonies cannot be expunged, a motion can be run to reduce the case to a misdemeanor and then apply for an expungement. Felony reductions to misdemeanors generally take 6 to 12 weeks from the date the application is filed. Felonies, which cannot be expunged, can sometimes be reduced to a misdemeanor and will take the same time. Again, this does not include any necessary research time. Depending upon information received and the location of the court, the estimated time to seal a juvenile record is 2 to 6 weeks from the filing of the application.

Potential Costs

The cost of expunging your criminal record depends on the specifics of your conviction, as well as the amount of time necessary to research your case:

  • Misdemeanors -$895.00 each (costs and fees included)
  • Felonies – $1,875.00 each (costs and fees included)
  • Reduce Felony to Misdemeanor – $850.00 each(costs and fees included)
  • Research Case History – $275.00 per case search and $75.00 per hour to obtain additional documents reflecting conviction or arrests
  • Additional Legal Services Fee – Quoted on a case by case basis

Some of these cost estimates do not include case history search.

Speak with an Orange County Attorney to Learn About DUI Expungement

Expunging your criminal history can positively affect many areas of your life, giving you a fresh start. An attorney from our firm could review the circumstances of your Orange County DUI conviction and your current situation to determine whether you are eligible for expungement. Fill out the free case evaluation today to begin the process.

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