What is Expungement?
It generally means getting your record wiped clean. To be more specific, it means the clearing, extraction and isolation of all records on file within any court, detention or correctional facility, law enforcement agency or criminal justice agency concerning a person’s detection, apprehension, arrest, detention, trial, or disposition of an offense within the criminal justice system by removal, deletion, erasing, sealing, destroying and other processes.
DUI Expungements are not seen as a right. It is a privilege granted to the petitioner only after the proper paperwork has been filed (correctly). More important, you have to meet the conditions to be eligible. Most of the time, if you meet the conditions, the District Attorney won’t fight the expungement. Sometimes you are entitled to an expungement and they won’t have any grounds to fight it. Generally, expungement is a privilege reserved for cases that were later withdrawn or dismissed and not pursued to conviction. The reasons that an individual is seeking DUI expungement will also factor into a court’s decision about expungement.
Effect of an Expungement
Once your record has been expunged, the law allows one to say it never happened. It allows you to answer “NO” on questions that ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime on job applications, etc… It is the ultimate form of relief for convicted persons and anyone with a criminal conviction record (DUI convictions are criminal offenses in most every state)
Why should you seek expungement:
1) job applications ask about a criminal record
2) college/grad school applications ask about a criminal record
3) military recruiters always ask about a criminal record
4) financial aid for school can depend on if you have a criminal record
5) eligibility for certain government jobs and contracts require no criminal record
6) political involvement (i.e. running for office) can be affected by a criminal record
DUI Expungement Eligibility
If the petitioner is eligible for an expungement, almost any and all records with few exceptions can and will be expunged. These records include all police criminal complaints, warrants, arrests, commitments, processing records, fingerprints, photographs, index cards, “rap sheets” and judicial dockets.