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Those convicted of a crime may petition the court for a vacation of conviction after completing probation, or one year after being sentenced without probation. When the court grants this petition, any guilty plea is withdrawn and the underlying conviction is changed to a dismissal. Why would this be helpful? Many people who have a drunk driving conviction on their record find it difficult to secure employment or fit in with the community. The intended result is that the defendant can become more employable and proceed with a productive life in society. After the petition is granted, the defendant has never been convicted of the crime for purposes of applying for work with private companies. For purposes of applying for work with government agencies and for obtaining state licenses, the dismissed conviction must be disclosed, but should not be used against the applicant. But, not everyone will qualify for an expungement. To discuss whether you qualify, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can review your case and determine whether your crimes can be expunged from your record.
Expunging Versus Sealing
Expungement changes a record of conviction to a record of dismissal. The public records of the charge and undone conviction remain intact for various purposes, including licensing and enhancement of a future offense. Sealing physically destroys records that should not have been created, i.e. arrest records created when there was no reason to suspect the arrested individual committed a crime.
Types of DUI Expungements Remedies
There are three types of expungement available in the state of California, and each is predicated on three different circumstances:
- California Penal Code § 1203.4 authorizes the court to undo a conviction in which probation was granted.
- California Penal Code § 1203.4a authorizes the court to undo a conviction in which probation was not granted.
- California Penal Code § 17 authorizes the court to deem felony convictions reduced to misdemeanors. The misdemeanor will remain on your record.
The Expungement Process
If you have been charged and convicted of DUI in California, you will need to file a petition with the courts in order to have your record expunged. However, you have to wait until the right time to file your petition, otherwise it will be thrown out by the judge. Probation must be completed before you file for expungement. In some cases, you may be able to ask for an early termination of your probation, but this is not common. Judges review all expungement cases and determine whether to grant or deny the requests.
It’s important to note police officers, the DMV, and the courts will still view your expunged DUI conviction as a “priorable.” This means if you are arrested for another DUI within 10 years, you will be treated as a repeat offender even though the first conviction was expunged. For help with your expungement case, contact the lawyers at The Law Offices of Todd Landgren, who have years of experience working with clients who are eager to move on with their lives.
The Benefits of Having a Record Expunged
Expungement benefits can prove exceptionally valuable to the person previously convicted of a DUI charge. While an expungement will not delete and purge the court’s records, it is still the best way to move forward with your life as anyone who sees the remaining records will see dismissed charge(s).
Hire an Orange County DUI Expungements Attorney
If you didn’t serve a prison sentence, you likely qualify for expungement. Contact an Orange County driving under influence and destroying attorney of The Law Offices of Todd Landgren for an honest assessment of which remedies are available to clean up your criminal record. If you are in Santa Ana, Newport Beach or any other city in Orange County and are interested in learning how to expunge your record, contact our law firm today. Clients are welcome to call 949-535-1303 or fill out the form on this site to schedule a legal evaluation with one of our attorneys.