How to Expunge DUI in California

California law allows for those convicted of a DUI offense to expunge their record. Many people with a DUI on their record will find it hard to gain employment or may lose a job as a result of the offense. Anyone looking to obtain a government-issued license will find it difficult with a DUI offense in their background. Any DUI will have an effect on a person’s reputation. DUI expungement in California is possible and will help to avoid some of these problems associated with having such an offense on one’s record.

What Exactly Is It?
Expungement is the term used to refer to the sealing any conviction and arrest records. All states have laws that will allow individuals to expunge their convictions and arrest off of their records. Depending on the state, certain charges may or may not be eligible. Laws by state will vary but having a record removed will allow, in most cases, an individual seek employment and obtain any licenses much more easily. When applying for jobs, an individual can truthfully answer the question, “Have you been convicted of any criminal offense?” with a “no.”

File The Petition
The first step in how to expunge a DUI in California is filing a petition with the court. Obtain all of your court documents, the docket, regarding your case. As you begin your petition, make sure to include all requested information on your petition and pay the court fees involved with filing. A copy of the petition must be served to the prosecutor. The petition can be delivered by hand, but the delivery must be made by a person other than yourself and that person must 18 years of age or older. Additionally, that person must fill out a Proof of Service form that will be attached to the petition filed with the court. The petition can also be served to the prosecutor via mail.

Completing Probation Requirements
Following a conviction to a DUI charge, a person will be placed on probation, typically for a period of three to five years. The defendant is able to petition the court to end the probation early. Regardless of how long probation lasts, a defendant seeking a California expunge DUI must complete probation. The defendant must also meet all of the requirements of sentencing including paying any and all fines and/or restitution. If any community service was ordered, the defendant must have completed all such service prior to petitioning the court to remove the DUI offense from their record. Defendants seeking to have this done must not be currently charged with another offense. If so, you are ineligible to have your recorded altered.

Court Review
Once you have completed your probation requirements, paid all of your fees, and properly filed your petition, the court will set a date where the judge will review your case. A California DUI expungement functions just like any other criminal record expungement in California. After filing, a judge reviews the case, and if he or she grants the request, the defendant can withdraw a plea of guilty or no contest and the disposition of the case is altered. A new plea of not guilty is entered and the case is dismissed.

California Code
California is one state that allows for the expungement of a DUI conviction. The California Penal Code Section 1203.4 provides for the withdrawal of a guilty plea or no contest plea or in cases of conviction after a not guilty plea was entered, dismissal of accusations and information against the defendant. An expungement does not mean that the DUI offense is completely wiped from a defendant’s record. Employers may still be able to find it. Individuals who have gone through the process will need to disclose the expunged conviction in response to direct questions in applications for state licenses and public offices.

How Long Will The Process Take
Times will vary, of course, depending on the circumstances of your individual case, but expect the expungement to take anywhere from 90 to 120 days. Many factors play a role in how long the process will take. If your case is less than 10 years old, the process is relatively quick. There may be some logistical problems that can have an impact as well. If your case is in the county computer system where your expungement is filed, your case will process much faster. Another factor is simply the length of time between your conviction and the filing of your petition to have your record altered. For the most part, though, expect two to three months before the process is complete.

Review
Remember, the steps involved in seeking a change to your criminal record due to a DUI in California are relatively easy. Make sure you have completed all of the requirements of your probation, whether you have requested early release from probation or not. Request all of the court documents related to your case. Use them as you fill out the petition. You must serve the petition to the prosecutor and then wait for the judge to review your case. If the judge grants your request, a not guilty plea is entered and your case is dismissed. Follow up to make sure that your record has changed. Remember the time frame will depend on a variety of factors but expect the whole process to take 90 to 120 days. If you have any other questions on how to expunge a DUI California make sure to visit your lawyer.

About Angela

Hello, Cyber world! I currently work as the Web Content Editor for the Expunge Center page and through my whole life writing and blogging has been in my Top priorities.

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