Featured News 2018 Erasing Your DUI Record

Erasing Your DUI Record

If you have been charged with a DUI, you know the frustration of having the arrest on your record.

DUIs are not only embarrassing—they're debilitating. Because the crime goes on your public record, your DUI information is accessible to all employers, credit bureaus, government agencies and others. Having a DUI makes getting a job or getting into a good school more difficult. It drives up your insurance rates. Having a DUI on your record can even damage your credit, making it harder to start a business or buy a house.

Multiple DUIs Means Multiplied Consequences

A collection of DUI marks can lead to serious consequences.

A second DUI within five years of your first conviction can result in mandatory jail time for up to one year, thousands of dollars in fines, and up to a year of license suspension. A third conviction comes with a minimum 60-day jail sentence, up to $10,000 in fines, and 3 or more years without a license. Subsequent DUI offenses can cost up to ten years behind bars, heavy fines, and over five years without a license.

Naturally, a DUI offender would want to erase a DUI mark on his or her record as soon as possible—if anything, to avoid the risk of becoming a repeat offender.

Automatic Expungement in Georgia?

Contrary to popular belief, DUI marks do not disappear from your record automatically after five or ten years. The only possible exception is in Atlanta, Georgia where state officials are considering an alternative to the permanent status of DUI arrests. One proposal suggested that DUI offenders get their conviction wiped from their record automatically if they go 5 years without a repeat offense.

Critics of the bill said that police should be able to see a history of DUIs when they charge a person with the crime. Police officers also opposed the bill and said the threat of a lifelong criminal record deters drunk people from getting behind the wheel.

How to Expunge DUI Records

To have your DUI expunged, you must file a petition with the court. If your petition is approved, all records of your DUI arrest and conviction, as well as any photographs, warrants, arrests, judicial dockets, and fingerprints will be destroyed. This is contingent on whether or not you followed court probation procedures and had no subsequent charges.

Only some people are eligible for expungement.

First of all, it is important that you verify that you were not sent to a state prison for your crime. If you resided in a county jail for over a year, you are not eligible for expungement. Your records can only be sealed if you have been released from probation. This occurs when probation naturally expires, or if a lawyer files a petition to terminate his or her client's probation early.

Unless a lawyer intervenes, you will need to complete all court-ordained sentences such as jail time, community services and fine payments.

If you only have one DUI on your record, and there were no other pending criminal charges (e.g. property damage caused while driving under the influence), you are more likely to qualify for DUI expungement. You will want to file your petition with the help of an experienced DUI lawyer to give yourself the strongest chance of success. Attorneys can work with the court to get the expungement process started and destroy the arrest records on your profile. The entire procedure will most likely take about three to four months, so it is important to be patient while waiting for the record to be cleared.

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