Contrary to popular belief, a DUI conviction will not clear from your criminal record after seven years. It will appear on your criminal record forever unless you proactively work to expunge it. Here's how to clear your record.
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Ask your attorney upon conviction if an appeal is possible. Ultimately, overturning your conviction is a good way to clear your record, but don't count on it.
Ask your attorney how much time must go by before you can try to clear your DUI conviction record. Note that not every state allows this.
Start the legal procedure known as an "expungement" with the help of a legal expert, whether it be your DUI attorney or with a group such as Expungement Assistance Services (see Resources below).
Gather your Department of Motor Vehicles and court records with the help of your attorney or other legal help. This first step lets you know exactly what a prospective employer, for instance, can see when they do a background check.
Tips and warnings
- Even a misdemeanor DUI charge will show up on your criminal records. Though a felony conviction is obviously more serious, the average person who sees your record will simply note "DUI," and may limit your opportunities based on that fact alone.
- Both the court and the DMV will have your DUI criminal record on file. You need to clear both records in order to truly clear your name. This means getting copies of each.
- Your criminal record can easily affect your future job prospects and your housing situation--even educational loans, and voting rights. When prospective employers and landlords do your background check, they will find your DUI criminal record unless you work to clear it.
- Felony DUI convictions can almost never be expunged, and in some states, misdemeanors cannot either. Consult with your lawyer before expending too much energy trying to clear your record.