A convicted DUI offender can face numerous consequences over the choice to drive while under the influence of alcohol. Lives can be changed instantly due to drunk driving, which is why the crime is serious in the eyes of the court. However, in many states, there is also the consideration that a person who has been convicted of a DUI made a one-time, yet, extremely dangerous choice to drive after consuming alcohol. In these limited cases, it is possible for a person to have a DUI expunged, as long as specific criteria have been met.
A DUI conviction remains on a person’s criminal record for a set amount of time, depending on each state’s “DUI lookback” or “washout” period. In the states with a “lookback” policy, multiple DUI convictions are based upon the time that has passed between convictions, which can determine a person’s “first-time” or “habitual” DUI status. In some cases, a similar “lookback” period can also help get a DUI expunged, but there is not a guarantee that this will occur. More than anything, the court will look at the circumstances surrounding the DUI conviction, whether the person has fulfilled the court’s sentencing requirements, how long ago the conviction occurred, and other criteria. For those with a mandatory ignition interlock installation (IID), the court will likely also request the records related to the IID as insight into the actions of the person who asked to have the DUI expunged.
As each state has different laws regarding alcohol-related offenses and DUI expungement, it is always best to consult a lawyer before initiating any action in court. Having a DUI expunged can help with employment and housing applications, job promotions and more, and help a person lead a happy and productive life for years to come.