An alcohol-related driving offense, like a DUI or DWI, can have lasting consequences that affect a person’s employment, college admissions, lifestyle and more. While laws across the country reflect a need for keeping our streets safe from drunk drivers, there are also considerations in place for those who have exercised poor judgment by driving drunk. In these cases, the ability to have a DUI or DWI conviction expunged is possible, but, not without some very strict criteria.
After a DUI or DWI conviction, which will cause a wide range of consequences and penalties like jail time, court costs, fines, ignition interlock installations and other driving restrictions, the criminal offense remains on the offender’s record for a set period of time. This time varies by the state in which the conviction was received, and there cannot be any efforts made to expunge the conviction until that time has officially passed. Since the expungement of a criminal offense will completely eliminate it from a criminal record, any state that offers this option will be very cautious about the crime and offender.
Since there is a variety of guidelines in each U.S. state regarding the expungement of a DUI or DWI conviction, it is always best to check with your local courthouse for the requirements. Most of the time, a DUI or DWI expungement is only possible for those who have only one conviction, and who have satisfied all of the requirements of the conviction itself. This includes fines, court costs and restricted driving privileges.
Since a DUI or DWI conviction can be a large factor in leading a productive and successful life, the chance to have the conviction expunged should certainly be considered if the crime was truly an error in judgement. For habitual DUI or DWI offenders, the likelihood of an expungement is slim, especially with new laws that are focusing more on repeat offenders and “hardcore” offenders. By having a conviction removed from the criminal record, not only is an important lesson learned about staying sober behind the wheel, but, a person can be assured of the same chance at a dream job, college or university admission or just the freedom to live as he or she pleases as those who have never been convicted of the same crime.