If you have a past driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, you might be wondering “how long will a DUI conviction stay on my record in California?” The main reason you’re probably wondering is because you need a spotless record to apply for good jobs, certain types of benefits, and selective neighborhoods.
Another reason it’s important for a DUI to drop off your record is because it can be held against you in terms of auto insurance premiums and in the event that you obtain another DUI. There are actually several answers to your question regarding how long a DUI conviction will remain on your record.
DUIs remain on your driving record with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for ten years. The ten-year-clock begins ticking the day of your arrest. After the ten years have expired, the DUI will no longer be held against you on your driving record.
In the state of California, penalties for DUIs can range from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the circumstances. However, for most first-offense DUIs, you are looking at a misdemeanor—unless you hurt someone.
Now, let’s say you get a second DUI within ten years of the first. Your penalties will increase because you have a “prior DUI” on your record. After ten years, the DUI will no longer be held against you and any subsequent DUI would be treated as a first offense.
Even so, your first DUI doesn’t actually disappear from your record completely. Law enforcement and employers will still be able to view the record. In that way your conviction will remain on your record forever. The only way to get it removed entirely is through a process known as “expunction.”
The only way to completely remove a conviction or charge from your record is through the process of expunction—expunging your criminal record.
Another way to “clean up” your record is through the process of record sealing. This is where you file a petition requesting that a judge issue an order for your DUI conviction or charge to be “hidden” or sealed from public view.
There are criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for record sealing or expunction, and the judge must agree to your petition.
When you have a DUI that’s been cluttering up your criminal record for years, it may be time to get it “cleaned” off. Call a California DUI record sealing lawyer with Crowell Law Offices at 916-303-2800 for a free, fully confidential consultation of your case. You can also fill out our online submission form below.