If you are convicted of DUI, you may want to expunge your DUI record in order to get a job, loan, house, etc. Expungement refers to the process of removing or erasing your DUI records. You are required to petition the court in order to get your records expunged. This article discusses steps to clear your DUI record by covering the whole process from petitioning to obtaining expungement. Each state's expungement laws vary; therefore, this article gives you a basic idea on the process.
DUI expungement process:
1. Where to file a petition for expungement?
You need to file a petition for expungement in the superior court in the county where your DUI arrest occurred.
2. What are the grounds for denial of expungement?
You can be denied for expungement:
- if you haven't completed probation.
- if you didn't show a good reason to expunge your DUI record.
- if you are convicted of severe felony.
- if a great deal of time has passed since your arrest or conviction.
3. What are the grounds for acceptance of expungement?
You are allowed to expunge:
- if this is the only conviction on your record.
- if you didn't spend any time in state prison.
- if you have rehabilitated yourself.
4. How to file for an expungement?
- Do you need a lawyer?
You don't necessarily need a lawyer for expunging your records. It's just that this process involves a lot of paperwork and if you have a lawyer by your side, he can give you advice regarding that. If you don't wish to hire a lawyer, you should learn all the procedures that are required to get this process done.
- How long does it take?
The entire expungement process could take anywhere from 4 to 6 months.
- What is the filing fee?
The filing fee may vary from $50 to $400 depending on your case and your state.
- What forms do you need to fill and where to get them?
You need to go to your county courthouse and ask the clerk for the expungement forms. As mentioned above the forms may cost around $50 to $400. The clerk may give you the following forms: 1. Expungement petition, 2. Affidavit or proof of service form.
5. What happens after you file the petition for expungement?
After you file the petition for expungement, a copy will be sent to all agencies that have your records like arresting agency, the county attorney, the city police department etc. They may accept or refuse your request. If they accept, the court will grant your petition without hearing. If they refuse, a hearing will be held and you are required to attend. (This law can vary from state to state). You will be notified of hearing date through the mail. In some states, though, the court sets the hearing date, while in others you have to pick the date. You must ask your clerk beforehand regarding how your state's county court hearing date is set.
6. The Court hearing and decision:
Your petition for expungement may or may not be granted. If you won the expungement hearing, you must check after 60 days to see for yourself whether your records show up during a criminal record check. The 60 days period is when the court orders all the agencies to seal your record. However, if you lose your hearing, you may need to ask for an expungement once again.
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