The biggest worry about getting a DUI is having that conviction on your permanent criminal record. So what's the best and easiest way to get your DUI expunged?
Expungement is the legal term for wiping arrests and convictions off your criminal record. While all cases are different, and expungement may not always be available, here are a few tips that can aid you in keeping your rap sheet under wraps:
Don't mess up before your DUI. While it may be too late to go back and rewrite history, you should know that in states that allow expungement, courts will consider your record prior to the DUI when deciding whether to wipe the slate clean.
Don't mess up by getting a severe DUI charge. Another thing courts will consider is the severity of your DUI. Was it your first time, with a low BAC, and not too bad driving? You'll probably have a better shot at expungement. Nailed with a felony DUI? Not so much.
Don't mess up your punishment. No matter what the circumstances of your DUI, the court will place some punishment and/or restrictions on you. Follow them carefully. Non-payment of fines, non-completion of community service, non-attendance at alcohol treatment, and driving on a suspended license could all derail your expungement.
Don't mess up again after your DUI. There will probably be some mandatory period of time that must pass between your DUI conviction (or the completion of court-imposed penalties) and the time that you can file your expungement application. Make sure you don't add any arrests or convictions to your record before you can get your application filed.
Don't mess up your expungement paperwork. Courts don't make expungement easy -- most likely there will be a boatload of forms to fill out. Navigating the DUI expungement process is one area where some good legal advice could help.
To learn more about expungement, check out FindLaw's free Guide to Expungement or consult an experienced DUI lawyer near you.