The lawyers at Forward Law Group have helped many people across California with their DUI cases. This is because we have a deep understanding of how a DUI can impact a person’s record. In this article, our Forward Law Group attorneys will focus on one specific question that many people have—“how long does a DUI stay on your record?” Before going into greater detail about this common question, here is the simple answer—in California, a DUI conviction will stay on your driving record for 10 years. However, a DUI will stay on your criminal record in California permanently unless it is expunged. Having a DUI on your record in California can impact various aspects of a person’s day-to-day life, including transportation, housing, and employment. If you are currently facing a DUI charge in California and are wondering what the potential consequences of a conviction would be as it relates to your record, this article will provide you with fundamental information that you need to know. Prior to providing a detailed answer to the question of interest, we provide some key background information about DUIs in California. Let’s begin!
There are numerous different DUI offenses that a person can be charged with in California. While not exhaustive, the list below covers some of the various DUI charges in California.
In most cases, a first-time DUI offense in California is considered a misdemeanor crime. A first-time DUI conviction can result in a wide range of penalties (based on the case), including, but not limited to:
While most first-time DUI cases are misdemeanor offenses, they can also result in more serious DUI charges if, for example, the driver injured another person. In cases with aggravating factors, a DUI can also be considered a felony. More severe DUI penalties could include, but are not limited to:
It’s important to note that penalties can be even more severe if there were a combination of aggravating factors. The same is true for repeat DUI offenses–multiple DUI offenses can lead to extremely hefty consequences.
As mentioned in the introduction, a first-time DUI offense in California will stay on your driving record for 10 years, beginning from the date of the arrest. After the ten-year period expires, it will no longer be part of someone’s driving record. That being said, there is no way to remove or get rid of the conviction from the driving record during the ten years. In addition to the DMV being able to see the DUI on a person’s driving record, law enforcement agencies and auto insurance companies will also be able to see it.
While there is a set time for how long a DUI conviction stays on a person’s driving record, this same is not true for a DUI conviction on a person’s criminal record. In California, a DUI will stay on someone's criminal record indefinitely. Additionally, unlike the driving record, anyone who conducts a background check can see the DUI conviction on a person’s criminal record. Fortunately, however, the record of conviction can be dismissed from a person’s criminal record through the process of expungement. Typically, both misdemeanor and felony DUI cases can be expunged.
In order to be eligible to expunge a DUI conviction from your criminal record, a person must first successfully complete the terms of their probation. In addition, they must not have:
Once these criteria are met, a person can then petition the court for an expungement by filing the appropriate paperwork. Once the paperwork is filed, a judge will review the case and decide whether to grant the expungement or not. Having a skilled attorney help with the process of getting a DUI conviction expunged can save significant amounts of time and energy. More importantly, a dedicated attorney can ensure that all paperwork is filed correctly and that the expungement process is successful. Forward Law Group has helped people across California get their DUI convictions expunged in a simple and straightforward manner. If you need help with an expungement, give us a call today!
If a DUI conviction has not been expunged, it is almost certain that the conviction will show up on a criminal background check in California. For example, potential employers would be able to see the conviction. However, if a DUI conviction is expunged, it will typically not show up on standard background checks that are performed by landlords or employers. In the rare case that the conviction does show up, employers and landlords are legally prohibited from considering it in their decision. Finally, when a DUI conviction is expunged, a person can confidently check the “no prior criminal record” box on job applications.
Simply stated, the best way to avoid having to deal with a DUI conviction on a driving record or criminal record in California is by having a strong defense to avoid the conviction in the first place. While this may seem obvious, some people are sometimes under the assumption that there is no way of escaping a DUI conviction once they have been charged. That is simply untrue! At Forward Law Group, our lawyers carefully review each and every detail of a DUI case to formulate a defense strategy that puts our clients in the best position to get their DUI charge dismissed. There are many different facets of a case that can sometimes be leveraged to get DUI charges dismissed, such as:
With our tremendous knowledge of DUI laws in California, Forward Law Group is the trusted law firm for DUI cases. Take the first step towards getting your DUI charge dismissed by calling our friendly and helpful Forward Law Group attorneys at (818) 471-8389.
Dealing with any aspect of a DUI–whether it’s avoiding a DUI conviction or getting a DUI conviction expunged–can be extremely stressful and time-consuming. One of the biggest concerns for people who have been charged or convicted of a DUI is how it will affect them in the future, such as with their criminal record or with background checks. Because a very limited group of people have access to a person’s driving record, many people with a DUI charge or conviction are not too worried about the ten-year period during which the DUI will show. On the other hand, while DUI convictions will stay on a person’s criminal record permanently, they can be expunged and prevented from showing up on criminal background checks.
No matter what type of help or assistance you need with your DUI case, Forward Law Group has you covered. While our law firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, we proudly serve people across California. Our highly-trained team of lawyers have experience working cases in counties across the state and effectively defending our clients against prosecutors throughout California. For additional information about how we can help you with your case, get in touch with us today. Let Forward Law Group put this difficult situation in the rearview, and in turn, move your life forward.