You’ve heard the horror stories: someone gets charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and they lose their way. Because of the legal penalties, their life falls apart in the short-term. In the long-term, they struggle to rebound because the DUI charge is a glaring red mark on their criminal history, making it difficult (nigh impossible) for them to get work or find a suitable place to live.
This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it can happen to people in the wake of a DUI charge. So, given the horror stories, shouldn’t there be a way to help these people get their life together and not make it so difficult for them to reform their ways? Haven’t they been punished enough already?
Enter the “DUI expungement.” This is a process that can make your DUI charge invisible to many people and organizations, though it will not completely clear your record of the charge. The expungement is very helpful though, concealing your charge from background checks for employment and places to live, among other things. Basically, expunging your DUI charge is like placing the case “under seal.”
However, this seal can be broken in certain situations. For example, if you commit another crime and the judge is considering your sentencing, your expunged DUI would be revealed to prove a past criminal act.
It is also important to note that expungement isn’t just for DUIs. Expungement is also possible for many other criminal charges. State laws and requirements vary greatly, though, so consult with an attorney to ensure your case is being handled properly.
Source: FindLaw, “DUI Expungement,” Accessed July 31, 2015