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Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is very dangerous, especially in California. You may be arrested for this and a DUI will appear on your record. So how long does a DUI stay on your record in California? Join BestLifeTips to find out the answer.
What does DUI stand for?
DUI means driving under the influence of alcohol, or it may mean driving under the influence of drugs. The drugs could be over-the-counter, prescription or illegal.
There are different names depending on your state. You may be accused of operating under the influence (OUI), operating while intoxicated (OWI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) instead of DUI.
Some states might make it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08%, except in Utah, where the BAC limit is 0.05%. In many states, drunk driving is treated as a misdemeanor, but repeat offenders might face felony charges.
In a lot of states, you can be charged with drunk driving if you are in the driver’s seat but your car isn’t moving. You might even be charged with DUI or a similar offense if you are steering a watercraft, moped, motorized scooter, bicycle or lawnmower.
How bad is a DUI on your record?
A DUI conviction in California is a serious offense. It not only affects your immediate future but also your rights and freedoms on the road. Any criminal charge or conviction that results in a criminal record may severely affect you in the longer term. A criminal conviction can remain with you for the rest of your life.
California is tough on DUI. Even first-time offenders can face fines of up to $1,000, license suspension up to four months and up to six months’ jail time, as well as mandatory attendance at DUI classes.
For repeat offenders, punishment increases to more jail time, longer license suspensions, and more extensive DUI class attendance.
So how bad is a DUI on your record? For starters, you can get fired for a DUI in almost any job field today under most companies 2021 employment policies.
Moreover, if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can find the record in a background search on Google. This means that when a potential employer, landlord, or other entity checks your background, your conviction may show.
A criminal record can interfere with your right to child custody, your right to own a firearm, and other privileges. If you are an immigrant, a criminal record could prevent you from becoming a naturalized citizen.
Your life can be altered with the following common penalties for a DUI conviction:
- Permanent criminal record, including your mug shot photo and fingerprints.
- Driver’s license suspension from 6-24 months on average.
- You need to pay a high amount of fines based on your own case details.
- Install an Ignition Interlock Device system in your vehicles from 1-3 years in average at your expense.
- You must take all DUI classes or counseling before any driver’s license reinstatement.
- You could be denied entering Canada and other countries abroad.
You can learn more about DUI in California here: California DUI Laws
How long does a DUI stay on your record in California?
How long does a DUI stay on your driving record in California?
A DUI charge doesn’t stay on your driving record forever. It remains on your driving record for up to 10 years. This period of time starts at the time of the DUI arrest, not the conviction. It is viewable by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and law enforcement during this time.
Car insurance companies can see the record of the DUI as well since they are serious traffic violations, DUIs can increase the driver’s car insurance rates.
Fortunately, A DUI conviction on your driving record does not show on most background checks.
How long does a DUI stay on your criminal record in California?
Aside from a traffic offense, a DUI also comes with criminal charges. In most states, your first offense will be considered a misdemeanor, while the third DUI arrest is considered a felony. There are a few circumstances when a DUI may be considered a traffic offense, but in most cases, you will have a criminal record.
A DUI generally remains on your criminal record forever since DUI cases are criminal offenses. The only way to get it removed is through the process of expungement.
How to get a DUI off your record?
Many states provide ways of cleaning up your record following a criminal conviction. Typically, when you get an expungement, it allows you to truthfully report that you don’t have a criminal conviction.
You have to fill an application and appear in court for a hearing to get an expungement. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant or deny the expungement.
Eligibility for a DUI expungement
To be eligible to expunge a DUI, you have to meet the following criteria:
- You have already served all penalties, including probation. You must follow all the requirements of the DUI probation. If anything happened that violated the terms of your probation, there is a high chance you will not be able to get the DUI off your record.
- Your sentence did not involve state prison.
- You are not currently facing any other criminal charges, and you are not on probation for any other crime.
If these all apply to you, you can have a DUI attorney help you expunge your DUI. They will file a request to expunge. The prosecutor’s office may or may not oppose the expungement. If they don’t, your attorney can fight for you. There will be a hearing, and in most cases the expungement will be approved.
How long until your record is expunged?
Each states have their own laws about allowing expungement. Normally, you have to wait at least 1 year from the date of your conviction as the courts have to consider a request to wipe your record clean. The waiting period may be influenced by the gravity of the DUI offense and your probation period.
After filing the petition, it can take up to 6 weeks for an expungement for a DUI to be processed. After the court grants approval for a DUI to be expunged from your record, you will still have to wait for the expungement to take effect. It could take months for your expungement to go into effect.
When DUI is expunged, it no longer exists on your criminal record. However, the DUI will still count as a past charge if you are arrested for a new drunk driving charge. So be careful while driving.
If you are arrested for a DUI, it will affect a lot on your work and life. A DUI will stay on your criminal record forever unless you have it expunged. This was all about how long does a DUI stay on your record in California that BestLifeTips want to share with you. Do not drive if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs to avoid awful consequences.