Will a DUI arrest show on my record if I am found not guilty?
When you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) this becomes a permanent part of both your criminal and driving record. In most cases, even if you are found not guilty or your case is dismissed, it will continue to be a part of your public record.
DUIs are considered felony charges and having it on your record can have a negative impact. It may affect your ability to get a job if they require a background check. Even misdemeanor DUI charges may prevent a company from hiring you or even purchase a firearm in some states.
There may be steps you can take to help though. It will depend on state laws where you were arrested. If you hired a lawyer for your DUI case, they may be able to help. If you did not use a lawyer or charges were dismissed, you should research your state’s laws.
If I am found not guilty, how can I remove a DUI arrest from my record?
Most people believe that DUI arrests or convictions will only stay on your record for seven years. This is simply not true; it may be on your record forever. Many people do not realize the damage it has.
You should begin steps to expunge yours as soon as you are found not guilty. Expunging your record means to remove or seal any convictions and arrests. Most states require you hire a lawyer and the process can take three to four months.
Expungement proceedings are considered a civil lawsuit. You will have to have your record examined by a judge who will determine whether to clear your criminal record. If you have multiple arrests or convictions, you may not be able to have your record completely expunged.
Does expungement of my record mean that no one will ever see it?
There is nothing worse than being found not guilty of a DUI and still dealing with the negative impact. Having your record expunged does not mean you are free from worry though. Expungement removes charges from any future public records. It allows you to apply for jobs and state you have never been arrested or convicted of a crime.
Sometimes records are not fully expunged or information is still visible. You will need to be diligent and check your criminal record. If your arrest is still visible, you will need to contact the courts or a lawyer.
Your records will still be accessible to law enforcement and court personnel. This means if you are arrested again they will be able to view any previous violations. If you were found not guilty, it will be part of your record as well. If you had your record expunged following a conviction though, you will be charged as a repeat offender.
In some states, agencies that hire for jobs that involve education your full record may still be visible, but your arrest should be labeled as dismissed following the expungement. These state laws allow this because DUIs are not the only type criminal records that are expunged. This is meant as a protective measurement where children are involved.
Expungement also means that your arrest will not show up on new public records or background searches. Some background agencies compile a database of old public records and add search results of all public arrests and convictions on a regular basis.
These agencies use records to compile background checks for independent companies (mainly for employment checks) and allows them to see if someone has had their record expunged and what they had removed. This may seem like a violation but it is not illegal. There is no way to prevent a potential employer from seeing your past criminal record and employers can also use this information as a reason not to hire you.
Can I remove a DUI from my driving record if I am found not guilty?
Unlike with your criminal record you cannot remove violations from your driving record. Some states will allow you to petition to have charges removed if you are found not guilty. Not all states allow this and if you are found guilty, there is no way to remove it.
It also does not disappear after seven to ten years. After ten years, it will no longer count as a first offense though. Going to traffic school and paying any fines you have will not help to remove this charge either.
If your license was suspended, as a result of your arrest, this will also stay on your record. Many states automatically suspend your license if you fail the sobriety test or breathalyzer. Some will also suspend it if you refuse to take a breathalyzer.
Any DUI or DWI charge will affect your ability to get car insurance. Even if you already have insurance, your renewal premiums may jump in price. Your rates could double, triple or coverage dropped altogether. These charges could also prevent you from getting a job that requires a clean driving record.
If you are found not guilty from your criminal DUI case, you will still have to file a case with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This type of case is often called a reinstatement hearing. It is designed to determine if you are eligible to get your driver’s license back.
At the hearing, if you were found not guilty by the criminal courts, you can petition to have charges removed from your driving record as well. You may need a lawyer to ensure the proper paperwork is filed. In most cases, the lawyer who handled your criminal trial can also handle your DMV trial.
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