Factors That Determine Eligibility For DUI Expungement

Law Blog

A DUI (driving under the influence) conviction can cause long-term problems for you. If you have such a conviction, you may wonder whether the government can expunge your record. DUI expungement may be possible under certain circumstances. Below are some of the factors that will decide your DUI expungement.

State Laws

The first thing to note is that state laws determine the possibility of expungement of criminal convictions. Most states expunge some forms of crimes but not others. For example, some states don't expunge traffic crimes, and DUI is a traffic crime. Therefore, the first step to determine your eligibility for DUI expungement is to determine whether your state allows it.

Age of Offender

Some states only expunge DUI convictions for minor offenders. In such a case, the state will only expunge your DUI conviction if you were a minor at the time of your conviction. For example, if a court convicts you of a DUI at the age of 17, you can petition for an expungement years later as an adult.

The Seriousness of DUI Conviction

States laws place DUI charges and convictions in different categories or levels. The common classifications include wet reckless, misdemeanor, felony, and aggravated DUI. Some states only expunge weaker forms of DUIs, such as wet reckless and misdemeanor DUIs. Few states expunge serious charges such as aggravated or felony DUIs.

DUI History

DUI expungement is a privilege — it is not a right. As mentioned above, most states only extend the privilege to those who don't have serious charges. The number of DUI convictions in your driving history determines the seriousness of your latest DUI charge. As such, some states restrict DUI expungement to first-time offenders.


DUI expungement typically comes with conditions or restrictions. For example, some states only allow DUI expungement for those who have completed their DUI probation. In such a case, you will also have to adhere to the terms and conditions of the probation.

Waiting Period

A mandatory waiting period is another common condition for DUI expungement. A court cannot convict you of a DUI today and process your expungement petition the next day. The mandatory waiting period typically runs for years — it can be as lengthy as 15 years.

A DUI expungement can help you avoid the repercussions of the conviction. Consult a criminal defense attorney if you have a DUI conviction, and you crave an expungement. The attorney will assess your case, advise you, and help you with the expungement process. 


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