Having a criminal record can jeopardize the future of anyone in Florida. For example, a single DUI conviction that could have been avoided could prevent a young adult from gaining admission to a college or university, obtaining financing or securing employment, among other challenges. Fortunately, in some cases, it is possible to have a DUI expunged.
Expungement is a legal process of clearing a person’s criminal record of convictions and arrests. However, no one is guaranteed a positive result in a petition for expungement. To improve one’s chances, it typically helps to have a clean record for the years before the DUI conviction, and also afterward during the mandatory waiting time before an expungement application can be filed. Such a filing can typically only be pursued after complying with any penalties imposed by the court.
When considering an application for expungement, the court will look at the severity of the drunk driving offense, whether it was a first DUI arrest and the level of the applicant’s blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest. Severe consequences of the impaired driving might also jeopardize the driver’s chances of getting the slate wiped clean. Compliance with court-ordered punishment is crucial. If fines are not paid, community service not completed or court-ordered alcoholic treatment not attended, chances of getting a DUI expunged will be limited. The same applies when the driver continues driving on a suspended license.
Getting a DUI expunged is not an easy task, and even a simple error with the paperwork can mess up the chances of success. This is where the skills of an experienced Florida DUI attorney come in. A lawyer can assist with the filling out of forms and all the other steps in the navigation of the expungement application.