Expunging a DUI

A DUI,DWI,OWI, or whatever your state may refer to drunk driving as, being convicted of drunk driving is a criminal offense, meaning that once convicted of the offense you now have a criminal record that is public knowledge. If you have been convicted anyone including an employer or friend can do a public record search and upon doing so they will see your conviction. A lot of people will try and tell you that a DUI conviction will be removed from your record in 7 years, this is just not true. Any item on your criminal record will remain there for life unless you take steps to have that information expunged from your record.

An expungement is a legal vehicle in which a person may petition the courts in order to have an item removed or "expunged" from their criminal record. Some of the exceptions when it comes to expungement are: if a person is going to apply to be a law enforcement officer, the agency doing your background check will have full access to any sealed records in your file. The same holds true for almost all public offices, doctor offices, dentist offices, hospitals, public transit, and the list goes on.



If a person has been convicted of DUI in say California, Colorado, and Florida, that person will have a separate criminal record in each of those states. A person can have as many criminal records as there are states, if they are convicted of a crime in each state. With that being said expungement laws regarding DUI/DWI vary by state. A lot of states will not allow a DUI to be expunged at all, while other states will allow it if the crime was a misdemeanor offense and not a felony. So it's important to review the expungement laws for the state in which you are interested in having an expungement done.

DUI/DWI Expungement Laws By State



















Alabama

Alabama does not allow expungements of any sort whether they be a misdemeanor or felony conviction.

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Alaska

A DUI or DWI conviction cannot be expunged from your criminal record in Alaska.

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Arizona

You cannot expunge a DUI from your criminal record in Arizona. You can file a request to have the conviction "set aside". You will need to contact the Clerk of Courts Office and request a form 300. Once a Judge has reviewed your request he or she will determine if your conviction may be set aside. Please note that your DUI conviction is still public record, but it will show that the conviction has been set aside.

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Arkansas

A misdemeanor DWI or DUI conviction in Arkansas may be expunged 5 years after the conviction. This law went into effect August 1, 2011. Here is the link to the official Arkansas expungement law.

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California

A misdemeanor DUI conviction can be expunged in California after all probation requirements have been met. If you get arrested a second time for DUI, the courts will view the arrest as a second conviction and not a first. Here is a link to the official court petition.

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Colorado

A DUI conviction cannot be expunged in Colorado, unless you completed a deferred judgement and sentence resulting the case being dismissed.

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Connecticut

If you have been convicted of a DUI, the conviction cannot be expunged. It is possible to expunge a DUI from your criminal record in Connecticut if the charges have been dismissed or you have been acquitted, here is a link that explains the process in detail.

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Delaware

A DUI conviction cannot be expunged from your criminal record in Delaware, unless you were a juvenile at the time of the conviction. If the charges against you were dismissed or you were acquitted you may petition the court for expungement, that is not to say that the court will approve the expungement though.

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DC

No drunk driving charge can be expunged in the District of Columbia.

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Florida

A DUI conviction cannot be expunged in Florida. If however, you were able to get the charge reduced to Reckless driving, then you could expunge that charge.

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Georgia

Georgia does not have an expungement law.

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Hawaii

A conviction cannot be expunged from your criminal record in Hawaii. If you were arrested, but not convicted, you may have that arrested expunged from your record.

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Idaho

Expungement of a misdemeanor DUI conviction is possible in Idaho. In Idaho you get one "Withheld Judgement". That means that after completing probation you can petition the court to dismiss your case.

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Illinois

A conviction for DUI in Illinois is not an expungable event.

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Indiana

Expunging a DUI from your record is only possible if charges were never officially filed, or if they were dropped. Otherwise it is a permanent part of your record.

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Iowa

An OWI conviction cannot be expunged in Iowa, unless a deferred judgement was received.

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Kansas

A DUI conviction can be expunged in Kansas 10 years after the probation period has ended.

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Kentucky

You may file for expungement 5 years after conviction of a misdemeanor charge. Felonies conviction cannot be expunged. There are numerous reasons why a conviction cannot be expunged.

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Louisiana

If your case was dismissed or acquitted you are eligible for expungement, whether it be for a felony or misdemeanor charge. It should be noted that Louisiana's expungement law has been changed many times and is abiguous at best. You should speak with a lawyer who handles to expungements to discuss your case.

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Maine

It may be possible to expunge your DUI/OUI in Maine.You must wait until 5 years after completion of sentencing to file. Once the paperwork has been filed you must attend an expungement hearing to find out if your OUI/DUI will be expunged. Please note that if you are arrested on a DUI charge in the future your previous DUI that was expunged will be considered in your new case.

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Maryland

A DUI or DWI in Maryland cannot be expunged if you received probation before judgment, were found guilty in court, or plead guilty to the charge in court.

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Massachusetts

Generally it is not possible in Massachusetts. We are not saying it cannot be done, but that it is extremely difficult even in a case where you were not convicted of the crime.

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Michigan

Drunk driving convictions cannot be expunged in the state of Michigan.

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Minnesota

A DWI expungement is at the courts discretion in Minnesota. Once your lawyer files the paperwork, it will be up to the Judge to make the final determination.

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Mississippi

No, a DUI cannot be expunged in Mississippi.

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Missouri

After 10 years a person may file to have a first offense DWI expunged, but must not have received another charge during that time. You are only allowed one expungement in Missouri. Here is the statute regarding expungement.

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Montana

Most misdemeanor DUI charges can be expunged in Montana.

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Nebraska

In most cases a DUI conviction is not eligible for expungement in Nebraska. There are rare case that can be expunged, you should speak with a lawyer to find out more.

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Nevada

A DUI cannot be expunged in Nevada, but you may be able seal your record. Speak with an attorney to find out if you are eligible.

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New Hampshire

You may file a petition to annul a DUI in NH 10 years after the date of the conviction.

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New Jersey

A DUI is not a criminal offense in NJ, it is a traffic offense, therefore it cannot be expunged. In order to have it removed from your driving record you need to talk to a lawyer about post-conviction relief.

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New Mexico

It is nearly impossible to have a DWI conviction expunged in the state of New Mexico. We suggest you speak with a lawyer to discuss your options.

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New York

Expungement is only available if your case was dismissed or you were acquitted of the charges.

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North Carolina

If you were convicted of a DWI and 15 years have passed since the end of your probation period and you have not been convicted of a DWI since then, you may be eligible for expungement.

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North Dakota

It is possible to expunge in North Dakota. The decision will be at the courts discretion.

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Ohio

A DUI/OVI cannot be expunged in the state of Ohio. This will be a permanent part of your criminal record in Ohio.

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Oklahoma

First offense misdemeanor and felony convictions are eligible for expungement. A petition must be filed at the court where covicted to start the process.

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Oregon

A DUI/DUII may be expunged in Oregon, the expungement will be at the court's discretion. The court may order you to attend a diversion program prior to filing a petition for expungement.

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Pennsylvania

Typically a DUI cannot be expunged in Pennsylvania. The best chance for first time offenders to avoid having a mark on their criminal record is to go through the ARD program.

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Rhode Island

Misdemeanor convictions are eligible for expungement 5 years after sentencing. Felony convictions are eligible for expungement 10 years after sentencing. A motion must be filed with the court that handled the initial conviction.

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South Carolina

A DUI conviction cannot be expunged in the state of South Carolina.

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South Dakota

A misdemeanor DUI conviction can be expunged 10 years after the final sentencing. Felony convictions cannot be expunged.

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Tennessee

A DUI conviction cannot be expunged in Tennessee. That conviction will remain on your record for life.

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Texas

A DWI conviction cannot be expunged in Texas. The only way to get a DWI expunged is to have it dismissed at trial.

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Utah

If convicted of DUI, or the case was dismissed without prejudice, you must wait a set time before filing for expungement. You should speak with an attorney who handles expungement case in Utah to find out if you are eligible.

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Vermont

With the exception of a juvenile conviction, DUI's in Vermont cannot be expunged.

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Virginia

Virginia does not allow for expungement of any conviction for any criminal offense.

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Washington State

A DUI conviction cannot be expunged in the state Washington.

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West Virginia

Typically juvenile and first time offenses are eligible for expungement as long as they were misdemeanor convictions.

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Wisconsin

Most juvenile convictions and certain first offenses are eligible. You should speak with a lawyer to find out if you are eligible.

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Wyoming

It might be possible to have a DUI expunged if you were granted a deferred sentence. In most cases though, an expungement is not allowed.

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