Can I Have My DUI Conviction Sealed or Expunged?
If you were arrested and charged for driving under the influence, you may be wondering if you can have your DUI expunged. While it’s impossible to have a DUI conviction erased from your records in Florida, if you were merely charged but not convicted, the case was dismissed, or you were convicted for a lesser offense, you may be able to wipe your record clean.
In this article, we take a closer look at Florida’s expungement laws, the application process, and how a DUI attorney could assist with your case.
Expunging or Sealing Your DUI Arrest: What You Need to Know
A DUI on your criminal record can affect many different aspects of your life. Besides serving a lengthy jail sentence, paying fines, and completing community service or classes, you may also struggle to find work, find housing, or further your education. Unsurprisingly, if you were arrested, charged, or convicted for a DUI, you are likely eager to have this blemish erased from your permanent record.
Unfortunately, in Florida, it’s impossible to have your records expunged if you’ve been convicted for driving under the influence. However, if you were acquitted at trial, your case was dismissed, or your charge was reduced to a lesser offense, you may still have the option of sealing the arrest record.
To have your records expunged or sealed, you will first have to submit a formal application to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Take note: You will require a certified form of disposition from either the law enforcement agency that handled your arrest or the court that processed your case. Additionally, your application will need to be notarized.
If you qualify for expungement, you should receive a certificate outlining your eligibility. In most situations, this certificate will expire after six months. Once you have the certificate, you will have to file a request with the court in the area where your charges were formally filed.
You will also need to send an additional copy of your application to the State Attorney’s Office. If your documentation is in order, you will then have to attend a hearing where you will get a chance to explain to a judge why your record should be expunged or sealed. Based on this hearing, the judge will decide on whether or not to approve your request.
Applying to have a DUI arrest or charge expunged can be a complex and time-consuming undertaking. A single mistake at any point in this process could make it impossible for you to clear your record. As such, it may be in your best interests to hire a DUI attorney to assist with the application. He or she can complete the necessary paperwork, ensure that you don’t miss important deadlines, and help you protect your rights during the hearing.
Schedule a Free Case Review with a DUI Lawyer in Stuart, Florida
A DUI arrest or charge on your record could haunt you for the rest of your life. As such, it’s important to take steps to seal or expunge the arrest as soon as possible so you can get your life back on track.
Todd A. Kawecki is a skilled Stuart DUI lawyer with experience working as a Florida prosecutor. His background has armed him with an intimate understanding of the state’s sealing and expungement proceedings, and he will do everything in his power to help you achieve a favorable outcome. Dial 772-485-4500 or head over to our contact form HERE to request a free case assessment.