Can I Expunge My DUI Conviction?


A driving under the influence (DUI) arrest and conviction can have a negative impact on one’s ability to secure a job, get a student loan, rent an apartment or apply for credit, even if it seems completely unrelated or happened many years ago. Criminal record expungement laws vary from state to state. Some states like Washington, do not allow for a DUI to be expunged off ones record, unless the charge is amended down to a lesser offense criminal charge. A few states do allow expungements, but only under certain conditions. L

Expungement, also referred to as a “vacate,” “sealing a conviction” or “setting aside a criminal conviction,” effectively hides a DUI / DWI arrest or conviction in the eyes of the law. An expunged DUI offense may still be used as proof of a prior conviction, but expunged offenses are not typically visible to prospective employers, educational institutions, credit issuers or other entities conducting background checks.

In some legal proceedings, such as during sentencing for any crimes committed after an expungement, or in immigration/deportation proceedings, an expunged conviction that is “under seal” may still be considered as proof of a prior conviction.

The ability to expunge a drunk driving arrest or conviction varies by state and often is limited to first offenses. Some states only allow for the expungement of arrests that do not result in convictions or guilty pleas, while others allow for the expungement of most first convictions that don’t appear to be part of a criminal pattern. In all cases, it is up to the court to decide whether or not they will grant the expungement. Depending on the state and/or county, special eligibility rules might exist for expungement of DUI arrests or convictions that occurred while the offender was a juvenile.

Expungement does not apply to your driving privileges and will not effect a license restriction or other matters handled by the Department of Licensing or equivalent state motor vehicle agency.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer. SQ Attorneys can be reached at (425) 359-3791 and/or (206) 441-0900.

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