Expungement is a legal process that allows for the removal and sealing of certain criminal records, such as a DUI conviction, effectively making them inaccessible to the general public. However, in Florida, DUI convictions generally cannot be expunged from a person’s criminal record as the government believes that such restrictions will deter individuals from driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Although a DUI conviction will remain on a person's record indefinitely, the conviction can be overturned or set aside through other legal means.
Individuals looking to rebuild their lives and minimize the impact of a DUI on their record can do so by consulting with Miami DUI | Jonathan B. Blecher, P.A. if the circumstances of their case allow it. Here are some legal options to help you clear your criminal record and rebuild your life:
In some instances, individuals with a DUI charge may be eligible to have their criminal record sealed, although access is still available to certain government agencies and law enforcement. However, you can only pursue this option if you weren’t already convicted of a DUI.
While the conviction remains on the record, sealing can help limit the visibility of your DUI conviction to potential employers or the general public. However, individuals seeking to seal their record must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This certificate confirms that the person meets the eligibility criteria for record sealing.
Criminal Record Evaluation
Individuals dealing with a DUI conviction should consult with an attorney specializing in criminal law and record sealing. These lawyers can evaluate the specifics of your case, inform you of the options available, and guide you through the legal process.
For example, first-time DUI offenders can have their case dismissed, reduced to reckless driving, or resolved by an acquittal with the proper legal defense. The offense of reckless driving is similar to DUI, leading some prosecutors to agree to the change instead of risking losing the case at trial.
However, the biggest advantage of a reckless driving charge is that the records can later be sealed. Still, you will also need to receive a withhold of adjudication to petition the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to seal your record.
Any criminal history, especially prior convictions, can impede eligibility to seal or expunge a DUI from your records. If you are found guilty or plead guilty or no contest to DUI, you will likely be ineligible for sealing or expungement actions.
In some cases, you can challenge a DUI conviction through the post-conviction relief process, such as filing an appeal or pursuing a motion to set aside the conviction. These avenues typically require demonstrating legal errors or constitutional violations that may have impacted the case outcome.
A criminal defense attorney can also help you with this if the specifics of your case allow it. They will diligently analyze your case, gather evidence, and strengthen your claims to have your charges dismissed. It’s essential to consult with an experienced attorney who can provide personalized guidance based on your situation and see if anything can be done regarding your DUI conviction.
Criminal defense lawyers can help you understand the available options and work toward minimizing the impact of a DUI conviction on your life. Still, you should focus on working with attorneys with a proven track record of dealing with DUI cases.