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Expunging a California DUI

If you’re facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Oakland or anywhere in the East Bay, or if you’ve already been convicted of DUI, you’re probably aware of the fact that a DUI conviction negatively affects your life, especially as it pertains to employment opportunities.

Even a misdemeanor DUI can wreak havoc on a person’s career. A DUI can lead to the denial of a college scholarship, and under California’s at-will employment laws, an employer can fire an employee because of their DUI. A DUI can lead to the denial or cancellation of a professional license, and it can cause potential employers to say, “Thanks, but not thanks” when they learn about the applicant’s criminal record.

Just ask anybody with a criminal record and they’ll readily tell you how it’s impacted their lives in all the wrong ways, and a DUI is no exception. So, if your future and your livelihood are at risk because of a DUI, what can you do to improve the situation? It’s called an expungement under Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code.

When Can a DUI Be Expunged?

If you are convicted of DUI in California, you can seek an expungement as long as the following conditions are met: 1) you received probation for the DUI, and 2) you did what you were supposed to do and completed your DUI probation.

If you successfully completed your DUI probation, you can petition the court for an expungement under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code. If the judge decides to grant you an expungement, either the judge will set aside the guilty verdict that was entered during your trial, or you would withdraw your guilty or “no contest” plea and it would be re-entered as a not-guilty plea. From there, your case would be dismissed.

“What are the benefits of going to the trouble of expunging my DUI?” The biggest benefit is how it affects employment. If your DUI is expunged, you are no longer required to disclose the DUI on job applications. However, if you apply for a professional license or for a teaching credential, you still have to disclose the DUI.

State licensing boards can still deny or cancel a license because of a DUI, but if the DUI is effectively expunged, you’re painted in a more favorable light because you clearly took the steps to take responsibility and put the DUI behind you.

To fight your DUI charges or learn more about a DUI expungement, contact our firm to meet with an Oakland DUI attorney for free!

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