1203.4 (a) (1) In any case in which a defendant has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation, or has been discharged prior to the termination of the period of probation, or in any other case in which a court, in its discretion and the interests of justice, determines that a defendant should be granted the relief available under this section, the defendant shall, at any time after the termination of the period of probation, [and] if he or she is not then serving a sentence for any offense, on probation for any offense, or charged with the commission of any offense… the court shall thereupon dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and except as noted below, he or she shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense…
PC 1203.4 is the law that sets forth California’s rules for expunging a criminal offense. Expungement, or expunction, is one of the most powerful tools available to someone who has already been convicted of DUI. In many ways, an expunction makes it as if the DUI never happened, allowing you to move on with your life. Expunctions do have their limits, however, and don’t fully erase your conviction.
Benefits of expunction include:
- Most employers cannot use your DUI against you in deciding whether to hire, fire or promote you
- Landlords cannot hold your DUI against you when renting to you
- You may be able to work for the government or obtain professional licenses, like a real estate license, despite your DUI
- Your DUI won’t show up on most background checks
Limits of expunction include:
- Law enforcement and the courts can still see your DUI
- Your DUI will still count as a prior offense if you are ever arrested again
- You still have to disclose your DUI when applying for professional licenses or government employment
- Expunction does not override restrictions on convicted felons, such as the rules around owning firearms
Who is eligible for expunging a DUI?
Most people convicted of a misdemeanor DUI are eligible, and some people convicted of a felony misdemeanor are eligible as well. The basic requirements are:
- You did not have to serve any state prison time (county jail is fine)
- You have completed all parts of your DUI sentence
- You have completed your DUI probation or gotten early termination of probation
- You aren’t facing any other criminal sentences or charges right now
If you meet these standards, you can request an expunction and will most likely have it granted. The best way to do this is to ask a DUI lawyer to file your expunction paperwork for you. You can also read our complete guide to expunging a DUI.
Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.