In California, there are two primary laws pertaining to DUIs or driving under the influence: one that makes it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol and one that sets a limit of a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08% or less.
California also has separate categories for drunk driving while on probation and underage DUI. If you are either on probation for a previous DUI conviction or under the age of twenty-one, a blood alcohol content of only .01% or higher is unlawful.
What are the Effects of Having a DUI on Your Record?
Drunk driving laws vary widely across the country, and California has some of the strictest. In this state, DUIs are prior able offenses. What this means is that the penalties for a conviction become more and more severe with each consecutive conviction that takes place within ten years.
Within the ten-year period after an arrest, the DUI on your record is visible to the DMV or department of motor vehicles. This can affect their decisions about your driving license, such as increasing the risk of suspension. It is also visible to car insurance companies, which can increase your rates.
Can a DUI Be Removed from Your Record?
After a DUI arrest, the conviction will be on your driving record for ten years. This begins not from the time of the conviction but from the arrest itself. There is no way to remove it from your driving record during these ten years. Once the ten years have passed, the DUI automatically expires and no longer appears on your driving record, assuming you have no other convictions.
On your criminal record, as opposed to your driving record, a DUI stays permanently. The only way to get it removed is through expungement. Those with a DUI on their criminal record who have either completed DUI probation or did not serve jail time in state prison for their offense are eligible to pursue expungement. This is a process where a defendant is able to withdraw any guilty or no contest plea and reenter a not guilty plea. If they are successful, the DUI is expunged and removed from their record.
How Can You Get Your DUI Expunged?
Especially as the legal standard for expungement of DUIs in California is higher than most other expungements, hiring an attorney is critical. For an experienced California lawyer who can get you the legal help you need, please give us a call at (562) 462-9233.