If you have ever been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or certain other crimes, expungement is available. Essentially, an expungement is a legal process that can “clear” your criminal record. If it is done correctly, expungements can remove many of the obstacles created by a criminal record, such as the ability to work at certain places and in certain professional fields.
At the Santa Clara criminal defense law firm, we have a great deal of experience defending people charged with many different crimes. We have the legal abilities and skills to help you get your criminal record expunged or sealed. This process starts with filings in the original court where a conviction occurred. Misdemeanors and minor felonies can usually be expunged. The relief available will vary from case to case, however, depending on the actual charges and the penalties that were imposed. Cases involving a serious felony require a different approach and it is important to note that some criminal convictions cannot be expunged.
Expungement of a DUI under California Penal Code 1203.4
California's Penal Code 1203.4 does allow expungement of misdemeanor DUI convictions. In part it states:
“[The DUI offender shall]…be permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty; or, if he or she has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty; and, in either case, 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 of which he or she has been convicted, except as provided…”
Under Penal Code 1203.4, a misdemeanor DUI convict who has been granted probation may be able to expunge the conviction. This expungement is available if the DUI offender has fulfilled all of the requirements of probation or has been discharged before the end of the probation term. Expungement relief may also be available if the court decides at its own discretion that the DUI offender should be granted it.
How Long Before I can get my Conviction Expunged?
In most misdemeanor cases, the expungement process can take from two to six weeks from the initial filing of the application with the court where the conviction occurred. In felony cases, the process may take from four to six weeks from the date of initial filing.
Do I need a Santa Clara Criminal Defense Attorney?
There are many obstacles and complexities involved in the process of expunging criminal records. Having an experienced Santa Clara criminal defense attorney means you have someone who knows what to do and can handle everything for you when these obstacles come up. As highly-qualified and professional Santa Clara criminal defense attorneys, we can give you the guidance and legal know-how to get your eligible convictions expunged. We even offer online Santa Clara case reviews. Get in touch with us today and start living a new life – free from a criminal record!