The circumstances of this case involve a client who attempted her own DUI expungement. She believed that DUI expungement was automatic and simply required filling out two forms. However, her expungement was denied by the judges at the Santa Ana Courthouse.
Regarding our client’s general details, she is in her 30s and has a clean record, with the exception of a DUI. She did not incur any dui probation violations and successfully completed her DUI probation.
The legal issue our client faced concerned whether the judge would grant her DUI expungement. Despite her successful probation and lack of violations, the judge denied her expungement. Additionally, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office routinely objects to DUI cases without violations, presenting an extra challenge.
The legal complexities of this case involved DUI laws in California and their relation to expungement law. The vehicle code for DUIs in California is Vehichl Code 23152 and the Penal Code for expungement is 1203.4. The issue with 1203.4 is that it makes an exception for DUIs, allowing for discretionary decisions. This discretion often leads to denials of DUI expungement applications.
Our law firm, with its experience in expungements, adopted a different defense strategy. We used several reference letters and coached our client on obtaining additional reference letters. We also guided her in writing her own letters to the judge. This approach is based on our experience with previously denied expungements.
After being hired for her expungements, we refiled her petition, this time including additional supporting documents. We served these to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Superior Court.
Our thorough preparation, corrected paperwork, and inclusion of supportive statements led to a successful outcome. The judge reviewed the petition and agreed with our position, allowing our client to obtain her DUI expungement.
The specific actions we took, such as rebuilding the petition, obtaining supportive statements, and coaching the client in statement preparation, were crucial to the case’s outcome. Without these efforts, her expungement would likely have been denied again.
The impact of this case on our client’s life was significant. Before the expungement, she struggled to secure jobs due to her criminal record. Though the DUI did not end all opportunities, it caused difficulties, especially in close-call situations. She often suspected that her criminal record was a deciding factor in job rejections.
What are the common reasons for expungement denials at the Santa Ana Courthouse or other Orange County Courthouses?
Many expungements are denied at the Santa Ana Courthouse and others in Orange County for various reasons. A common one is submitting a simple pleading filed with the paperwork. People often think they can file two pieces of paper without supporting documentation and expect an expungement to be granted. This may be true in some cases, but not for DUI cases where relief under the Penal Code is discretionary. Judges in the Orange County court system often exercise their discretion to deny these expungements. Other reasons for denial include any probation violations.
How does your law firm’s approach to DUI expungements differ from standard procedures?
Our law firm’s approach to DUI expungements is unique as we coach our clients on how to write a letter to the judge. Additionally, we provide templates for our clients and their friends and families to craft these statements. We strive to set our clients apart from others, increasing the likelihood of a judge granting the expungement. We believe all our clients deserve the relief they seek.
What specific steps are involved in the expungement process in Orange County?
The expungement process in Orange County involves several steps. The first is confirming eligibility, including being off probation. If you are still on probation, this could pose a problem. The next step is ensuring all fines and fees are paid. Then, reviewing the record to assess the chances of success is crucial. After reevaluating the case, we prepare a strategy, including finding supportive individuals and coaching clients on statement preparation. Then, we gather all the necessary paperwork and prepare the petition. The final steps involve serving the petition on the prosecutor and filing the paperwork with the court.
Can you provide examples of successful strategies used in past DUI expungement cases?
Our successful strategies often involve redoing the petition. Other tactics include requesting a court hearing to present the case. When denied, we sometimes ask the judge for feedback on what they would like to see for a successful expungement. Pursuing a DUI expungement requires persistence and exploring various approaches.
How does a DUI record impact employment opportunities, and how does expungement change this?
A DUI record can be problematic for employment opportunities, especially when an applicant must affirm a conviction. This often places them at a disadvantage compared to equally qualified candidates without a record, leading to rejection letters stating another candidate was chosen. Expungement can remove this barrier, improving employment prospects.
What legal advice do you offer to clients who have previously had their expungement requests denied?
For those whose expungement requests have been denied, our best advice is to consult with an attorney. Contacting our office for a free consultation can help in reassessing and improving your case. Repeating the same approach without changes can be detrimental.
What are the costs associated with pursuing a DUI expungement through your law firm?
The costs vary depending on the case’s complexity. For misdemeanor DUI expungements, our law firm charges $950, assuming no probation violations. The presence of probation violations can increase these costs.
If you have experienced a denied expungement at the Santa Ana Courthouse or any Orange County Courthouse, please feel free to contact our office today to discuss your case.