Expunge a DUI in California

Expunge a DUI in California

In California, as in many states, there’s an opportunity for individuals with past DUI convictions to cleanse their records through a process known as expungement. However, expunging a DUI in California isn’t a straightforward task. It’s surrounded by nuances and prerequisites that can make or break one’s application. The process involves a meticulous sequence of steps, from retrieving your conviction record to ensuring there are no new cases against you. Beyond the process, understanding the implications of probation violations and familiarizing oneself with the frequent reasons for expungement denial can be invaluable. This guide provides an in-depth look into how to navigate these challenges and the potential benefits of a successful DUI expungement in California.

How Do I Expunge a DUI in California?

Total Time: 2 days

Get a Record of Your Conviction from Court.

When you expunge a DUI in California, you will need a record of your conviction. This is the most important piece of the expungement process for a DUI in California. The Court record will have your date of your criminal conviction and case number. You will use this to prepare your petition for expungement in the next few steps. A link to the Orange County court’s website record check can be found on our resource page. This is an important step because without your criminal record you would not know the criminal conviction date on your case and your petition will be denied. 

Check whether or not you had a probation violation

Probation Violations will cause problems in your expungement process. Probation Violations are important because prosecutors use it to objection against a person or their attorneys when trying to expunge a DUI in California.  They use it as a reason to not go along because you either did not fulfill the condition o probation or had subsequent convictions after you were placed on probation. However, in California something as small as forgetting to pay a fine and having to come back can cause issues with your expungement petition.Orange County Warrant

Make Sure all Fines, Fees, and Obligations have been satisfied.

Most people take care of this. However, some jurisdictions require booking fees to expunge a DUI in California. These booking fees are not conditions of probation but they do affect your chances of success on an expungement. Before going to court, you will want to double check that all yoru fees have been paid. 

Be sure there are no new cases.

Having a new pending case will prevent your expungement from moving forward. Filing with a new case will only mean a rejection.

Fill out the forms with the information from your Court record or grab professional help. .

If you went thru steps 1-4 then you should have all the pertinent information for the purpose to expunge a DUI in California. You can forms from your local courthouse or use the judicial council form cr-180/cr-181.

File Cr-180 and C181 at Your Local Courthouse

You can take these to the courthouse and file them to expunge a DUI in California. Each courthouse has their own procedures. Some will give you a hearing date while others will tell you to watch the mailbox.

Why does a probation violation make it harder?

Penal Code section 1203.4 says crimes without violations shall be dismissed. However, there is an exception for DUI. Despite all DUIs being discretionary under 1203.4 the legal community carries the same line of reasoning into DUIs.

The court will look at the terms of probation and see if you made any violations. Even if you had no probation violations, many judges will deny because they can.  This makes it sticky as people who had no violations during their probation period are not awarded for good behavior and are often sent back with a expungement rejection letter from the court. 

What are the most common reasons prosecutors use to deny a motion to expunge a DUI in California?

The most common violations for denied expungement are  missing out on classes. Many people will have their expungement denied even for a first-time DUI conviction because they had too many absences. The expungement is denied even if they did not have any other criminal offense since the conviction and violation. 

 Other more common violations are driving around with a license suspension, not completing community service in time and not surrendering to the county jail when they are supposed to(many people do not surrender because they are still awaiting time for the home confinement application to get approved) . 

Most of these violations are minor as they do not involve jail time or a new case. However these honest mistakes make it more difficult because it  hinders a person’s chances of getting their form of relief in the the expungement process and  successful gainful employment. 

Where can I pay the booking fees to expunge a DUI in California?

Often times when a person has booking fees the court will not take payment. The booking fees are paid to the agency. CHP does not have booking fees. It is usually the police departments such as Anaheim or Newport.

What the most important things I need to expunge a DUI in California?

To Expunge a DUI in California you will need your court information, check for probation violation and have the right forms. DOJ Record Request for,

Are there any Advantages to Expunging a DUI in California?

The main advantage of Expunging a DUI in California is that you will pass your background check if it was your only criminal charge. In addition, if you are applying to become a nurse or one of the other professional licenses then the board can not old it against you.  You would still have to disclose it to the licensing boards but they can’t hold it against you by law. In addition potential employer will not be able to use your criminal charged against you. 

What to do if the court deny your DUI Expungement?

Picture of an order for a denied expungement in DUI

You will want to consider legal representation if the court deny your expungement application. A criminal defense attorney will be able to to help you out on your case or at least give you a more pinpoint reason as to why they court denied your expungement and what can be done about it.  Having a experienced lawyer in your corner will take away the headaches of going thru the process and if the expungement is granted then help you with job applications because there will no convictions and a clean record. 

Expunging a DUI in California offers numerous advantages, particularly in clearing one’s name for employment and professional licensing purposes. But the journey to a successful expungement can be riddled with potential pitfalls – from overlooked fees to probation violations. As such, understanding the intricacies of the process and seeking professional legal help can be the difference between a successful expungement and a denial. For those who have experienced a DUI conviction, taking the right steps, ensuring all obligations are met, and possibly consulting with an experienced lawyer can pave the way towards a fresh start.

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Hand down the best attorney I have ever worked with!!! My friend recommended Hieu because I needed to expunge something I did when I was young and dumb. Hieu is very humble, personable, and made me feel very comfortable. He's surprisingly funny too. Something not all lawyers are / can do. His pricing is very reasonable and he updated me on everything frequently. I highly recommend him!!!!

Lila K

I had interviewed many attorneys to discuss my very unfortunate situation that was set by someone I knew. Hieu Vu was the most honest, caring, and professional attorney with compassion and empathy I ever interviewed. HE REALLY HAD A HEART. His fees were very reasonable and he will fight for you not just for your dollars but because he cares for his clients... I would strongly recommend him if you feel your life is upside down. Things happen but we learn to become better person.

Mark K

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