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In California, How Long Does A DUI Stay On Your Record?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that can have long-lasting consequences for individuals in California. One of the most pressing concerns for those who have been convicted of a DUI is how long the offense will stay on their driving record. In California, a DUI conviction will remain on an individual's driving record for at least ten years, which can have implications for insurance rates, employment opportunities, and more. Fortunately, there are steps that individuals can take to clean up their driving record after a DUI and potentially mitigate the impact of the offense.



In this article, we will explore the different ways in which individuals in California can clean up their driving record after a DUI. We will examine how points on a driver's license are affected by a DUI, as well as the implications of new DUI charges and prior DUI charges. Additionally, we will discuss the process for removing a DUI from an individual's criminal record and the potential benefits that come with doing so. By understanding the options available for cleaning up a driving record after a DUI, individuals can make informed decisions about their legal and personal circumstances.


Cleaning up Your Driving Record After a DUI

A DUI in California remains on your DMV driving record for 10 years from the date of your arrest, and it can be seen by law enforcement officers as well as within the DMV. This record is used to make decisions about your driver's license, such as whether you are eligible to reinstate a suspended license. It's also worth noting that while a DUI is not typically included in a background check for employment, some employers may still require you to disclose any criminal convictions or driving offenses on job applications.

While you cannot remove a DUI from your driving record in California, you can take steps to mitigate the impact it has on your driving privileges. This may involve fulfilling all the requirements of your sentence, requesting a hearing with the DMV to reinstate your license, and demonstrating responsible driving behavior. It's important to consult with a legal professional for specific guidance regarding your situation.


Points on Your Driver's License for a DUI

Every driver in California knows that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) keeps track of risky driving behavior with a “point” system. All drivers start out with 0 points, but certain infractions, like DUI or causing an accident, can make you accrue them. Having too many points can hurt you in two ways. Not only will it raise your car insurance rates, but also it can get to the point where your license is suspended. 

Generally speaking, it takes 4 or more points within 12 months, 6 or more within 24 months, or 8 or more within 36 months for your license to be suspended. DUI convictions are the most serious kind of violation and add two additional points to your driving record – and unfortunately these remain on your record for 13 years; there is no way to reduce this period. However, if you have received other traffic tickets that have caused you to accrue points, you may be able to take traffic school classes that could potentially reduce your overall point count.


New DUI Charges and Prior DUI Charges

Under California law, the "lookback period" for DUI convictions is 10 years. This means that any previous DUI conviction that occurred within the past 10 years will be used to aggravate the penalties of a subsequent DUI conviction.

If your previous DUI conviction was more than 10 years ago, it cannot be used to enhance the penalties of your current DUI charge. However, it is important to note that the conviction will still remain on your record, and it may have other consequences, such as affecting your ability to obtain certain types of employment or to obtain a professional license.

It's always important to take DUI charges seriously and to seek the advice of an experienced DUI attorney if you are facing a DUI charge. An attorney can help you understand the potential consequences of a conviction and may be able to help you mitigate the penalties. Additionally, an attorney can help you understand the legal options that may be available to you, such as plea bargaining or fighting the charges in court.


Remove a DUI from Your Criminal Record

Expunging a DUI conviction can be a way to remove it from your criminal record and potentially mitigate some of the consequences of having a DUI on your record. However, it is important to note that the DUI conviction will still be considered a prior conviction for purposes of aggravating the penalties of any future DUI convictions that occur within the 10-year period.

Additionally, it's important to understand that the process of expungement can be complex and may require the assistance of an experienced attorney. Not all DUI convictions are eligible for expungement, and the process can involve filing a petition with the court and attending a hearing. A judge will consider factors such as the nature of the offense, your criminal history, and your rehabilitation efforts before making a decision on whether to grant the expungement.

If you are considering expunging a DUI conviction, it's important to consult with an experienced attorney who can advise you on the process and your eligibility for expungement. An attorney can also help you understand the potential consequences of expungement and the implications it may have for future DUI charges.


Our Final Thoughts

In California, a DUI can have long-lasting consequences on your driving and criminal record. However, there are ways to mitigate the impact of a DUI on your record. To clean up your driving record after a DUI, you can attend traffic school or request an expungement of the conviction. Points on your driver's license can be reduced by completing a DUI education program. It is important to note that new DUI charges and prior DUI charges can lead to increased penalties and consequences. Finally, removing a DUI from your criminal record may be possible through a petition for dismissal or a certificate of rehabilitation. By taking proactive steps to clean up your record, you can move forward from a DUI conviction and avoid future legal complications.



Do You Need a DUI Lawyer You Can Trust?

With Lynn Gorelick you don't have to face criminal charges alone. You will receive personal attention to your case. Ms. Gorelick will be the one to appear in court with you from beginning to end. Ms. Gorelick, herself, will be doing your DMV hearings. You will not be handed off to another attorney or associate. You deserve this kind of attention to your needs at this stressful time. Ms. Gorelick has represented people charged with DUI for over 38 years.  She has NEVER been a prosecutor who pursues convictions. She has only DEFENDED people accused of crimes. Contact us today for your consultation!


The materials available on this website are for informational and entertainment purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.  You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments.  No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this website and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law.



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