A DUI conviction can have lasting results that may impact many aspects of your life long after the police pull you over. Things you may not have even considered will likely be affected, including employment, rental applications, background checks, and auto insurance, just to name a few.
DUIs in California: How Long Do They Stay on Your Record?
DUI laws differ from state to state. Generally speaking, a DUI will stay on your driving record for no less than five years. In California, a DUI conviction will stay on your driving record for at least ten years, but it will remain on your criminal record permanently.
How Does a DUI Affect Your Driving Record?
The DMV will have access to your DUI record for ten years plus from the date of your arrest. Law enforcement officials and the DMV use this record to make decisions involving your driver’s license, such as whether your suspended license is eligible for reinstatement.
California’s point system tracks risky behavior behind the wheel. All drivers start with zero points, but as you incur infractions like speeding, causing an accident, or getting a DUI, you accumulate points. The more points you have, the more impact you’ll start to feel financially and in other ways. For example, a high number of points will usually result in more expensive auto insurance. You could also face a license suspension if your points get too high, known as a “negligent operator”
DUI is in the highest point category, adding two points to your license. These points also take the longest to get rid of, sticking around for 13 years before they finally fall off. Although there is no way to remove DUI points from your driving record, there may be ways to remove other points you’ve accumulated so you can lower your overall threshold. For instance, points incurred from speeding tickets can often be removed by attending traffic school.
What Happens if You’ve Already Had a DUI in California?
California assigns increasingly harsh penalties for first, second, and third DUI offenses. Any DUI you’ve received in the last ten years will be computed when the court reviews your record. If you received a DUI 9 ½ years ago, and you were recently arrested for drinking and driving, this will count as your second offense because the initial arrest happened less than ten years ago. Because of this, your penalties and fines will be harsher than they would be if your first offense had aged beyond ten years.
Can You Expunge a DUI from Your Criminal Record?
In California, a DUI is not just a traffic offense – it’s also a criminal offense. Minor DUI violations are typically recorded as misdemeanors; however, depending on the severity of the incident, you could face felony charges.
A DUI stays on your criminal record permanently. That said, an attorney may be able to help you expunge a DUI if you meet certain criteria, such as the following:
- You’ve already served all penalties;
- You were not mandated to a state prison sentence;
- You are not currently facing any other criminal charges.
If you’ve been charged with DUI, it’s best to seek legal counsel sooner rather than later.
Contact Jon Artz today if you need to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. The fastest way is by calling: 310-820-1315.