Can I Expunge my California DUI?
DUI convictions ("drunk driving") are one of the most common criminal offenses in California. Violation of DUI or "wet reckless" provisions of the California Vehicle Code (§ 23152, 23153 or 23103.5 et seq) can cause long lasting problems in employment, licensing and quality of life. A DUI expungement helps to mitigate this mistake. Contrary to popular belief, a conviction for DUI in California does not 'drop off' your criminal record after a period of time. Clearing the California DUI conviction requires a petition in court, or it will stay on your record indefinitely.
Very importantly, you may honestly answer "NO" to a question regarding criminal convictions after the expungement. Once the DUI has been expunged, a prospective employer can not hold the DUI against you in hiring or promotion considerations. Expungement does not remove the DUI from your DMV record, however.
When can I expunge my California DUI conviction?
You are eligible to apply for an expungement at the end of your probation term- there is no 'waiting period' for a DUI expungement in California. You must have fulfilled all terms of your probation (such as Cal Trans, community service, payment of fines, and alcohol school). The law allows a motion for early termination of probation in DUI cases, but that is generally a difficult task as California law provides for a minimum three year probation, and Judges and Prosecutors do not want to appear 'soft' on DUI cases.
How much does a DUI Expungement cost?
Our fee for a misdemeanor DUI expungement is $650.00. This includes all legal work, Court appearances, and includes all court fees. Payment arrangements can be made. Felony DUI fee is $850.00, all inclusive, including a motion to reduce to misdemeanor as required.
How long does a DUI Expungement take?
Generally, these take between 3-4 months, but Courts vary. Please give us a call and we can give you a more exact time frame based upon your case. Be aware that delays can occur, and expungements are not a priority for courts, as there is no "time limit" for expungement petitions, while just about every other criminal court proceeding has time limits set by law.
Can I travel to Canada after my California DUI is expunged?
Yes. Canadian courts have held that Canadian immigration officers should give full effect to mitigation which was granted by the jurisdiction of the offense in question. See, Saini v. Minister of Citizenship & Immigration 184 D.L.R. (4th) 568. This means an expungement will allow you to be admitted to Canada without a problem. We have helped many clients achieve this travel goal. California Expungement is much quicker and less expensive that applying for a finding of rehabilitation to the Canadian Authorities.
Do I really need an Attorney?
Probably so. The legal standard for Expunging DUI cases in California is now higher than most other expungements. The court must now make a finding that the expungement is in "the interest of justice". The Court has more power to deny a petition for CA DUI expungement, and the prosecutor is more likely to object to a DUI expungement. This situation means experienced legal counsel is very crucial to success.
Attorney Doug Allen is uniquely qualified for California DUI expungement practice. He was a police officer in LA County for 13 years and made a number of DUI arrests. He then had, as an attorney, an active criminal defense practice and represented hundreds of California DUI defendants, and won several DUI jury trials. Those years of courtroom experience translate into insight and an edge in dealing with the court and prosecutors in DUI expungement cases. All cases are personally handled by Doug Allen, and he will be your only contact through the process. Expungement has been his only practice for more than a decade.
Some DUI Law Basics in Caliornia:
The law controlling driving under the influence of alcohol in California is the California Vehicle Code, specifically §23152(a) and 23152(b). These are commonly called the “DUI” or “Drunk Driving” statutes and you were probably charged with both offenses. Both are misdemeanors, and both have different elements to prove that you may have been driving a motor vehicle in violation of the law.
The first section, 23152(a), is the section that actually relates to driving impairment as regards to operating a motor vehicle. The jury instruction states that a person is under the influence of alcohol if: “The alcohol in the person's system affects their muscles, nerves, or ability to operate a motor vehicle other than that of a cautious, sober person” (Cal. 12.16).
- To prove 23152(a), the prosecutor must prove actual impairment. This means that you personally must be impaired for the purpose of operating a motor vehicle. This can be proved at a limit lower than the presumed limit, .08 percent. This means that if an individual has a very low tolerance for alcohol, they could, theoretically, be proved to be under the influence of alcohol for operating a motor vehicle even if their blood alcohol was substantially lower than .08 percent.
- 23152(b), relates to having a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or greater while driving a motor vehicle. This section is easy for the prosecutor to prove if there is a chemical test. Be aware that you can be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol even if you are not personally impaired. This is often seen in a low BAC case, where a person who is a social drinker can have a BAC of .10 and not be impaired. However, the law presumes impairment at .08 percent and on up. That means if you are a .09, are not impaired but are driving a motor vehicle, you are in violation of the DUI law.
California DUI Expungement Consultation 800 495 2819