A DUI conviction can have a serious impact on your life. It may cost hundreds in fines, may negatively affect your insurance rates, and may even affect the jobs at which you can work. (As an example, a DUI on your record will probably prevent you from driving for Uber or Lyft.) That’s why it is important to contest these matters vigorously. Ideally, you should take immediate action and retain a knowledgeable San Francisco DUI attorney to handle your case. Even if you didn’t, though, and you got convicted, you may still be able to benefit from the process of expungement.Expungements may be available both for people convicted of DUI and for those convicted of “wet reckless.” The process for obtaining an expungement for DUI or wet reckless is laid out in Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code.
In order to pursue a DUI conviction expungement, you’re going to have to meet certain eligibility requirements. You have to have completed probation successfully. In addition, you must have received a sentence that did not involve serving time in a state prison (as opposed to a county jail). Assuming you meet those requirements, you have to file a document asking the court to expunge the conviction. The court will hold a hearing. If your judge grants the expungement request, the case is dismissed, and the conviction is removed from your record.
You may have heard about California’s “ban the box” law. The California Fair Chance Act, which became effective this year, prohibits employers from asking about a job applicant’s criminal history as part of the initial application process. However, that doesn’t mean that an employer can’t ask about criminal history, including DUIs, at all. An employer absolutely can ask about a candidate’s criminal history after the employer has issued the candidate a conditional offer of employment. Even now that the new law is in effect, an expungement of your DUI is still potentially highly valuable. Without an expungement, you could have to divulge your DUI or wet reckless conviction after the employer has conditionally offered you a job. With an expungement, you generally do not have to divulge that DUI or wet reckless conviction at all.