Talking About Family Court Proceedings

A Clean Slate: Seeking Record Expungement After A DWI Charge

If you've been convicted of a DWI, it can be devastating to learn the fines, jail time, and/or probation you had to undergo is just the beginning of your punishment. In all areas of life, having a DWI on your record can severely hamper your ability to grow. If you need to be able to move past your conviction, it may be time to consider filing to have your criminal record expunged.

Why Should You Pursue A Clear Record?

Having a DWI on your record may have been making your life harder without your knowledge. Applying for jobs as a convicted criminal, for example, greatly reduces your chance of being hired. When a background check pulls up the DWI records, your potential employers may not care how long ago the offense occurred or what the details of the conviction were. When they pit your resume next to an equally qualified candidate with no record, you're not likely to get the job.

Having your criminal record expunged means not only are you legally considered to have never committed a crime, but that all record of your crime is either sealed away or destroyed completely. This means you can honestly say you have never been convicted of a crime on applications for work, and background checks employers run on you will come up squeaky clean. In essence, expunging your record is the government's way of giving you a second chance.

The benefits don't stop at new jobs either. Qualifying for loans, insurance, and home mortgages can be much more difficult with a criminal record. Banks and other financial institutions don't want to lend their money to people they perceive as risky, so you could be turned away or faced with a huge deposit. With an expunged record, you'll be seen as a much safer client, and it will be easier to qualify for these services without handing over hefty fees.

How Long Do You Need To Wait To Have Your Record Expunged?

Your wait time before you can petition to have your record expunged depends on several factors, including the following:

  • Severity of the DWI charge.
  • Time since conviction.
  • Whether you have been convicted of any other crimes since the DWI conviction.
  • Your state.
  • Whether you have already attempted to petition for expungement. 
  • Your age when convicted of the DWI charge.

In general, people who are convicted of minor DWI charges, are minors, or have never before committed a crime may be eligible for immediate record expungement at the discretion of the court. If immediate expungement is not granted, you may need to wait anywhere between 1 year and over 10 years before you qualify to have your record cleared. 

What If You Have Other Convictions?

Have your record expunged when you also committed other crimes is much more difficult, but not impossible. Your chances are higher if you haven't broken any laws since your DWI. In general, chances of expungement with other crimes are best when the crimes are misdemeanors or other minor charges, the conviction took place several years ago, and you have already paid all fines and served all sentences required, including probation.

If you have committed more serious crimes, many crimes, or a recent crime, you will likely have a tough time getting your record expunged. If you are a felon or your DWI was a felony, it will be nearly impossible for you to get a clean slate.

Don't let a DWI destroy your life. Talk to a qualified DWI attorney about getting your record expunged and you may be able to start fresh. Don't be discouraged: you'll never know what's possible until you consult with an expert. Click here to find out more.

About Me

Talking About Family Court Proceedings

Hello, my name is Bridget Waller. Welcome to my site about family court proceedings. My involvement in family court was not a welcome one. Despite the difficulties experienced during that time, I focused on building my knowledge about family court proceedings rather than let the process bring me down. I created this site to share my knowledge with you all, in hopes that I can help others navigate family court proceedings with ease. I will explore every phase of the court process in great detail to help others better understand the proceedings. Please come by my site regularly to learn more. Thanks.