Apart from the sentence meted out by the court, there are other long-term consequences to expect if you have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). For example, your driver's license may be revoked, potential employers may be uncomfortable with your record, and your auto insurance rates may go up. Luckily, you can avoid these consequences by having your DUI conviction expunged. Here are three tips to help you get your record expunged:
Following a DUI conviction, one of the sentences you may receive is to be sent on probation. This means that you get to stay in the community, in your house (as opposed to going to jail), while being supervised by a probation officer. There are usually terms and conditions that you must obey during the probation period. Such conditions include reporting to the probation officer, not handling weapons, and undergoing counseling, among others.
Probation lasts for a certain period, say one year. You can only apply for and (hopefully) get an expungement if you have completed your probation. Failure to observe the terms and conditions may increase your probation period, which automatically increases the waiting period for expungement.
Even if you weren't sent on probation (for example if you served some time in jail), it is still advisable to wait before applying for an expungement. This is because most states have a waiting period before your conviction can be expunged; it mostly ranges from a year upwards.
Pay Your Fines and Restitution
A DUI conviction may also require you to pay some monetary fines and restitution. The monetary fine acts as a punishment for the wrongdoing while the restitution goes to the victims of your DUI accident, if there are any. For example, if you veered off the road and damaged a shop's window, then you will be required to pay for the cost of repairing the wall.
Even if you have insurance, the sentencing judge may still order you to pay some money on top of the amount paid by your insurer. It would be very difficult to get your conviction expunged if you haven't paid this money.
Avoid Criminal Charges
Lastly, engaging in criminal activities jeopardizes your chances of getting your DUI conviction expunged. This may be the case even if the criminal activities are unrelated to your original charges. Therefore, it's important to avoid all criminal violations if you ever want to have your conviction expunged.
If you are done with the probation period and you think that you are eligible for an expungement, then it's advisable to enlist the help of a DUI attorney like Craig H. Lane, PC. The attorney will help you to satisfy the judge that the expungement will benefit society. This is necessary since an expungement isn't an automatic right; it is granted on a case-by-case basis.