One of the most pressing questions for most first time DUI offenders, is when and if you can eliminate charge through expungement. A DUI can affect many different areas of your life, and can reflect on you in a negative way. For this reason, many people hope to make it go away. In most cases, it can be quite difficult to remove a DUI from your record. But, that’s not to say it’s impossible. So, let’s discuss how and why you might be able to remove a DUI/DWI from your record…

Expungement of DUI: How and When Could I Do So?

If your DUI is dismissed, or you’re found not guilty— the charge can be dismissed quite immediately. However, if you plead guilty, the process is a bit more difficult. But, as we’ve said, it’s not impossible by any means. Under these certain circumstances listed below, you can file for an expungement and have the charge removed from your record. The first step to expungement, is to file for one through the court. Every case is different, but there are some circumstances that make the court more likely to grant your request.

Age at the time of the crime

Age at the time of the crime, as well as how long ago you committed the crime, are some of the most important factors. In fact, NC law says that the conviction must be fifteen years old for you to dismiss it. However, an important thing to remember is that the DWI still applies to your record for 7 years. This means that if you get another DWI within 7 years of your last one, you can face more serious charges. Ultimately, the younger you were at the time of the stop can make a big difference in whether or not they grant the motion.

Qualifying convictions

Since each case is different, your expungement largely depends on the circumstances surrounding your DWI. But in most cases, the court will expunge first time drug or alcohol charges. As long as you completed any classes or programs and paid all of your fines, the court will highly consider this.

Current criminal record

You cannot have any pending charges against you, felony or misdemeanor, when you file for expungement. Not only does this reflect poorly, it makes the process almost completely unlikely. Multiple prior offenses, or current charges against you, are some of the more damaging ‘red marks’ you can have in this scenario. in terms of the court, it tells them that you ‘haven’t learned from your mistake’.

Pay the fees

Other than meeting these qualifications, you’ll have to pay the associated fees that come along with an expungement. After paying those fees, and submitting the appropriate paperwork, you can officially fill out an application without having to check that pesky box about having a conviction! Now, get back out on the road, drive safely, and drive sober.