Being charged with a DUI is about as serious as it gets. You could be looking at heavy fines, probation, loss of your driving privileges, and possibly even serve some jail time. Making matters worse is that a DUI conviction is not expungeable. In the state of Florida, anyone convicted of a crime cannot seal or expunge their record. This means you could miss out on a dream job, just because that DUI stays on your record. Expungement, sometimes called “expunction,” or “sealing a conviction” or “setting aside a criminal conviction,” effectively hides the DUI or DWI arrest and/or conviction in the eyes of the law.
So is attempting a DUI expungement a lost cause? Not entirely. You can only expunge a DUI if the charges are dismissed. So there is some hope. But if you cannot get it dismissed, then you can never expunge the DUI and the arrest. So even if you plea to a DUI, rather than get convicted of a DUI in a trial, an adjudication of guilt is mandatory. The best way to get a DUI dismissed is by having your defense attorney find cracks in the prosecution’s case. If law enforcement engaged in an illegal stop, or conducted an inaccurate or inapplicable field sobriety test, this could be your key towards getting the DUI dismissed.
Once your DUI charge has been dismissed (for example, say having it reduced to “reckless driving”), then you can have your record sealed. It’s not an easy process. It’s confusing and time consuming, but with proper guidance from an attorney who is experienced in DUI expungement, the arduous process is worth it.