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2023 How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in California?

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DUI is a serious crime in California, and a conviction for driving while under the influence of drugs can result in heavy consequences. You’ll need a DUI lawyer when dealing with a DUI charge.

If the state convicts you of a DUI, you may wonder how long a DUI stays on your record in California. We’ve got the answer for you and will help you understand the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction.

How Long Will a DUI Stay on My Driving Record?

A DUI can stay on your driving record for up to ten years. The time starts after your arrest, not on the date of conviction. So, if it takes a few months before the conviction comes through, that time is counted as “time served.”

While you may wish to remove the stain on your driving record, there is no way to speed up the process. You will have to wait ten years for the DUI charge to no longer show on your record. You don’t need to do anything, as the charge automatically disappears after ten years of clean driving.

A DUI on your driving record won’t show up in background checks for most employers.

Consequences of a DUI on Your Driving Record

Having a DUI on file is more than just bad publicity; it can cost you in the long run. Insurance companies will know about your DUI conviction and use it as an excuse to raise premiums. Law enforcement will also be able to see your DUI conviction when they conduct a traffic stop and run your information through the database.

Additionally, you may have trouble the next time you head to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV may use a DUI on your driving record to decide on removing the suspension on your license.

Can I Remove a DUI Conviction From My Criminal Record?

Unlike your driving record, a DUI on your criminal record will be there indefinitely. A DUI won’t be wiped clean after ten years. If you choose to do nothing, the DUI will remain on your criminal record for the rest of your life. However, in some situations, you may be able to seek an expungement of the crime from your records.

An expungement means the offense will disappear from your criminal record and won’t show up in an employer’s background checks. You will also be in your rights to tell an employer you have no prior arrests after you have a DUI expunged from your record.

Expungements are not easy to receive and don’t truly remove the DUI from your records. Law enforcement can use a prior DUI against you in the event of a subsequent arrest, even if you expunge the first infraction from your records. As we said, there’s no way to remove a DUI from your driving records other than waiting for ten years.

Eligibility for an expungement requires you to meet a few criteria. You must not have served any jail time for the offense and should have completed probation requirements. Most DUIs fall under this umbrella unless there were injuries or you had a prior record.

What Does the Expungement Process Look Like?

It’s possible to handle an expungement request on your own, though having an experienced defense lawyer on your side makes the process easier.

You’ll need to obtain a copy of your criminal record first. This should have all the information you need to complete an expungement petition. Next, you need to fill out the petition and pay the fee to bring the matter to a judge. You then have to inform the prosecutor before you have your hearing with the judge.

Hiring an expungement lawyer is a way to make sure you handle all paperwork correctly. Any mistake you make in the paperwork may delay your petition for expungement.

Penalties for a DUI

DUI penalties vary depending on how many previous offenses you have and the nature of the incident. If there were no injuries and it’s your first offense, you may be looking at a fine between $390 and $1,000 with the possibility of up to six months of jail time. Many first-time offenders get off with no jail time.


Q: How Long Until a DUI Is Off Your Record in California?

A: A DUI stays on your driving record for ten years and on your criminal record indefinitely. You have to file for an expungement to remove the DUI from your criminal record. Having a lawyer on your side can help you with the process. There’s nothing you can do to remove the DUI from your driving record — you just have to wait ten years.

Q: Does a DUI Go Away After 10 Years in California?

A: DUIs disappear from your driving record after ten years. Once this period is up, insurance companies can no longer use the DUI against you when determining your rates. This also won’t be held against you at the DMV when discussing license suspension. A DUI leaving your driving record does not remove it from your criminal record.

Q: How Do I Get a DUI Off My Record in California?

A: For a DUI on your criminal record, you’ll have to file for an expungement to remove it from your record. California only grants expungements if the crime carried with it no jail time and the offender fulfilled all probation requirements. You can hire a lawyer or proceed with the expungement process on your own.

Q: Will a DUI Fail a Background Check in California?

A: A DUI on your criminal record will show up in background checks an employer conducts. You can petition for an expungement to remove the DUI from your record. A DUI on your driving record will not show up in background checks. Instead, insurance companies, law enforcement, and the DMV will have access to knowledge about your DUI.

Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP: DUI Defense Attorneys

DUI is a serious crime, and getting it expunged from your record may help with your employment status in the future. Contact us today at Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, for a consultation on any criminal defense matters.

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