If you have a DUI charge on record, it can be difficult to live your life the way you did before. Your reputation and employment prospects may be at risk. Many jobs require a background check, and a DUI conviction will most definitely show up.
It is possible to have your charge expunged with the help of a skilled Indiana DUI attorney. A fresh start is possible, so learn more about your options to free yourself from a past mistake.
What Is Expungement?
Expungement is essentially a legal route to removing a past conviction entirely. If a charge is expunged, it is as if it never happened at all. This process is especially common in juvenile court proceedings, though it is possible in many other cases.
Expungement is not the same as a pardon, though a pardon can make you eligible for an expungement. This option simply erases the charges from your record.
For example, DUI charges usually stack, growing in severity with each conviction. If your first DUI is expunged, it is as if it never happened to begin with. The charge is wiped clean from your record, either destroyed or sealed by a court.
Eligibility for Expungement
In Indiana, there are several situations where expungement is possible. If you were arrested but not convicted, you can have that arrest sealed or expunged. Certain felony convictions can be expunged if they are more than eight years old, and misdemeanors can be expunged after five years.
Arrests, criminal charges and convictions, forfeiture records, relief, trial and Appellate court records, and police reports can all be stricken from the records in certain circumstances.
Beyond just the time passed, several factors determine whether a person is eligible for expungement. Each record you want to be erased will have to be considered based on the severity and nature of the charge. Other factors related to the petitioner may be considered, but the best rule of thumb is that if you have served your sentence and stayed clean since your release from incarceration or from the outcome of the case, you should be eligible.
How to Get a DUI Charge Expunged
To get a DUI charge expunged in Indiana, five years will need to have passed since your charge. In those five years, you will need to have no further charges or any pending criminal charges. All fines will need to have been paid, including court costs. You will also have to pay the expungement filing fee. After that, your case will be decided, but if all these requirements have been met, you may be in the clear.
A felony DUI is different, however. You will need to avoid any further charges for eight years, and it may be more difficult to be granted expungement. The severity of the crime will be the biggest factor, so it is best to consult with a criminal defense lawyer before petitioning the court.
Reach Out to a Criminal Defense Attorney for Answers
When it comes to legal matters, there is no better choice than reaching out to a skilled lawyer. A criminal defense attorney will be able to assess your case and advise on the best path to expungement, if it is possible.
Wruble Law LLC is an experienced, skilled criminal defense law firm ready to provide the legal help you need. We have been serving Indiana proudly for over twenty years and are more than ready to relieve you of any old charges holding you back from your full potential. Reach out to us today by calling or using our online contact form.