Were you convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in California? If so, your DUI conviction will appear on both your criminal record and your driving record. How long does it take for a DUI to come off your record in this situation?
Generally, DUI charges remain on your driving record for 10 years. During this 10-year period, the court considers the charge “priorable.” A priorable charge means it counts against you if you are accused of subsequent DUI offenses. Find out more about DUIs on your record now.
DUIs and Your Driving Record in California
DUIs stay on your driving record for 10 years in the state of California. Your 10-year period starts when you get arrested, not when you are convicted. All DUIs in the state of California are priorable. You face harsher penalties each time you are convicted of a DUI.
Many drivers do not realize how serious subsequent DUI offenses are. Let’s focus on the results of a first and second DUI to review the repercussions of a conviction. A first DUI in California may result in:
- Up to six months of jail time
- Up to six months using an ignition interlock device (IID)
- Up to nine months in DUI school
A second DUI within a 10-year period could result in:
- Up to one year of jail time
- Up to one year using an IID
- Up to 30 months in DUI school
The penalties for DUIs continue to increase with subsequent convictions. You can get help dealing with a first or subsequent DUI charge.
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DUIs and Your Criminal Record in California
A DUI conviction also remains on your criminal record in the state of California. A DUI charge does not automatically fall off of your criminal record. It stays on your record and may be visible to anyone who runs a background check. These parties could include:
- Potential employers
- Institutes for higher education
Criminal charges may impact your ability to get a job or a place to live in California. A conviction may even affect your chances of getting into the college of your choice. Make sure that you take DUI charges seriously, as they may have effects on your life for years to come.
Handle DUI Charges Before a Conviction
You can take steps to resolve DUI charges in California before you are convicted. This could keep DUI convictions off of your record. You can reach out to a DUI lawyer for help. Your lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced or even have them dismissed outright.
A lawyer could even take steps to defend you in the courtroom in California. Your lawyer may work on your defense by working to show that you were not driving under the influence. A lawyer may also take steps to demonstrate that you were stopped without reasonable cause. These defenses may help you handle DUI charges in court.
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Plea Bargaining for a Lesser Charge
Your lawyer may negotiate with prosecutors to help you get a plea bargain. A plea bargain requires you to admit guilt to another charge. The charge you accept may not be priorable. In this case, it would not count against you if you were charged with another DUI. However, a plea bargain charge will still appear on your criminal record.
The most common plea bargains for a DUI charge are wet reckless and dry reckless (reckless driving).
Wet reckless is a charge that only exists in a plea bargain. Typically, this is the initial offer that the prosecution is likely to extend to a defendant who is facing a DUI charge. A wet reckless is considered less serious than a DUI, and because of this, the penalties are less severe. However, this charge still indicates the involvement of drugs or alcohol and is priorable.
Dry reckless is another name for reckless driving and is the charge your attorney will most likely be pushing for in a DUI case. The penalties for dry reckless are similar to those for wet reckless. However, dry reckless does not indicate the involvement of drugs or alcohol and is not considered priorable.
A dry reckless plea bargain is the next best option to beating the charges against you outright.
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DUI Charges and Expungement in California
Some drivers focus on getting their DUI charges expunged after a conviction. Expungement “removes” charges from your criminal record. This means that a DUI conviction might not show up on background checks anymore. Note that only some charges in California may get expunged.
You should also be aware that expungement does not affect your driving record. This means that an expunged DUI remains priorable. It will continue to count against you if you are arrested for another DUI. Therefore, expungement may not always be the best choice for handling DUIs.
Avoiding a DUI Charge in the First Place
Of course, the best way to avoid having to worry about how long a DUI charge will stay on your record is by not getting charged in the first place. If you get stopped on suspicion of DUI, there are several steps you can take to reduce your chances of being arrested.
Some tips to follow during a stop include:
- Being respectful to the police officer
- Politely declining to answer questions
- Politely declining to take field sobriety tests
- Politely refusing any chemical test if you have not yet been arrested
These are just some of the things you should do if you get stopped by the police on suspicion of DUI in California.
Find Out How Long DUIs Stay on Your Record in California
How long does it take for a DUI to come off your record in California? It may take 10 years for a DUI to fall off of your driving record. These charges may remain on your criminal record indefinitely. Get help handling a DUI before a conviction with the Simmrin Law Group. Reach out to us by completing our online contact form. You can also call us today.
Allow us to go over your case with a free consultation. We’re ready to focus on your defense right now.