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Drunk Driving Criminal Records

Expunging (Clearing) a Criminal Record

Most drunk driving convictions are misdemeanors (involving no injury). But any person convicted of drunk driving - misdemeanor or felony - will have a subsequent criminal record. This record can affect an individual's life in many ways, including his/her chances for employment.

There is a common misconception that a drunk driving conviction will only remain on your record for five, seven or ten years. The truth is that drunk driving conviction will remain on your criminal record indefinitely. It will remain there forever for employers, credit bureaus, and government agencies to see unless YOU do something to change it.

Criminal background checks are frequently conducted in pre-employment screenings. A felony conviction will prohibit an individual from purchasing a firearm and carries other stigmatizing repercussions including limits placed on the right to travel to certain countries. Not all states let a person formally clear a criminal record (ie: Illinois), but you CAN still keep it from showing up on background checks. In some jobs such as in schools the entire criminal charge/arrest record is revealed to including "sealed records" and "expunged records."

Basic information about erasing (expunging) a criminal conviction from your record: When records of an arrest or conviction are sealed or expunged (a notation is made in the file that the records are off limits to all except law enforcement personnel), defendants can, for some purposes, treat the arrests or convictions as though they had never happened. The rules about who is eligible for expungement, and the effects of expungement, vary from state to state.

Note: If you have a San Francisco DUI criminal record, the Operation Clean Slate program (from the San Francisco Office of the Public Defender) can help you get your record expunged. In some instances the Public Defender will file the papers with the court for you. In other instances the Public Defender will refer you to an attorney who can help you through the process. Call Operation Clean Slate at (415) 553-9337 for details.

Find Out How to Clear Your DWI / DUI Criminal Record Yourself

A note from the makers of the "DUI Process" expungement manual: "You WILL be able to pass a criminal background check as it relates to your DUI or DWI records by following the information and steps in the DUI Process manual.

It took us 3 years of hard work and unimaginable aggravation to find some solutions. When we put all of our research together we found consistent patterns of success with certain activities, and began compiling "tricks" to getting through this process.

This manual is provided to help the person who was recently convicted of a driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated crime (DUI/DWI). By now you have undoubtedly heard from many people about how serious of a crime this really is. This manual in no way makes light of the serious nature of the crimes but merely serves as a guide to enable you to realize your mistakes and put them behind you.

Society as a whole can be very unforgiving and this manual if applied correctly will enable you to once again hold your head high and not suffer from the discrimination of a past crime. Once you can put these crimes behind you, you can move forward with your life. That is what life is about, moving forward and not backward."

Criminal Record Sample

The following is a sample of what an employer would see if they ordered a standard criminal record search on an applicant.

Subject Name: Doe, John

Social Security Number:

Date of Birth: 08/06/64

Jurisdiction / Location: Sacramento, CA

Search Type: FM

Yrs Searched - Higher Court: 01/06/94 - 01/04/01

Yrs Searched - Lower Court: 01/06/94 - 01/04/01

Result: Hit

Special Notes (if any):

Jurisdiction: Sacramento, CA

Report Type: Felony and Misdemeanor

Years Searched - Higher Court: 01/06/94-01/04/01

Years Searched - Lower Court: 01/06/94-01/04/01

Name Requested: Doe, John

Date Of Birth Requested: 08/06/64

SSN Requested:

AKA1 Requested:

AKA2 Requested:

Address Requested: --

Other ID Requested:

Name Found: Doe, John

DOB Found: 08/06/64

SSN Found:

AKA1 Found:

AKA2 Found:

Address Found: 4050 Fantasy Wy #001, Sacramento, CA

Other ID Found: DLN: AME880500000

Case Number: 99T03AME

Charge 1: 23152AME D.U.I. -(M) Dispo: Guilty. Charge 1 Sentence: 48 hours jail; 3 years probation; $1564.00 fine/fees; DUI offender program (amount of time not specified); attend victim impact panel (amount of time not specified)

Charge 2: 23152AME BAC over 8% -(M) Dispo: Dismissed.

Offense Date: 6/6/99

Arrest Date: 6/6/99

File Date: 6/22/99

Disposition Date: 7/27/99

Other Case Info:

ID Discrepancies:


Checking Your Driving / DMV Record

Driving records may include information about specific violations, license restrictions, class of license, convictions, and insurance cancellations.

Criminal records include a history of felony and misdemeanor criminal actions brought to the attention of the court, but do not necessarily represent an individual's total criminal history (for example, if a DUI charge has been expunged). These records generally include name, date of birth, charge description and disposition of the case(s).

Your criminal (court) and driving (DMV) records can be checked by other individuals and organizations to help determine your eligibility for things such as employment and insurance. A blemish on either the court or DMV record can damage your chances of being hired / approved or, in the case of auto insurance, it can raise the prices / premiums available to you. The court and the DMV keep separate records of offenses such as DUI / DWI. It is in your best interest to know what is on both your court and DMV records.

Many driving records contain inaccuracies. Such inaccuracies can cost a driver hundreds of dollars more per year in auto insurance. If your record has a mistake on it... then you could be paying more than you should for insurance premiums each year. Especially if you have been charged with a DUI / DWI, the last thing you need is a mistake that makes your record look worse.

The Insurance Research Council states that more than 22% of driving records contain mistakes. The mistakes exist for varying reasons but the most common reason is that speeding violations which have been dismissed (after completing a traffic school class) still show up on record. Other mistakes result from clerical errors where a person simply input the wrong information.

Only 14 states currently input driving history information electronically, while the rest still use ordinary paper and pen. Such a system is bound to produce errors.

If your job requires significant travel (especially with a company car), then it may be particularly important that you know what is on your driving record. Mistakes on that record could be costly.

A copy of your driving record can benefit you in a traffic courtroom as well. Although there may be a copy of your record already there, by bringing your own you demonstrate responsibility and a proactive nature to the judge.

Persons Who Are Inadmissible to Canada

Persons who have been convicted of a CRIMINAL OFFENCE in ANY COUNTRY may be INADMISSIBLE TO CANADA as a result of their criminal record. Even persons who do not require a Visa to enter Canada may still be refused permission to enter Canada if they are MEMBERS OF AN INADMISSIBLE CLASS.


Members of Inadmissible Classes include those who have been convicted of MINOR OFFENCES (including shoplifting, theft, assault, dangerous driving, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of illegal substances, etc.), or of INDICTABLE CRIMINAL OFFENCES (including assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, etc.). As well, those who have been convicted of DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED (DWI) are considered Members of an Inadmissible Class. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is regarded as an extremely serious offence in Canada.

Those who have received TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS (including parking/speeding tickets, etc.) and other minor violations (i.e. littering, etc.) most likely will NOT be prohibited from entering Canada. Similarly, those who have JUVENILE CONVICTIONS (convictions for crimes committed while under age 18) most likely will NOT be prohibited from entering Canada unless they could have been tried as an adult for their offences.

More Information: Inadmissible to Canada

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