California law allows a person who has been convicted of a DUI (or “wet reckless”) to have that DUI expunged. A California DUI expungement is a legal process where one can withdraw their plea or finding of guilt, enter a not guilty plea, and order the case dismissed. The decision to grant or deny the petition to expunge a DUI is at the discretion of the judge and the decision may be opposed by the district attorney’s office for the relevant county. If the motion is opposed, the district attorney will have to file a formal written motion and a court hearing will be scheduled to hear the merits of the case. Should this occur, it is important that an attorney attend the hearing and argue on your behalf.
Once granted, a DUI expungement changes and updates the disposition of the case to reflect a dismissal under Penal Code 1203.4. This means that the court file, the California Department of Justice, and the FBI update their files to reflect that a plea of “not guilty” has been entered and that the case has been ordered set aside and dismissed by the court.
After your misdemeanor is expunged, you will be eligible for our Criminal Record Database Update service and we can update your criminal record with over 600 different private background check companies. This will greatly increase the likelihood of passing future employment background checks.
A DUI can be expunged under subsection (c ) of Penal Code 1203.4. PC 1203.4(c) provides that “if a defendant who was convicted of a violation listed in paragraph (1) [i..e dui and “wet reckless” convictions] petitions the court, the court in its discretion and in the interests of justice, may order the relief provided pursuant to subdivision (a) to that defendant.
In other words, in DUI and “wet reckless” cases, the court has complete discretion to grant or deny an expungement, even if you did not violate your probation in any way.
*Prices do not include court filing fees. Fees vary from county to county and range from $0 – $150. For more information on filing fees for this service, please visit our California Court Expungement Fees page. Additionally, If you violated any of the terms of your probation there is an additional charge of $200.
There are a number of benefits to having your DUI or “wet reckless” conviction expunged. Most importantly, on an application for private employment, you can truthfully answer that you have never been convicted of a crime as long as all crimes that you have been convicted of have been expunged.
Your DUI expungement will not affect your obligation to disclose the conviction when applying for a state license. However, you may inform the licensing agency that you have had your DUI expunged and it will increase that likelihood that you are able to obtain the license.
Lastly, after your misdemeanor is expunged, you will be eligible for our Criminal Record Database Update service and we can update your criminal record with over 600 different private background check companies. This will greatly increase the likelihood of passing future private employment background checks.
The DUI Expungement Process
- Attorney Scott Dicus will gather information about your case from a variety of sources.
- Mr. Dicus will review your case and determine the most effective and most expeditious course of action.
- In all DUI and Wet Reckless cases, a supporting declaration will be prepared for you to review and sign (this way it is not required that you go to court).
- Mr. Dicus will prepare the petition along with all supporting exhibits and attachments.
- A proposed order will be provided to the court.
- The complete petition is filed with the appropriate court, a hearing is scheduled, and the prosecuting agencies are notified.
- Mr. Dicus will follow up with the prosecuting agencies to determine if there is any opposition.
- Mr. Dicus will attend the hearing to argue on your behalf and counter any opposition provided by the prosecuting agency’s attorney.
- Our office will follow up with the court after the hearing to ensure that the clerk has processed the order and notified the Department of Justice.
- Once the order granting your expungement has been signed by the judge, Mr. Dicus will obtain a copy of the order and provide you with evidence of the expungement for you to keep with your records.
- Mr. Dicus will notify you of your eligiblity for our Criminal Record Database Update service, which we provide at a discounted rate for QikLaw clients.
- Once the expungement has been granted, you can begin telling most potential employers that you have never been convicted of a crime.
* Note that because each case is unique and there are some procedural differences for each county in California your case may not follow our process outline exactly.
Why is a DUI expungement different from a regular misdemeanor expungement?
In 2007, the California legislature changed the expungement laws to make it more difficult to get a DUI expunged. Even if you never violated probation, paid all fines and fees, and completed all alcohol classes, an expungement is not automatic. You must convince the judge that it is in the “interests of justice” to expunge your DUI. Because of these additional requirements, we charge a little more to cover our costs. However, if you never violated probation and paid all court fines and fees, you are still eligible for a 100% money back guarantee of our attorney’s fees.
Does a DUI fall off my record in 7 or 10 years?
A DUI will fall off your driving record after 10 years, but your criminal record will remain unaffected. In order to change your criminal record, you will need to have your DUI or wet reckless expunged.
Will an expungement remove a DUI from my driving record?
A DUI expungement will NOT remove the points from your driving record. The DMV is separate from the California criminal courts and a DUI falls off your record after 10 years. However, many of our clients have been able to lower their insurance rates after faxing a copy of the expungement order to their insurance provider. Also, if you are having trouble with insurance, contact our office and we can save you a lot of money by referring you to insurance companies that specialize in insuring those who have been convicted of a DUI.
Can I travel to Canada after my DUI is expunged?
It is true that Canada considers a DUI to be a felony under Canadian law. This causes trouble many people with a California DUI conviction when they try to cross the border into Canada. While getting a DUI expunged will not guarantee entry into Canada, an expungement will show the Canadian officials that the matter has been resolved and that it is no longer considered a conviction. Your odds of not being denied entry into Canada improve drastically after you expunge your DUI conviction. Many of our clients have reported to us that after their DUI was successfully expunged, they had no problem entering Canada.
How long does it take to expunge your record in California?
This depends on what county and court has jurisdiction over your case. In some counties, a case be expunged in 15-30 days. In other counties, the process can take up to three months. If you would like to know how long the process takes in the county of your conviction, do not hesitate to reach out to attorney Scott Dicus, as he is familiar with the nuances in every court in California.
Do you accept payments?
In most cases we do accept payments. However, all fees must be paid before the case is completed.
Why are court filing fees not included in your prices?
There are two reasons.
First, our firm does not include filing fees in our prices because many counties do not charge filing fees (other law firms don’t tell you this), and filing fees vary from county to county. It does not make sense to charge someone in Alameda or Riverside County (no filing fees) the same price as someone in Santa Clara County (filing fees are $150). Most of our competitors charge a flat rate, regardless of whether or not there are filing fees, and we do not believe this is fair to our clients.
Second, we do not include filing fees because many of our clients elect to file a request to have filing fees waived. If you are currently unemployed, or only working part-time, the court may determine that you do not need to pay any filing fees at all. This saves you money, and it is our goal to make the expungement process as painless and affordable as possible.
What happens after my California criminal record is expunged?
After the expungement is complete the court will change the disposition of the case to reflect a dismissal under 1203.4 of the Penal Code. The court clerk will then notify the California Department of Justice and the FBI and they will update their files to reflect a new plea of “not guilty” being entered and that the case has been ordered dismissed by the court. However, general commercial background searches, like most private employers conduct, will show no criminal record. At this point our office will send you a court order signed by a judge indicating that your record was expunged. We will also notify you of your eligiblity for our Criminal Record Database Update service, which we provide at a discounted rate for QikLaw clients.
What if my case gets denied?
Mr. Dicus personally reviews all cases and will only take a case if he believes that he will be able to obtain a favorable result. In the unlikely event that your case is denied, Mr. Dicus will evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. If he determines that refiling is the best course of action then he will do so at no extra cost to you. If not, then you will receive your money back through our money back guarantee.
Metropolitan Court in Downtown Los Angeles – Successfully expunged two separate DUI cases from 2009 and a driving on a suspended license case. LA City Attorney strongly objected, but all three petitions were granted.
2011 Orange County Harbor Justice Center DUI expunged three days after probation expired.
Tulare County – 2007 DUI expunged over District Attorney’s opposition
Riverside County – Indio Court – Expunged DUI with probation violations from 2009, over the opposition from the DA’s office
Orange County – Harbor Justice Center – Expunged DUI Conviction from 2010
Marin County – Expunged wet reckless conviction from 2005
San Bernardino County – San Bernardino Court – Recalled bench warrant for client’s violation of probation, terminated probation, and expunged misdemeanor DUI conviction
Orange County – West Justice Center – 2009 DUI and misdemeanor weapon possession expunged
Orange County – Harbor Justice Center – DUI Expungemet – Case From 2009
Los Angeles – West Covina – DUI from 2010 Expunged
San Diego – South/Chula Vista – DUI from 2009 Expunged
Santa Barbara – Figueroa Division – DUI from 20087 Expunged
Early Probation Termination and Expungement of a DUI in San Mateo County, South San Francisco Courthouse
Client was convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in 2010. Our office was retained to motion the court to end probation early and have the dui expunged for both employment and immigration purposes. At the same hearing in January, 2013, over the objection of the District Attorney, we convinced it was in the interests of justice to end probation early and expunge the DUI conviction.
Obtained an expungement of a DUI misdemeanor conviction in Orange County that had previously been denied when client had tried to do it themselves
Our client had previously tried to expunge his misdemeanor DUI conviction himself, but his petition had been objected to by the District Attorney’s office and denied by the judge. We took the case and in less than 3 weeks we were able to get the judge to reconsider his previous ruling and grant the petition.
No Credit Check Cell Phone Plan
Early Probation Termination & Expungement of a DUI in Long Beach, Los Angeles County
Client was convicted of a DUI in 2010. Client was not a citizen of the United States, but had started the process of citizenship. He was told by his case investigator that his petition would be denied in 30 days unless he could show that he was no longer on probation. In just over 15 days, and over the strong objection of the District Attorney’s office, we convinced the judge to end terminate his probation early.