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DUI Expungement in California

Once a motorist has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation or has been discharged prior to the termination of the period of probation, the court may in its discretion and interest of justice determine that the motorist’s driving while intoxicated conviction should be expunged. In doing so, the court shall permit the motorist to withdraw her guilty plea or nolo contendere plea and enter a not guilty plea. Or if she was convicted of driving while intoxicated after entering a not guilty plea, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty. In either case, the court shall then dismiss the accusation against the motorist and the she shall be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which she has been convicted.

However, if the motorist commits any subsequent offenses, the prior conviction may be pleaded and proved and have the same effect as if probation had not been granted or the accusation dismissed. Furthermore, the “expunged conviction” may be used as an enhancement for subsequent. For example, an expunged driving under the influence conviction may be used as an enhancement in the second driving while intoxicated. Furthermore, the motorist can only petition the court if she completes her probation. If the motorist was not admitted to probation, the judge had no discretion to set aside the conviction.

To expunge a conviction, after fulfilling the conditions of probation, the motorist must petition with the court to expunge her conviction. The court will, in its discretion and in the interest of justice, determine if expunging the conviction is appropriate. The motorist is required to reimburse the court, not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150), whether the record is expunged or not. Motorist is also required to reimburse the county for services rendered, not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150), whether the record is expunged or not. Motorist is also required to reimburse the city for services rendered, not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150), whether the record is expunged or not.

Having an expunged record means that the motorist is not required to informed employers about their prior conviction. But the motorist is still required to disclose the conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery.

§1203.4 can discharge a DUI from your personal record. But such expunge has no effect on subsequent DUI. For example, the motorist commits her first driving under the influence. She gets the conviction expunged. The motorist commits a second driving under the influence violation. The prosecutor can prove that the motorist was convicted of a prior driving under the influence. Using that previous conviction, the prosecutor can charge the motorist for driving under the influence a second time. Having an expunge record does not mean that the motorist never committed the crime, it only means that the motorist has no obligations to disclose prior criminal conviction

After completing probation, the motorist can petition the court to withdraw her plea of guilty or nolo contendere and enter a not guilty plea. If the motorist was convicted, the conviction will be set aside. Thereafter, the court shall dismiss the accusations against the motorist and release all penalties resulting from the conviction.

The Motorist is required to reimburse the court costs whether or not the petition is granted; but the cost shall not exceed $150. Whether or not the petition is granted, the motorist is also required to reimburse the county for services. Such services shall not exceed $150. The Motorist is also required to reimburse the city costs; such costs shall not exceed $150.


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