DUI Expungement in Tennessee
If you are convicted of a DUI in Tennessee, the conviction will remain on your criminal record indefinitely. The only way to get a DUI conviction expunged is if the charges against you were dismissed in court, you were found not guilty of driving under the influence, or you received a deferred disposition. A deferred disposition is a probation that allows you to keep the DUI offense from appearing on your driving and/or criminal record. The judge has the authority to set any standards for the probation that he/she deems appropriate. However, the following probation conditions must be imposed: participation in a DUI program, participation in a rehabilitation program (this is only available on second and subsequent offenses), restitution for anyone injured as a result of the DUI, and drug and alcohol assessment and treatment if you have a prior DUI conviction within the last five years.
If you meet one of the three criteria for expungement, you will need to go through the expungement process in order to have the conviction removed from your record. Under TCA § 40-53-313 or TCA§ 40-32-101, an individual eligible for expungement must petition the court having jurisdiction over the records for an expungement order. The court will then send a copy of the expungement order to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for entry into its database. The court will not be required to honor an expungement order dated on or after July 1, 1999 if the charge dismissed is classified as a Class B or C misdemeanor. The order must contain the name, date of birth, social security number, the offense that was dismissed and the date that the dismissal order is entered for the individual seeking expungement. Further, the individual will be required to pay a $50.00 fee. It is important to have your record expunged if you qualify because the information that the court has entered into your criminal record file will remain there unless you actively take steps to expunge your record. This means prospective employers will be able to find your DUI conviction on your criminal record if they conduct a background check. Once an order for an expungement has been made it may take two to six months to be completed.
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