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DUI Expungement in West Virginia

If a driver has a DUI charge on his record, there are options for the driver to try to expunge the charge. In West Virginia, expunging a DUI charge is possible only when proper steps are followed. Expunging the DUI charge off one’s record is the best possible solution for that driver, as it will adversely affect him in his job application, car insurance, and more if it stays on his record. A felony DUI conviction is the worst, as it can prevent an individual from purchasing a firearm and it imposes future repercussions such as putting limits placed on the   right to travel abroad. 

West Virginia DUI expungement is defined as “the type of post conviction relief where the finding of guilt is withdrawn, a judgment of not guilty is entered, and the DUI cleared, and record dismissed.” The driver, if his DUI conviction is expunged, will then be legally relieved of all penalties and disabilities resulting from the DUI offenses.

According to W. Va. Code §61-11-25, any person charged with a criminal offense may make a motion in the court where the charges were filed to expunge all records relating to the arrest, charge or other matters. However, no record in the DMV may be expunged. Also, any person who has previously been convicted of a felony can’t make a motion for expungement. The expungement motion must be filed 60 days after the order of acquittal or dismissal by the court. Then, following the filing of the motion, the court may set a date for a hearing. If the court does so, it shall notify the prosecuting attorney and the arresting agency of the motion and provide an opportunity for a response to the expungement motion. The court then may grant the motion and order the sealing of all records in the custody of the court and expungement of any records in the custody of any other agency or official including law-enforcement records.

According to W.Va. Code § 61-11-26, any person between the age of 18-26 may petition the court where his convictions are associated with, for an expungement of his conviction. Each petition must be made with the following information:

  1. Petitioner’s name
  2. Address
  3. Date of birth and Social Security Number
  4. Date of Arrest, the court of jurisdiction and criminal complaint, indictment, summons or case number
  5. The statute or statutes and offense or offenses for which petitioner was charged and of which petitioner was convicted
  6. The names of any victim or victims
  7. Whether there is any current order for restitution, protection, restraining order, or other no contact order
  8. The court’s disposition of the matter and punishment imposed, if any
  9. Why expungement is sought
  10. The steps the petitioner has taken since the time of the offense toward personal rehabilitation
  11. Whether petitioner has ever been granted expungement
  12. Any supporting documents, sworn statements, affidavits or other information supporting the petition to expunge.

The burden is on the petitioner to prove that 1) it is his first petition to expunge, 2) that it is made on time and requisite time period has passed since the conviction, 3) that petitioner has no criminal charges pending against him, 4) the expungement is consistent with public welfare, 5) the petitioner has evidenced that he has been rehabilitating and is law-abiding, and 6) any other matter deemed necessary for the court to make a determination regarding the petition for expungement. Upon expungement, the proceedings in the matter shall be deemed never to have occurred. The court and other agencies will reply to any inquiry that no record exists on the matter.

In order for a first time DUI offense to be expunged, the prosecuting attorney must first approve. If this approval is obtained, the defendant must have the IID installed and activated for 165 days (approximately 6 months). After successful completion of the program, the charges will be dismissed and the defendant will be placed on probation. After one year after successful completion of probation, defendants may have the charge expunged, but not from their driving record. There can only be one dismissal per person.

(The W.Va Code §§ 61-11-25, 61-11-26 have been submitted.)

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