How To Expunge A DUI Conviction In California

California, allows misdemeanor DUI’s to be expunged from your criminal record as well as some felonies as long as you complete certain requirements1.

What Are The Benefits Of Expunging A DUI Conviction?

Besides having your DUI conviction sealed from public view, you have the right to deny under oath and without penalty of perjury that you were not convicted of that offense.

Most employment applications and residential rental agreements request criminal conviction information and will usually conduct a background check in any event but your conviction will not appear on those databases.

Note as of January 1, 2018 AB 1008 prohibits employers from inquiring into an applicants criminal history before the employer has offered a conditional position to the applicant.

The employer cannot deny a postion to the applicant based on an expunged conviction.

What Will An Expungement Not Do?

The conviction remains on the court databases, Department of Motor Vehicles and law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and state law enforcement departments.

If you are charged with a subsequent DUI within 10 years of your prior conviction, the DMV will increase your license suspension.2

The expungement hides or seals your criminal record from the general public but you still have an obligation to disclose the conviction and expungement if you apply for a professional license or for public employment3.

This includes applying for a court or law enforcement position or the US military and for a real estate or state bar license.

An expungement, however, usually allows you to be eligible for a public or professional license (if not a felony).

What Happens if You Fail To Discolse A Conviction?

If you fail to disclose the conviction, your license or job application will likely be denied and you could face criminal perjury charges4.

Does An Expungement Reduce Your Car Insurance Rates?

It is important to note that an expungement of your DUI will not have an effect on your insurance rates with regard to your car insurance. An expungement of your criminal conviction does not seal or remove from insurance company databases your vehicle driving history and therefore does not effect the prices insurance companies will quote you for your car insurance.

Who Is Eligible To Have Their DUI Expunged?

There are certain requirements and conditions to meet before you can apply for expungement relief. Not all DUI convictions are eligible for expungement with the requisite condition being that no state prison time having been served.

A DUI can be a felony offense with potentially state prison time imposed if:

  1. You caused an accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death.
  2. A fourth conviction within 10 years is typically charged as a felony with a mandatory minimum 180 days of incarceration.

This is served in county jail rather than state prison. You may also be sentenced to county jail if your felony DUI involved a fatality although you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter with state prison time imposed as a sentence.

What do you need to qualify for expungement?

To be eligible for a DUI expungment you must meet the following eligibility requirements.

If I am still on probation can I apply for an early termination of probation.

Yes, you can apply for an early termination of probation and if the motion is granted you can then file for an expungement5. It is best to wait at least half of the probation period has expired before applying.

See If you are eligible for a DUI expungement with our free eligibilty test

  • Find Out if You Are Eligible To Have Your DUI Expunged
  • Stop Worrying About Employer & Landlord Background Checks
  • Don’t Let the Past Dictate Your Future

What Is The DUI Expungement Process?

It is usually best to retain a criminal defense attorney who can complete the paperwork and filing for you.

Do I need an attorney to help me with an expungement?

It is usually best to retain a criminal defense attorney who can complete the paperwork and filing for you.

Some people attempt to file expungements on their own only to make a mistake and have to spend more money by hiring an attorney to file a motion for reconsideration to fix their mistake and then have an attorney file an expungement on their behalf.

Do i need any records to file for expungement?

You will need a case number and preferably a minute order from the courthouse where you were found guilty or entered your guilty plea or plea of nolo contendre. If you do not have your information please contact our office and we can help you research your case.

What steps are taken in the process?

When applying for expungement relief,

  1. We will first file a petition for dismissal.
  2. If needed, we can also ask the court to file a motion to grant early termination of your probation.
  3. Submit an attachment to your petition where you can state that you have not committed any subsequence criminal offenses and have been a solid citizen in your community. Explain how the expungement will further your career to your own benefit and that of your family.
  4. We can still file the Petition for Dismissal even if you have to wait to serve the total term of your probation.
  5. All documents regarding the expungement will be timely served to the prosecution and probation departments to give them an opportunity to contest it as required by law.
  6. If granted, you will receive an Order of Dismissal.

Request A Free Consultation 818-351-9555 


  1. California Penal Code 1203.4 []
  2. Vehicle Code 13555 []
  3. Krain v. Medical Board (1999) 71 Cal.App.4th 1416 []
  4. People v. Viniegra (1982) 130 Cal.App.3d 577,587,584 []
  5. Penal Code 1203.3 []

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