Sometimes the criminal justice system allows someone to wipe away some previous charges. Through a process called expungement, a former error is no longer public knowledge. Law enforcement agencies can still find a charge on your record, but most background checks will not. One charge that many people are eager to remove from their records is a DUI. We have some bad news about the process though, and some more reasons you should seriously consider hiring a Mercer County first DUI lawyer when you are charged with this offense.
What is the Expungement Process for a DUI?
Expungement is normally a process that requires a hearing and multiple forms to be filed. It can be a bit of a hassle, but it is often worth it to get a charge off of your record. The problem is that a DUI charge cannot be expunged in New Jersey.
This is because expungement is generally reserved for criminal charges in this state. A DUI is considered a traffic offense. It does not go away,
How Can This Charge Impact Me?
The problem with this charge not going away is that it can impact you in plenty of ways, personally and professionally. The DUI stays on your record and could affect you when:
- You apply for jobs, especially if the job involves driving
- You seek out a professional license in your field of work
- You look for housing
- You apply for loans
Additionally, the existing DUI charge can make penalties for future DUI charges much harsher. You can take a quick look at the difference between common penalties for a first and second DUI charge to see what we mean. Your first charge can result in:
- Fines of up to $400
- Up to 30 days in jail
- The requirement to use an ignition interlock device for three months
Get pulled over for a second time and you could be looking at:
- Fines between $500 and $1,500
- Between two days and 90 days of prison time
- The requirement to use an ignition interlock device for one to three years
- A two-year suspension of your driver’s license
Penalties can be even more severe for repeat DUI charges after this. So a DUI charge can affect you personally, professionally, and financially, and it cannot be expunged. What should you do?
What Should I Do When I Am Charged for a DUI?
Your best bet is to fight the DUI charge and form the best possible defense that you can. You do not have to worry about expunging an offense if you never get convicted in the first place.
An experienced member of our legal team can help you. Contact the Law Office of Douglas Herring and do everything that you can to keep your record clean.