Getting a DWI conviction may not seem like much at first glance, but it is one of the offenses that drivers in any state ought to avoid. The repercussions can often mean getting a revocation of your license, with long-term effects going as far as hindering your chances of employment or getting proper housing. It is for this reason that numerous individuals seek to get their DWI convictions taken off their records by a trusted DWI Lawyer in a bid to get back to their everyday life routines.
Understanding DWI Expungement
While not all DWI convictions qualify for expungement, numerous stand a chance to be taken off your record. DWI records will often be categorized into various classes, depending on the severity of the offense. If, for instance, you have a fourth-degree DWI, you are eligible for expungement two years from the date your sentence was discharged. Second and third-degree DWI convictions will, on the other hand, qualify for expungement four years after the date your sentence was discharged. These convictions are considered gross misdemeanors, hence the long wait times for expungement qualifications.
First-degree DWIs are often considered a felony in numerous states, with Minnesota being one of them. Due to this, getting an expungement for this conviction is currently not possible. Take note that even with the above-stated qualifications for fewer misdemeanors, getting a DWI off your record will not always be a straightforward process. Your DWI bail bonds expert still needs to make a solid case for your petition. Without a compelling reason, you will likely not qualify for an expungement.
Factors Considered In An Expungement
The presiding judge has the right to deny or expunge your conviction, with the state providing various guidelines to help the court reach this agreement. A few of these considerations include:
- The nature and the severity of the crime in question
- Any reported criminal record
- Any underlying risk and if the petitioner poses safety concerns to individuals and society at large
- Recommendations of victims and whether the victims were minors
- The duration of time after the crime has occurred
- Aggravating factors related to the DWI conviction. These will often be the context of the crime, the level of participation, and the circumstances related to the crime.
- The reasons for the expungement. These may be the petitioner’s attempt to obtain facilities such as housing or necessities such as employment.
- Any steps that the petitioner has taken towards rehabilitation after the crime has occurred
- Any recommendations from the law enforcement, correctional officers, or the prosecution
- The petitioner’s record of community involvement and employment
What Constitutes A DWI Expungement Process
A DWI expungement process is similar to any civil lawsuit, with the petitioner required first to file the petition. Next, you will be required to mail a copy of the petition for your expungement and the proposed expungement order to the prosecutor in charge of your offense. If there are any local or state agencies that will be affected by your expungement, you will be required to notify them of your petition.
The prosecutor in question will then be required to notify victims of DWI of your request to have the conviction removed from your record. In response to the petition, the prosecutor or any other agency has the right to submit relevant data to the court. This can include private information regarding your case. Following this, petitioners can have these records sealed from the public, ensuring you get the privacy you need. Your hearing comes next, in which the court determines the outcome of your petition.
Getting a DWI off your record is possible, with numerous individuals benefiting from successful expungement. The trick will, however, be to seek the services of an expert trained to handle such matters.