Every human being makes mistakes. Getting a DUI conviction is one of the most common mistakes we can make. But that conviction does not need to follow you around for the rest of your life.
California law allows many criminal convictions to be permanently removed from the public record. This is called expungement. The convicted person is allowed to withdraw their guilty plea and the case is dismissed. Once completed, you no longer have to admit to the conviction for things like job interviews or applying for loans.
Although not all criminal convictions can be expunged, a DUI is one of the convictions which can be. Even if the DUI is a felony conviction, if you did not spend any time in prison for it, you may be able to have it removed. Also eligible is a “wet reckless”, or alcohol-related reckless driving offense.
To qualify for a DUI expungement, you must have completed all the terms of your probation successfully. If you are still on probation, you must either request that it be terminated early or wait until the probation period is over before applying for your expungement.
Even if your probation has ended for the DUI conviction, you cannot be on probation for any other offense at the time you apply. Similarly, there cannot be any pending criminal charges against you. If there are, those charges must be resolved prior to submitting your application. And finally, any fines and fees must be paid in full to qualify.
If you fulfill these requirements, you can put your DUI conviction behind you forever.