Can You Get a DUI Expunged from Your Record in Florida?

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A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) conviction can have lasting consequences on your life, including a permanent mark on your criminal record. In Florida, as in many other states, a DUI conviction can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life. However, the question many individuals ask is, “Can you get a DUI expunged from your record in Florida?” In this blog post, we’ll explore the possibility of expunging a DUI conviction in Florida and the necessary steps involved.

Understanding Expungement in Florida

Expungement is the legal process of sealing or destroying a person’s criminal record, effectively making it as though the criminal incident never occurred. However, it’s important to note that not all criminal convictions are eligible for expungement in Florida, and the process is quite restrictive.

Eligibility for DUI Expungement in Florida

In Florida, DUI convictions are not eligible for expungement. Florida Statute 943.0585 explicitly states that DUI convictions cannot be expunged from a person’s criminal record. This means that if you’ve been convicted of a DUI, that conviction will remain on your record indefinitely, and there is no legal way to remove it through the expungement process.

Alternatives to Expungement

While expungement is not an option for DUI convictions in Florida, there are alternative routes to mitigate the impact of a DUI conviction on your life.

Sealing Your DUI Record

Sealing your record is different from expungement, but it can still provide some level of privacy. While the conviction remains on your record, it won’t be accessible to the general public. This means that potential employers and others conducting background checks won’t be able to see your DUI conviction. However, sealing is also subject to certain restrictions and eligibility requirements.

Record Expunction for DUI Arrests Without Conviction

If you were arrested for a DUI but not convicted, there may be a possibility of having the arrest record expunged. This would apply if your DUI case was dismissed or if you were found not guilty in court. In such cases, it is essential to consult with an attorney to determine your eligibility and initiate the expungement process.

Seeking a Pardon

Another option, although it is a lengthy and complex process, is to seek a pardon from the Florida Governor’s Office. A pardon does not remove the DUI conviction from your record, but it does restore certain civil rights, such as the right to vote and hold public office. Keep in mind that obtaining a pardon is challenging and requires strong justification.

Expungement for Other Offenses

It’s worth noting that while DUI convictions cannot be expunged, other criminal offenses that are not as severe might be eligible for expungement in Florida. If you have other criminal charges or convictions on your record that you wish to have expunged, you should consult with an attorney to determine your eligibility and navigate the expungement process.

The Importance of Legal Counsel

Navigating the legal landscape of expungement, especially in cases where it is not straightforward, such as DUI convictions, requires the expertise of an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you understand your options, assess your eligibility for sealing or expungement, and guide you through the necessary legal procedures.

Summary

While it’s not possible to get a DUI expunged from your record in Florida, there are alternative avenues to explore, such as sealing your record or seeking a pardon. The specific options available to you will depend on the circumstances of your DUI case, as well as other factors. Regardless of your situation, it’s crucial to consult with a legal professional who can provide guidance and help you make informed decisions about your criminal record. Understanding the limitations and possibilities within the Florida legal system is the first step toward mitigating the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction.

Need an Attorney in Orlando, FL?

Guy H. Gilbert Law Office. has more than 27 years of experience handling criminal defense matters. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Emory University in Atlanta, then went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. Guy has a thorough understanding of state and federal criminal law and is able to translate complex legal issues into easy-to-understand language. Working as a general criminal and DUI lawyer on behalf of clients in greater Orlando, he strives to provide the best legal representation in every case. Contact him today to learn more about what he can do for you!