Expunging a DUI Conviction
Tampa DUI Defense Attorneys
Expungement is a legal term that simply refers to the obliteration or destruction
of past criminal records. In Florida, it is not possible to receive an
expungement if you have been convicted of a DUI (or any crime). Florida
law dictates that any criminal conviction must remain on your record.
Florida law is particularly strict about hiding DUI charges.
The only two possible outcomes that could lead to a criminal record expungement are:
- Dropping of the charges by the District Attorney
- Successfully presenting your case and winning a not-guilty verdict
The hope behind expungement is to remove a criminal conviction so their
past does not interfere with future prospects of education, housing, and
employment, so convicted individuals can plea for post-conviction relief.
Otherwise, the high stakes of the Florida court system makes hiring the
right criminal defense lawyer more crucial than ever.
Sealing Your Record
Sealing your record accomplishes a similar result to expunging it—your
arrest and conviction are hidden from public view. The only real difference
is that sealing a record means it still exists, but it remains hidden.
While expunging is only possible when an arrest results in no action or
a dismissal or charges, sealing a record is possible when the court “withholds”
adjudication. DUI is the only misdemeanor crime in which withholding adjudication
is not an option for the judge. As a result,
sealing your record after a DUI trial is not possible.
However, if a criminal defense attorney is able to lower your charges to
“reckless driving,” then withholding adjudication is an option
for the judge—making record-sealing possible. Skilled and experienced
criminal defense attorneys can help you determine your best options, as
well as fight for the outcome that best protects your interests, whether
that’s getting the charges dropped, acquittal, or lowering the charges
to reckless driving.
No Exceptions for Underage Offenders
all DUI convictions must remain public record. For some counties in Florida,
DUI defendants may be able to participate in a pre-trial diversion program.
This may include community service, psychiatric evaluation, educational
classes, and more. Upon completion of the pretrial class, charges may
be dropped or lowered to a lesser crime (which can then be sealed). However,
many counties consider DUI offenders ineligible for this program—your
attorney will be able to determine your options for your region.
We Have Handled Over 7,000 Cases
With regard to DUI conviction, you truly have only one choice: hire an
experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights. Your DUI
conviction could remain on your record for
75 years by law, with no possibility of expungement or sealing. The only way to
protect your future is to fight for an acquittal, dropped charges, or
lowered charges. This is maximized through the power of a trial-tested,
seasoned criminal defense lawyer.
At Thomas & Paulk, P.A., we provide clients with representation that
truly cares about their interests. Your case matters as much to us as
it does to you—we fight to protect your future and your well-being.
We never back down from fighting for your best possible outcome. When
you need a strong lawyer in your corner, contact the law firm of Thomas