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

Unfortunately, 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 & Paulk.

Our Commitment To You

When you work with us, we promise:

  • To Treat You
    With Respect
  • To Be Available When
    You Have Questions
  • To Work
    Hard For You
  • To Develop a Custom Defense Based on Your Case

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