How long does a California DUI stay on your record?

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How long does a California DUI stay on your record

How long a California DUI stays on your record depends on a number of factors and also which record you are talking about. A California driver builds a record at the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as a personal criminal record. Each record serves different purposed when it comes to how your California DUI affects your life.


Your Driving Record

A DUI conviction stays on a person’s driving record for 10 years. Both the Department of Motor Vehicles and law enforcement can see and use this information when you seek to have your driver’s license reinstated. The number of years a DUI remains on a driving record was increased to 10 from 7 years in 2007. Driving records cannot be removed until the term, which begins on the date of your first arrest, has expired, however, your driving record is not accessible by potential employers or other criminal investigators. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, your DMV driving record is accessed to determine the critical date of your first, second or subsequent DUI arrests to determine the charges. The difference between a third and fourth DUI is an elevation of the charges from a misdemeanor to a felony and as such the penalties can have life-altering consequences including a long loss of driving privileges and a long period of imprisonment. Your California car insurance company also has access to your DMV record and will increase your car insurance premiums based on the number of points you have from DUI. Your driver’s license will be suspended if you have 4 points in two years, 6 points in three years or 8 points in any four-year period.

Criminal Record

A DUI conviction stays on a person’s criminal record permanently. While most DUI’s are misdemeanors, a California DUI can be charged as a felony if it is the fourth within 10 years or if you were DUI and caused personal injury. Under certain circumstances you can have a DUI expunged and cleared from your criminal history. This expungement will eliminate the charge when a third party such as a potential employer performs a criminal background check but does not affect the DMV record of your DUI’s. If you are faced with a DUI it is always a good idea to talk with a knowledgeable and experienced DUI expungement lawyer especially if you are concerned with how the conviction will affect your employment of professional status.