Despite their classification as misdemeanors in Maryland, DUIs are intense and life-altering, with penalties including expensive fines and the potential for jail time. Still, you will likely assume that since this is not a felony charge, a DUI can be expunged from your record. You’d be mistaken. Keep reading to learn more about these charges and discover why you need the assistance of an Anne Arundel County or Howard County DUI attorney.
Can My DUI Be Expunged From My Record?
Expunging one’s criminal record occurs when an individual petitions the courts to remove certain events from public view. This means someone conducting a background search will not see this information. However, expungement is only applicable to certain crimes and is granted on a case-by-case basis.
You cannot have a DUI expunged from your criminal or traffic record once you receive a conviction. This is unfortunate, especially if the grounds for your arrest were unlawful or other evidence was inadmissible.
Do I Have Any Alternative Options?
While you may not be able to have this charge expunged from your record, there are alternative options you can consider in which you can a file a petition to expunge the existence of a DUI from your record. One of the most common instances is if your case is dismissed or you have been acquitted. However, if you are found or plead guilty, it is no longer eligible for expungement.
Maryland also offers something known as probation before judgment (PBJ). This process involves placing someone on probation before they are convicted. It is essential to understand that this is only eligible for first-time offenders or those with no prior DUI or DWI charges in the previous ten years. A PBJ cannot be expunged from your record, but it allows you to truthfully answer that you have never been convicted of a crime when applying for jobs.
If I Can’t Have a DUI Expunged, Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
As you cannot have this charge expunged, it is essential to invest in the assistance of an experienced attorney as soon as you are facing arrest. An attorney can help you explore your legal options to avoid a conviction. This includes examining the circumstances of your arrest to explore all possible avenues for defense.
It’s also in your best interest to consult an attorney before entering a plea or accepting a PBJ. There are many considerations you must make, which can be challenging for someone unfamiliar with the law.
When charged with a drunk driving offense, the first thing you should do is contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz to enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney to help you navigate this process. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help.