A DUI charge is a very serious offense and can affect a person’s future for the rest of his or her life. Many people go through a phase of regret after driving under the influence, and many wonder if there’s any way to get a DUI sealed or expunged from their records. These are two different court processes, and it’s essential to understand the difference between the two to see which one could apply to your particular charge.
Expungement vs. Record Sealing
Expungement is a term used to describe the court process that completely eliminates a conviction from a person’s criminal record so it does not exist thereafter. Record sealing is similar in that the court will seal the criminal conviction so it cannot be seen by the general public, however, the conviction still “exists” in both a physical and legal sense. The only way to view a conviction once it’s been sealed is if it is court ordered by a judge.
Long-Term Effects of a DUI Charge
Getting a DUI can affect a person’s life in both a legal and personal sense. Even a DUI arrest (with no conviction) can show on a person’s criminal record forever. Once a person has been arrested for a DUI, the record of that arrest goes into the national database of the FBI and will show up on a person’s background check. This information can hinder an individual from getting a new job, establishing credit, getting a loan, renting an apartment, or getting into college.
Contact a Chicago DUI Defense Attorney
In the state of Illinois, unless you win your DUI case with a verdict of not guilty, or the case is dismissed, you can never expunge or record seal a DUI charge. No matter how long ago it occurred. If you received supervision for a DUI this DOES NOT qualify to expunge or seal either. The only way to clear a record of DUI is if the charges were dropped before you plead guilty or went to trial, or if you were acquitted.
DUI law in Illinois can be a very confusing and complex area to navigate, especially without an experienced DUI defense lawyer. A lawyer can work with you through the nuances and details of your case to help potentially get you a lesser sentence, possibly one that could be expunged or record sealed in the future, or your charge dropped altogether. Our firm has years of experience aggressively fighting for individuals facing DUI charges.
For help, questions, or more information about expunging or record sealing your DUI charges, call our experienced DUI defense law firm at (888) 473-4058 for a no-fee consultation.