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How does expungement affect a DUI charge in Florida?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2022 | DUI |

Expungement refers to the process of erasing or sealing away a criminal charge from a person’s record. The expungement process often involves cases with juvenile offenders or minor offenses such as traffic violations.

After an expungement, future courts must treat the prior conviction as though it never occurred. In addition, if the court expunges a charge, that can result in the charge’s removal from the public record.

DUI expungement in Florida

In the state of Florida, the courts cannot expunge a DUI charge. Furthermore, they cannot seal the record on this type of charge.

However, the courts can expunge a DUI arrest that did not result in a conviction. A defendant can apply for expungement through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and file the appropriate paperwork. Sometimes expungement involves a hearing, too.

In addition, courts do sometimes expunge or seal charges for lesser traffic offenses. Therefore, for people facing DUI charges, it can be advantageous to consider plea bargains that result in charges that are easier to seal. This can help protect the public reputation of the defendant.

Navigating a DUI case

The consequences of a DUI conviction are serious. In Florida, the courts can suspend driver’s licenses, charge fines and mandate hours of community service. In addition, a DUI can remain on someone’s record for decades. A DUI arrest or charge can affect future legal issues and employment opportunities for the defendant.

Expungement can remove a charge from court consideration and the public record. Florida has strict DUI laws, and the courts do not seal or expunge DUI convictions but may expunge a DUI arrest or lesser charge.