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Expungement Lawyer | Can A DUI Be Expunged?



One of the worst parts of a criminal conviction, or, for that matter, an arrest in California, is not necessarily the sentence, which may include fines, jail, probation, or other forms of punishment, but the collateral consequences.

Collateral consequences include the social and financial stigma associated with an arrest or criminal record. Because of the latter, you can lose your job or miss out on career opportunities. Your reputation is at stake as much as your financial future.

This is true for people who made a mistake but are otherwise law-abiding citizens. Think of drunk driving cases, where a person underestimates their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and ends up getting arrested. An incident like this can happen to the best of us as well as the worst of us. Read more about BAC

Richard Wagner, is an expungement lawyer based in Orange County, who handles all types of expungement cases and, when appropriate and applicable, sealing of the record cases. When your records are sealed, the public cannot access them. Getting criminal convictions and arrest records expunged is an excellent way to safeguard your future. Contact Richard Wagner at (714) 721-4423 to schedule a FREE PRIVATE CONSULTATION and to learn more about what opportunities are available to you.

Can a DUI be Expunged?

If you have completed DUI informal or summary probation, you can ask the court to:

  1. to set aside a guilty verdict, or
  2. to withdraw or take back your guilty or no-contest plea, and
  3. dismiss the complaint.

The expungement process typically involves a few steps:

  1. Filing a petition or application, along with supporting material, with the court that heard your case.
  2. Serving the application on the prosecutor.
  3. Attending a hearing that will be set for the court to decide whether to issue an expungement order.

Again, each state has its own laws specific to expungement, and that includes the expungement process. You should always consult with a criminal defense lawyer in California if you want to learn more about expungements. Contact criminal defense attorney Richard Wagner, located in Orange County, today at (714) 721-4423 to get started.

Potential Eligibility Requirements for Expungement

There are some tricky rules that go along with the process. The Law Office of Richard Wagner will help you.

For example, if you:

  1. Completed probation or probation was terminated early with court approval, and
  2. You are not currently serving a sentence, on probation, or charged with any offense,
  3. Your petition for dismissal should be granted by the court.

On the other hand, you can't get your case dismissed under Penal Code Section 1203.4 if your probation was terminated early because you were sent to prison for a probation violation.

Also, you cannot get a dismissal under California Penal Code Section 1203.4 if you were convicted of anything in California Penal Code §1203.4(b).

If you get your petition for dismissal granted for your DUI, the DMV and the court can still use it against you.


Caution: Beware of law firms or lawyers who claim to expunge records and promise that they will clear or expunge your record. When the judge dismisses your case under California Penal Code Section 1203.4, your court record is not “expunged” or “sealed.” Your record is not “erased”, "destroyed,” or “removed.”

If you were found guilty at trial, then your guilty verdict will be set aside. Or if you entered into a plea bargain, then your guilty or no-contest plea will be withdrawn. Also, the complaint will be dismissed. In addition, an extra entry, “dismissed,” is made on your record. 

Your record remains fully public. Expungement and sealing laws restrict access to criminal records.

Benefits of Expungement in California

Once a record has been expunged, it's as though it never existed. You typically don't have to disclose it to potential employers or landlords. A private employer may not ask you about any misdemeanor conviction, including a DUI, dismissed under California Penal Code Section 1203.4.

When you apply for a job in the private sector, you see this question on the application: Do you have any convictions? You can honestly and legally answer “No” to this question.

An arrest or criminal conviction can have serious long-term consequences beyond any sentence imposed by a court. A criminal record can affect your ability to find employment, secure accommodation, apply for a loan, and obtain a professional license. 

Expungement gives you another chance at a “clean slate."

It can open up job opportunities that may have previously been closed by your criminal history and make it easier to secure accommodation. It may also help when applying for loans. 

statue of liberty

Photo by Fabian Fauth on Unsplash 

Three Reasons to Hire an Expungement Attorney in California

The availability of expungement and the application process to file an expungement petition are state-specific. Eligibility criteria can be complicated, with several overlapping laws governing expungements. The process can also be complex, involving strict compliance with the rules and the provision of relevant supporting documentation.

While you can technically represent yourself in an expungement petition, it's worth speaking to an attorney for the following reasons:

  1. Ensure eligibility. You will get professional advice on whether you are eligible to apply. The eligibility requirements for expungement petitions under Penal Section 1203.4 are updated regularly, and criminal defense attorney Richard Wagner is familiar with the current legal position. He will review your criminal history, personal circumstances, and the law to confirm whether you can apply for an expungement or sealing of your criminal record. 
  2. Strong, persuasive application. He will also help you prepare a strong expungement application. Criminal defense lawyer Richard Wagner knows how to draft the documents you need and will help you develop submissions as to why the judge should expunge your record. 
  3. Improved chances of success. It is important to get an expungement petition right. In some states, a refusal may bar you from reapplying for a certain period of time. 

In sum, expungement attorney Richard Wagner will review your case, advise you about your options, and help you navigate the process to a successful conclusion.  

Contact an Expungement Lawyer in Orange County Today 

If you have been convicted of a crime in California and think you may be eligible for expungement, you should pursue the expungement under PC 1203.4 immediately. The sooner you do, the sooner you will benefit from a clean slate. Richard Wagner, an excellent expungement lawyer in Orange County, handles these types of requests with urgency and accuracy. Contact him today by either filling out the online form or calling (714) 721-4423 to schedule a FREE PRIVATE CONSULTATION.