You might ask yourself if a DUI conviction in Florida can be expunged. Unfortunately, under Florida state law, a DUI conviction cannot be expunged. In fact, most criminal convictions remain on your record for 75 years. But there are relief options similar to expungement, should you meet the requirements.
Every state has different laws that pertain to DUI offenses. In Florida, you may be able to “seal” a DUI arrest if your case was dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge or if you were acquitted by a jury.
An attorney skilled in DUI defense in Daytona Beach can review your unique situation to determine whether you are eligible for sealing your arrest.
Sealing an arrest is as close to DUI expungement as you can get in Florida, but it has its limitations.
DUI Defense in Daytona Beach
The best method to avoid a DUI on your record in Florida is to never be arrested or convicted altogether. However, if you are charged, the best thing to do is act fast and consult with an attorney about any options you might have.
What Is Expungement?
From a legal standpoint, expungement refers to the destruction or sealing of a criminal conviction record. Expungement can happen at a state or a federal level.
In essence, the expungement order instructs the court to act as though a criminal conviction never happened. In an ideal world, an expungement would not only remove the criminal record but also clear the public record.
Although most convictions cannot be expunged in Florida, there are a few similar courses of action you may be eligible for.
Lowering a DUI Charge
Oftentimes, prosecutors will reduce a DUI to reckless driving or a related infraction.
Pleading to a lesser charge is beneficial because adjudication is withheld. This means you are not convicted of the crime. Unlike a DUI conviction, you may be able to expunge a lesser charge from your record.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI offense for the first time, your local State Attorney’s Office may sponsor a pre-trial diversion program, which is an alternative to pleading guilty.
Not everyone is eligible for pre-trial diversion, and you must meet specific requirements in order to participate. Some of these include:
- No prior DUI or similar conviction
- A maximum of two previous misdemeanors on your record
- No felonies on your record
Space in these programs can be limited, but it’s a great option should you meet the participation requirements.
Finding Experienced DUI Representation in Daytona Beach
A DUI conviction can have many negative effects on your life. Not only do you face jail time and expensive fines, but you can encounter problems down the road in finding housing and employment.
Though expungement is not possible for DUI convictions in Florida, you still have options at your disposal for reducing the charges, participating in alternative programs, and keeping your record clean.
If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, DUI attorneys in Daytona Beach can review the facts in your case to help you fight and reduce any charges.