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How Long Does a DUI Stay on My Record in California?

A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is the serious crime of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. When you consume drugs and alcohol to the point that it alters your mental state and negatively impacts your reaction time and ability to safely operate a vehicle, it is extremely dangerous to be on the road. Driving under the influence can have significant effects if an accident occurs including extensive property damage, injury, and even death. The danger of the act is why the punishments for the crime are so severe. Being convicted of a DUI in California results in a criminal record, large fines, and potentially jail time.

If you or someone you know were recently arrested for intoxicated driving, contact a Tehama County DUI lawyer for representation.

What Are the Consequences of a DUI Conviction?

Typically in California, first or even second offense DUIs are considered misdemeanors. However, depending on the circumstances of your situation they may be considered felonies.

First offense:

  • Fines ranging from $390 to $1,000
  • DUI school for 3 to 9 months
  • Mandatory use of an IID (ignition interlock device) for 6 months
  • Potential jail time of up to 6 months

Second offense:

  • Fines ranging from $390 to $1,000
  • DUI school for 18 to 30 months
  • Mandatory use of an IID for 1 year
  • Jail time ranging from 96 hours to 1 year

Third offense:

  • Fines ranging from $390 to $1,000
  • DUI school for 30 months
  • Mandatory use of an IID for 2 years
  • Jail time ranging from 120 days to 1 year

These are general guidelines for the penalties related to DUI convictions. However, a misdemeanor DUI charge may become a felony charge if someone is injured, you already have a prior felony DUI conviction, or if you have three or more DUI convictions in the past 10 years.

Will a DUI Stay on My Record Forever?

Any DUI conviction will appear on your driving record and criminal record. A DUI conviction will remain on your driving record for 10 years from the date of your arrest, and on your criminal record forever.

A conviction of this nature on your records can be detrimental to a lot of factors throughout life. Any background check will show your DUI. This can make it more difficult to obtain employment and rent an apartment or house. It will also undoubtedly increase your insurance rates.

Can I Ever Get My DUI Expunged?

As stated, a DUI will remain on your criminal record indefinitely. It will never be removed on its own or expire, but there are legal actions that you can take to have it removed. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can file a motion to have your conviction removed from your record. A judge will review your case and determine whether or not to grant the expungement. Make sure to work with a knowledgeable lawyer to increase your chances of walking away with a clean slate.