I often hear the question, does a DUI automatically go off of my record after five (5) years. The answer to that question is no. Unless the Court grants you an expungement, the record of your DUI will remain. Even if you were non-adjudicated or had your DUI dismissed, the arrest will still show up if a potential employer checks your criminal history. The good news is that Courts will grant expungements in certain situations.
What if I was Non-Adjudicated?
The easiest is if you had a DUI First Offense that was non-adjudicated or dismissed. In that case, there is no DUI conviction to expunged, only an arrest. If this occurred, you are entitled to an expungement as a matter of right.
What if I was Found Guilty?
However, the process is a bit more complicated if you a Court adjudicated you guilty of DUI First Offense. Mississippi Code Ann 63-11-30 outlines the requirements to have a DUI expunged. By statute, a Petition for Expungement of a DUI First Offense must be filed in the Circuit Court of the county where the conviction was received. Further, the Petitioner must wait Five (5) years after completion of the terms imposed by the Court to seek an expungement. The Five (5) years does NOT start from the date of conviction. The Five (5) years begins when you completed ALL Court imposed conditions, such as paying your fines, serving your license suspension, and completing MAESEP classes.
Beyond that, the requirements are:
What Your Attorney Can Do
As you can see, these are strict requirements. The key to these cases is preparing the proper paperwork and documentation to convince the Court that expungement is justified in your case. This documentation includes letters from employers, proof of continuing education, or any rehabilitation certificate you have obtained since being convicted. It is essential that you have an experienced attorney who is familiar with the Judge from whom you are seeking an expungement. Different Judges like to see different things before granting an expungement in these types of cases.
As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss your specific case further, please contact our office at 662-324-3810, and we will be happy to help you in any way that I can.