Can I have my DUI expunged from my record?
I was arrested for a DUI yesterday. After fingerprinting I was released. I haven't received any information as of yet about probation or license suspension. The officers gave my license back to me. They told me that I could have this expunged once I get an attorney and that I should hear from the court soon. How much money will I have to invest into that process?
"Expungement" pertains to a situation where a person is convicted of a crime, be it a misdemeanor or a felony. When a conviction is expunged for a person, the result is that the person technically was never convicted of the crime that was expunged, but the expungement would be on that person's record with the court.
For an expungement to occur, typically the person who was convicted has to abide by terms of probation or parole for a long period of time, usually three years or more and have no subsequent problems with the law. Each State has different criteria for a person's criminal conviction to be expunged.
In your question, you were just arrested for a crime. You have not even been convicted of the driving under the influence of alcohol charge. My answer hopefully will send you in the right direction as to what you want. Probably you should consult with a criminal attorney in the State you live in about resolving the charges against you for driving under the influence of alcohol and if a subsequent expungement of any conviction for this is possible.
In PA, for a first time DUI, you may be eligible for something known as "ARD" (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition). If you are accepted into the ARD program you will not have to serve any jail time but rather you will receive supervised probation for a period of 2 years. Probation may include attending counseling/meetings, DUI School, and/or paying any court ordered restitution/fines.
You should be aware however that just because you are eligible for the program does not mean that you should automatically accept it. Once you enter the program you will be ineligible for it should you need it at some future time; ARD is only available for first-time versus habitual offenders. This is why you should consider having legal representation in this matter. An experienced DUI attorney may be able to get the charge dismissed, reduced, or win an acquittal at trial. Bottom line, fighting the charge may be a better option than accepting ARD.
Note: If you fail to fulfill any of the requirements of the ARD program, your original charges will be reinstated.