If you've been convicted of a DUI in California, you could face several penalties, such as fines, probation, and/or incarceration. But the offense can affect you for long after you have paid your fines and served your time. One of the long-lasting effects of a DUI is that it will result in a mark on your driving and criminal records. How long the information stays on those records depends on which you're referencing.
A DUI and Your Driving Record
Your driving record is updated and maintained by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). After a DUI arrest, your information is sent to the DMV and is tracked in their system.
A DUI remains on your driving record for 10 years. Unfortunately, you cannot take any action to remove the information. It will automatically fall off after the expiration date.
Although your driving record is mainly accessed by DMV personnel or law enforcement officials, other agencies or individuals may request it. For instance, if you're employer participates in the Employer Pull Notice (EPN) Program, they will see that you have a DUI charge. If your position requires driving, whether or not your record will affect your employment will depend on your employer's policy.
Your insurance company may also access your driving record, which could affect your coverage. You may lose your "good driver" discount or your insurance company may drop you. Again, the specific actions taken depend on the company's policies.
Getting a DUI also adds points to your driver's license. If you accumulate a certain number of points within a specific period, you will be classified as a negligent operator, and the DMV will suspend your driving privileges.
The negligent operator designation is applied when a driver gets:
- 4 or more points in 1 year
- 6 points in 2 years
- 8 points in 3 years
A DUI offense results in 2 points against your driver's license. It remains on your driving record for 13 years.
A DUI and Your Criminal Record
If you're arrested for, charged with, and/or convicted of a DUI, the information will be placed on your criminal record. The record is available to the public, which means that anyone may access it, including current or potential employers. A DUI on your criminal record may influence employment decisions.
Additionally, penalties for DUI convictions increase depending on the number of previous convictions. For example, with one DUI, you could be facing up to 6 months in jail. But if you already have a DUI on your record, your second offense could result in up to 1 year in jail.
A DUI is part of your criminal record permanently. You may be able to get the information cleared by requesting an expungement, but you must meet specific criteria to qualify. It's important to note that even if your expungement is granted and your case dismissed, your DUI is still considered a prior offense for future conviction purposes.
If you've been arrested for a DUI in Bakersfield, allow our experienced attorney at Koenig Law Office to provide the skilled legal help you need. Call us at (661) 338-5353 or contact us online today.