A review of 3 KEY topics You MUST Know by ➪ Boca Raton ➪
DUI Expungement of a DUI criminal record
in West Palm Beach

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If you were arrested for driving under the influence, your case was probably resolved in one of the following ways:

  • The Office of the State Attorney dropped the case;

    dui expungement of dui criminal records
    DUI Expungement of a DUI criminal record
  • The court dismissed the case;
  • The prosecution “down filed” the offense to a lesser charge;
  • You chose to go to trial, and you were found not guilty; or
  • Whether as a result of a plea offer or trial, you were found guilty, and so, convicted.

Regardless of the outcome, if you’ve ever been arrested for DUI, a public record of the alleged criminal event is kept and maintained by the State of Florida. This record may be communicated to potential employers, landlords, and anyone who wishes to investigate whether you ever committed a crime.

The question then becomes whether it is possible to remove, erase, or otherwise delete DUI charges from your record. The answer to that question depends on the outcome of your case.

First of all, the law, as it commonly does, has created technical words for the process. Rather than call the process “removal” of DUI charges, the law, using legal jargon, offers two possibilities:

  1. Expunction
  2. and sealing.

DUI Expungement vs Sealing a Criminal Record

 To have a criminal record expunged means the record is destroyed. To have a criminal record sealed means the record is concealed from public review or disclosure.

Of course, an expunction offers a more desirable remedy when seeking to remove DUI charges from one’s record. But when legal rules prohibit that possibility, sealing is commonly the next best option. Technically, a sealed record can, through a successful, formal petition to the court, be unsealed. However, in practice, this rarely occurs.

Nevertheless, when a criminal record is sealed while the specific crime is concealed from view, that fact alone naturally raises questions in the minds of those investigating the person’s background. Moreover, you should know that whether expunged or sealed, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement itself still retains records of the events.

Now, here’s the important part:

  • Florida law allows the expunction or sealing of a DUI arrest.
  • However, Florida law does not allow the expunction or sealing of a DUI conviction.

How to Expunge or Seal DUI Charges

Seeking the removal or erasure of DUI charges from your record is hardly rocket science. In other words, you can do it yourself. But it can be somewhat tedious, and the process can take many months.

So sometimes, people prefer to hire an attorney to handle the process. Nevertheless, if you prefer to petition the court yourself to expunge your DUI arrest or charges, here, in somewhat simplified terms, is what you must do:

  • Submit the appropriate application to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). If your request is granted, the FDLE will issue a certificate.
  • File the certificate and other required documents with the clerk of the court in the jurisdiction in which you were arrested.
  • Wait to receive notice from the court informing you that (a) your request for expunction was granted, (b) your request for expunction was denied, or (c) the presiding judge requires your appearance in court for a hearing to discuss your request.

You can find the details under Florida Statute 943.0585 (expunction) and 943.059 (sealing).

If you want to ask a court to expunge or seal your DUI charges and need a qualified West Palm Beach DUI Lawyer to help you with the process, I invite you to contact me by phone or email.

-Joshua Leroy

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    This Criminal Defense Firm is managed by a West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and Delray Beach Criminal Defense Attorney experienced in defending DUI cases.

    West Palm Beach DUI Attorney Joshua LeRoy, Esq. is dedicated to providing his clients with personalized, honest, and aggressive representation in any areas of criminal law in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Delray Beach, Jupiter & the surrounding areas of Palm Beach County in the State of Florida.