A single arrest for drunk driving can turn your life upside down. Besides the legal consequences, a DUI arrest and conviction will permanently remain on your Virginia criminal record. This can impact your ability to get some jobs, rent a property or even qualify for some scholarship programs.
Given the legal and collateral consequences of a DUI conviction, it helps to understand when and how the conviction can be expunged from your record.
DUI and a Virginia criminal record
Your Virginia drunk driving arrest will remain on your record and be accessible to the public unless you petition to have it expunged, meaning that potential employers or landlords who conduct a background check on you will access this information.
While your DUI arrest will permanently remain on your record, it may not continue to appear during background checks if it is expunged. Once expunged, your arrest record will only be accessed through a court order.
Your Virginia DUI arrest can only be expunged under the following circumstances:
- When you are wrongfully prosecuted
- When the court dismisses your charge
- When you are not convicted for drunk driving
It is important to understand that your Virginia drunk driving conviction cannot be expunged.
The process of expunging your DUI arrest
An expungement does not happen automatically. Rather, you have to petition the court for this to happen. While petitioning the court, you will need to provide a certified copy of your case’s outcome.
In the days following your expungement petition, you will be required to submit your fingerprints to the law enforcement agency. During the fingerprinting, you will be required to provide copies of your expungement petition. Your fingerprints, together with your petition, will then be submitted to Virginia state’s Central Criminal Records Exchange. The Central Criminal Records Exchange will then send your fingerprints, expungement petition and criminal history report to the Circuit Court for hearing.
Expungement can provide great relief if you are charged but not convicted of DUI. Find out how you can petition the court for your DUI expungement in Virginia.