As far as criminal records go, the Department of Justice controls that. In other words, if somebody really wants to find out about an individual and whether that individual has a criminal record, they can do a live scan on the person where they take their fingerprints and then the Department of Justice keeps records on everybody.
So, if you're arrested for a DUI and they take your fingerprints and they book you, take a photograph of you and take you down to the police station, then there's going to be a record that you were arrested for a DUI.
Filing a Motion to Remove Arrest Record
The only way to get rid of that arrest record is to file a motion with the police or a petition with the police and get the police to take that record out.
They're able to do that, but they just rarely will agree to do that for various policy reasons on their part.
They don't want to get sued for arresting somebody and then they get the arrested out of there and then the person uses that to say see, they took it out of there because they knew it was an improper arrest.
It was false imprisonment. I'm suing them now. I'm going to try to get money from them. So, they will very rarely grant a petition to seal and destroy an arrest record.
Another way to get rid of the arrest record is to go into the Superior Court where the case would have had jurisdiction, file a motion with the judge, serve the prosecutor with the motion and then ask the judge to order the police/Department of Justice to take that arrest record out.
Of course, the City Attorney or the District Attorney in that jurisdiction is going to defend that motion and try to block. It's a very high standard to get rid of an arrest record.
There is a recent Code section that was passed that can be used if someone is arrested and the prosecuting agency does not file the case. Really what you need to do is consult with an attorney on this issue.
Give them all the details of your case and see if your arrest record can be taken out related to your DUI case.
As far as any further criminal record go related to DUI arrests in Los Angeles, if you're convicted in court if you plead guilty or no contest, then you're going to have a record for a conviction for a DUI or a wet reckless or a dry reckless or a speed contest – whatever your attorney negotiates for you.
DUI Expungement in California
After you complete your probation on the case and do everything you're supposed to relate to your sentence, then you can attempt to dismiss or expunge that criminal record.
In California there's no such thing as a true expungement, meaning there is no such thing as completely getting rid of a DUI conviction.
What you have to do is file the motion pursuant to Penal Code §1203.4 – typically you're going to want an attorney to do that because the attorney is going to do it the right way and submit a declaration and the form and then there's usually a fee with the court related to getting rid of that conviction.
Assuming that the court grants the motion, then when somebody looks your case up, instead of having a criminal conviction/record, it's now going to say that the case was dismissed and a lot of times it will say that the case was dismissed pursuant to Penal Code §1203.4.
Then people will know that means you were convicted of the case, but it was expunged.
Other times, people just cannot tell because they don't have the background to know why the case was dismissed.
But there's no way on an adult case to really seal and destroy that conviction. After probation is over, you can just file the expungement.
Assuming it's granted by the judge, it will then show that the case is dismissed.
It's very frustrating for a lot of people because obviously, they don't want to have a DUI criminal record and a DUI is definitely a crime.
There's no question about that. Some people think DUI's are just traffic violations.
They are traffic violations, but they're violations of the California Vehicle Code and they're definitely a conviction. Definitely a crime. They're usually misdemeanors unless someone is seriously injured and then the case can be filed as a felony.
So, the best that you can do with these DUI convictions is to get them dismissed in California.
And even if you do get them dismissed pursuant to Penal Code §1203.4 which does help the record to a degree, if you have DUI conviction it will still be prior-able for ten years, which basically means if you get a new DUI in the future, they're still going to be able to look back ten years to see if you have any in that ten-year period.
If you do, then they can charge it has a second-time DUI, third-time DUI, fourth-time DUI depending on how many prior convictions you have in that ten-year snapshot.
So, if you're really concerned about your DUI record, arrest, probation, what you can do – I think this article explains it pretty well, but your next best move is to get a DUI attorney who appears locally in the jurisdiction where your DUI was filed.
If it's in Los Angeles, you get in touch with somebody like me.
We go over the entire case and then we can really see what, if anything, can be done to clean-up your record to a degree so you can do everything possible to guard your future from this DUI conviction and protect your record the best you possibly can.