Drivers would generally do well to not underestimate the impacts of DUI charges and convictions. Aside from its immediate penalties, a DUI can stay on your criminal and driving records and have long-term consequences.
What are the effects of a DUI?
In Virginia, the consequences of a DUI might include fines, driver’s license suspensions and jail time, depending on several factors – including repeat offenses. And because a DUI is a misdemeanor, it will likely appear on your criminal and driving records. These records are often public and available to various parties like:
- Property owners
- Potential employers
- Car insurance providers
- Immigration departments
A DUI arrest might therefore limit your ability to study, secure a home or find a job in the future. It might also increase your car insurance premium.
Can I erase a DUI from my records?
Misdemeanors usually stay in a person’s criminal record indefinitely. However, you might be able to expunge a DUI from your history if you meet the following requirements.
- The court acquitted you.
- Authorities dismissed your charges.
- You obtained a nolle prosequi, which happens when the prosecution decides to not proceed with the case for several reasons, such as a lack of evidence.
Expungement generally removes the DUI from your criminal record. Usually, this means that background checks will yield no evidence or records of the arrest.
What else should I know?
Avoiding a DUI charge or conviction is generally the best way to avoid its lasting and far-reaching consequences. If you feel you are the subject of an erroneous charge, an experienced DUI lawyer can help you build a solid defense, protect your rights and avoid having a DUI arrest reflect on your criminal and driving records.