Driving when you are intoxicated is referred to as a DWI. Having a DWI on your record can damage both your business and personal reputation. However, this need not be the case, since it is possible to remove this from your record by filing to have your record expunged (referred to as expungement or expunction). This type of procedure requires that a lawsuit be filed in which you seek to either eliminate or seal your records pertaining to the DWI case.
Step 1. Determine whether you wish to retain an attorney to file your petition to seek expunction or if you want to file this petition yourself. If you opt to look for an attorney to handle this matter for you, make sure that the attorney you hire specializes in this type of procedure.
Step 2. Consult with an attorney (such as one from Follender Law Offices, P.L.L.C.) to find out whether your DWI case is a candidate for expunction. It is true that a misdemeanor has a much better chance to qualify for expunction than a felony. In DWI's that resulted in additional charges related to causing personal injury or even death, the chances of expunction are much less likely. Also, if incarceration occurred at a state prison resulting from a felony conviction, it will be virtually impossible for you to receive an expunction of your DWI record. If you, or your attorney, discover that you're not a candidate for expungement, your attorney might have an alternative to this, such as pursuing a petition that would prevent your DWI record from being disclosed. While your DWI would remain on your record, potential employers would not be able to access your actual felony conviction.
Step 3. Ascertain when you are eligible to file for an expunction. Every state has its on timetable for when expunction petitions can be filed. Usually, this will be years after the discharge of your probation or once your sentence's statute of limitations is past. It will also be necessary that you fully satisfy any conditions of probation established, including jail time, alcohol education, fines and community services. Also, you may not currently have a criminal case pending or have otherwise been in legal trouble since your original conviction.
Step 4. File your expungement petition. It is likely that you will be required to send out a notice to the law enforcement office that originally handled the case (in all likelihood the DA's office). Also, you will need to send a notice to the probation officer who handled your case, as well as the state agency in charge of managing statewide criminal histories. Always attach any relevant documents, along with a copy of the petition.
Step 5. Make the proper preparations for your expungement case. Ensure that you have adhered to the correct procedures as mandated by your state and that you have obtained all of the necessary documents. Keep in mind that it may take some time before your record is expunged. For example, a felony charge could take up to a year to be granted an expunction.