There is no denying that a conviction for driving under influence (DUI) can impact various aspects of your life. Besides the obvious legal consequences, a conviction for drunk driving can impact your ability to find work, enroll in college and rent property among other collateral consequences.
A DUI conviction, just like any other criminal conviction, can leave a lasting stain on your record. Thus, following your conviction, you might be wondering whether anything can be done to expunge the conviction from your record.
A DUI conviction cannot be expunged in Georgia
The bad news is that once convicted, the DUI will remain on your record forever. This is because the state of Georgia considers drunk driving a serious traffic offense. The good news, however, is that there are other options you can consider depending on the outcome of your DUI charge. If your trial did not result in a conviction, for instance, then you may petition for a restriction on your record.
However, to be eligible for a record restriction, you must not have been convicted of DUI. Generally, cases that end without a conviction qualify for restriction. These include charges that are dismissed or closed. You may also be eligible for a record restriction if your trial ended in a not guilty verdict or if your conviction was reversed on appeal.
It is important to understand that restrictions apply on a case-by-case basis. Thus, even if a specific DUI is restricted, any prior offenses will still be accessible to the court, prosecutors, police and other relevant state agencies.
Fighting a DUI charge
There is so much on the line if you are charged with drunk driving. Knowing your legal options can help you fight the charges and protect your rights when charged with DUI.