Having a DUI conviction on your record can cause ongoing problems in your life. Even after you have completed your sentence, you might still run into problems when you are applying for jobs or credit. Your insurance rates will likely remain high for a long time after a DUI. In Pennsylvania, criminal records are publicly accessible, meaning that prospective employers and others that complete background checks will see your conviction.
If you are facing a DUI charge, you should get help from a criminal defense attorney in West Chester, PA at DiCindio Law. We can defend you against the case against you or help you to receive limited access relief so that most people will not be able to see your DUI when they check your credit.
Consequences of a DUI conviction
If you are charged and convicted of a drunk driving offense, you will face severe penalties. After a conviction, you could be sentenced to serve time in jail or prison, pay substantial fines, attend alcohol classes, and other penalties. Even after you discharge your sentence, having a DUI conviction on your criminal record can cause collateral consequences in housing, employment, credit, and insurance.
Most employers require applicants to submit to pre-employment background checks. Having a DUI on your record might make you ineligible for certain types of jobs, and some employers refuse to hire people who have DUIs on their records. For example, if you apply for a job in which you would have to drive a company vehicle, the prospective employer might not be able to hire you because of liability concerns related to your DUI. If you intend to apply for a professional license, you might also run into problems because of your criminal record.
Most property management companies also require applicants to undergo background checks before they will be approved to rent houses or apartments. If you apply for a lease and have a DUI on your record, a property manager might deny you based on the fact that you have a criminal record.
A DUI conviction will also force you to pay substantially higher insurance rates. In Pennsylvania, drivers with DUI convictions pay average rates that are double those paid by people who do not have DUIs on their records. As you can see, even a single DUI conviction can cause negative impacts on your life that can continue long after your criminal case is over.
Can you expunge a DUI in Pennsylvania?
When a criminal conviction is expunged, it means that the records are no longer available. Pennsylvania allows DUI convictions to be expunged in limited circumstances. If you are accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program and successfully complete it for your DUI
offense, the court may order your DUI to be expunged. Upon your successful completion of the ARD program, your DUI will be dismissed, and you will not have a conviction on your record.
Not everyone is eligible for ARD. You must apply and be accepted to ARD. If you are accepted, you will have to complete all of the program requirements, including community service and substance abuse classes. You might also be ordered to pay restitution if there were any victims. Participants in the ARD program are supervised in the counties where their DUIs occurred.
If your DUI was dismissed, the record of it can be expunged. You may also be able to secure limited access for a DUI conviction. A conviction for which a limited access petition is granted will only be accessible by law enforcement agencies and state government agencies. Others, including leasing companies and employers, will not be able to view your record.
How is a record expunged in Pennsylvania?
The requirements for expunging a criminal record are outlined in 18 Pa.CS 9122 You will have to file a petition with the court to receive an expungement if you meet the requirements outlined in the law. However, the court is not required to grant an expungement to you. A criminal defense lawyer at DiCindio Law can explain whether you meet the requirements and help you to petition the court for an expungement.
Can you move to a new state to get a clean driving record?
It used to be possible for people to move to new states, apply for drivers’ licenses, and obtain clean driving records by doing so. However, the states now participate in an interstate drivers’ license compact and share information about the driving histories of people between states.
Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney in West Chester, PA
A DUI conviction can cause ongoing problems in many areas of your life. The best way to avoid these issues is to avoid being convicted in the first place. However, some people make mistakes and need help defending against DUI charges.
Being charged with a DUI does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted of the offense. By getting prompt help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you can improve your chances of avoiding a conviction and having a criminal record. Attorney Michael DiCindio can explain the potential defenses that might be available to you in your pending DUI case and help you to determine the best approach to take. To learn about the defenses that might be available to you, contact DiCindio Law today at (610) 430-3535.