If you are facing charges for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, you might wonder how long the offense will remain on your record. A drunk driving charge is a misdemeanor criminal offense and will appear on your criminal, credit, driving, and insurance records. Criminal convictions in Pennsylvania are considered to be public records. If you are convicted of a DUI, your record will be updated in the National Driver Register with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The national credit reporting agencies will be notified and can include the information about your DUI conviction in your credit history. This means that when a potential landlord, employer, insurance company, or car rental agency asks for a credit report or background check, they will see your DUI conviction unless you are given limited access relief or have it expunged. DiCindio Law can defend against your DUI charge or help you to gain limited access relief to prevent most people from being able to see it.
Consequences of having a DUI on your record
Being convicted of a DUI means that you will face multiple penalties, including potential jail or prison time, substantial fines, alcohol classes, and others. Once you complete your sentence, a DUI conviction can cause ongoing problems in many areas of your life, including employment, housing, and insurance rates.
Many employers ask applicants to submit to background checks for employment. Some companies cannot hire workers who have prior convictions for driving under the influence, and others refuse to hire people who have DUI convictions. Employers that enter into government contracts or that have their employees drive company vehicles may be unable to hire you if you have a DUI on your record. You might also encounter problems with obtaining a professional license for jobs that require them, including real estate agents and attorneys.
Like employers, many landlords and property managers ask applicants to submit to criminal and credit background checks before they will agree to lease apartments or homes. Any type of criminal conviction on your record might cause a landlord or property manager to reject your rental application.
Having a DUI conviction on your record will cause your insurance rates to go up and can harm your ability to find affordable car insurance. Drivers in Pennsylvania who have DUI convictions on their records may have car insurance rates that are twice as much as people who do not have DUI convictions. Even if a DUI conviction was a first offense, it can continue to cause problems for you throughout your life.
Can DUIs in Pennsylvania be expunged?
Expunging a criminal conviction from your record means that it will be sealed from public and state views. DUI convictions can be expunged under limited circumstances. A DUI can be expunged if a court orders you to complete the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or ARD program after you successfully finish it. You have to apply for acceptance by the ARD program. If you complete it successfully, your DUI will be dismissed. This means that you will not have a conviction.
If you participate in the ARD program, you may be required to perform community service and participate in a substance abuse program. If you have any victims, you will be required to pay restitution to them. While you are participating in ARD, you will be supervised in the county where your DUI happened.
A DUI that was dismissed before or after a jury or bench trial can be expunged. In 2016, a new expungement law went into effect in Pennsylvania. Under this law, you might be able to secure limited access status for your DUI conviction. A conviction for which limited access has been ordered will only be accessible by state agencies and law enforcement agencies. It will not be viewable by most employers or landlords.
How do you obtain an expungement of a DUI?
To have a DUI expunged from your record in Pennsylvania, you must meet the requirements that are outlined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 9122 and file a petition with the court. However, there is no guarantee that your request will be granted. DiCindio Law can work to help you to expunge your DUI from your record if you are eligible, and we can discuss other options that might be available to you if you are not eligible for an expungement.
Is it possible to get a clear driver’s license in a different state?
In the past, it was sometimes possible for people to get clear driver’s licenses by going to different states. That is no longer possible, however. The driving records for people in every state are now included in the problem driver pointer system with the NHTSA. When you try to get a driver’s license in a new state, the motor vehicle department will check the national database to see the status of your license and your driving history nationwide. If you have a conviction or have previously had your license suspended, revoked, or denied, the department of motor vehicles in a new state will see it. This means that you will not be able to get a clear driver’s license in a new state.
Get help from an experienced attorney at DiCindio Law
The only way to prevent a DUI from causing problems in your life is to avoid being convicted. You can avoid a DUI conviction by not driving your vehicle while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, people make mistakes, and you might be facing a DUI charge.
A DUI charge is not evidence and does not mean that you will be convicted or have a permanent record of conviction. If you are facing DUI charges, you should seek help from an experienced DUI defense attorney at DiCindio Law. An experienced lawyer can review the evidence to identify potential defenses that might be available and explain the options that you have. Michael DiCindio has years of experience defending against DUI charges. Contact DiCindio Law today by calling (610) 430-3535 or by filling out our contact form.