When potential clients meet with an Asheville DUI lawyer, one of the things they are worried about is having the DUI charge on their record for a long time. They know that it can affect their career, ability to get a loan, and insurance rates.
The answer is that North Carolina allows you to get a DUI/DWI expunged from your record only in very limited situations. Let us explain the legal situation and the potential solutions to your problem.
Legislative Changes Do Not Include DUI Offenses
In 2017, North Carolina legislators enacted a law to make it easier for people convicted of nonviolent felonies and misdemeanors to expunge the conviction from their record. The term expungement means that the conviction will not show up on any background checks for the criminal record.
Unfortunately, DUI and DWI charges are not included among the nonviolent offenses. This means if you are convicted of driving under the influence or driving while impaired, this conviction will stay on your record permanently.
When DUI Charges Can Be Removed From Your Record
You note that we said that a DUI/DWI conviction cannot be expunged. This means that you plead guilty or went through a trial and were found guilty of DUI.
With an experienced Asheville DUI attorney representing you, it may not come to that. In this case, you are eligible to request the removal of the charge from your record.
This is possible in the following situations:
- The charges were dropped.
- You were charged with DWI but not tried.
- Your case was dismissed.
- You were found not guilty after a jury trial.
All these outcomes are possible only if you have professional legal representation by your side to fight the charges.
How to Get a DWI Expunged If You Are Eligible
You would be surprised to find out that, even if your charges were dropped or you were acquitted after a trial, the record of the charges will not be automatically deleted. This is a huge problem for people who believe that they are innocent and free of any legal problems, yet the charge shows up when they apply for a job or try to get a bank loan.
In reality, you will have to file a petition in the county where your DUI case was heard. This involves following a specific procedure and filling in various forms. An experienced attorney will make sure that everything is done according to the legal requirements.
Remember to Talk to a Lawyer as Soon as You Were Charged
The only way of getting a clean record after a DUI charge is winning your case. This is next to impossible on your own. The police officers are not on your side – they want to get as much evidence as possible against you.
The judge will also not be sympathetic, because the state will paint you as a reckless and irresponsible driver, putting other people’s lives at risk.
However, an experienced Asheville DWI lawyer knows that the case is not always as watertight as the police would have you believe. By having a chance to investigate it soon after you were charged, a skilled attorney may find that:
- The Breathalyzer device was not properly calibrated
- The field sobriety test was administered by an untrained officer
- You were not read your Miranda Rights.
However, you must remember to invoke your right to remain silent and not give any statement to the police without a lawyer present. You may be tricked into contradicting yourself or making self-incriminating statements. Even innocent words can be taken out of context and used against you.
An Experienced Asheville DUI Lawyer May Help You Keep Your Record Clean!
Now that you know that a DUI conviction stays on your record forever, you also know that you need reliable legal representation to fight the charges. Thus, the first thing to do after getting charged is to schedule a meeting with an experienced Asheville DUI lawyer.
We offer each new client a free case review, so call us at 828-759-5556 to start building your defense against the DUI charges!