An expungement is a legal process that can relieve an individual of the burden of a criminal history. The process begins when a formal request is made of the court where the conviction took place to dismiss or set aside the DUI conviction. The expungement process applies to most misdemeanor and minor felony convictions. Serious felonies require alternative procedures to set aside the conviction.
Note: Not all criminal convictions are eligible for expungement. Expungement does not relieve the ability for an offense to be counted as a "prior offense" for purposes of increased penalties on a later offense.
What is the purpose of an expungement? A criminal record can have a negative effect on your educational and career opportunities, and an expungement offers you the chance to make a fresh start. If your request for expungement is granted, you will be able to state on private job applications and other forms that you have never been convicted.
How long does the expungement process take? Expungements for most misdemeanors will take anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks from the date the application is filed with the Court. This estimate does not include any time necessary to research court records for additional information needed to file the application. The more information you supply, the faster the application can be filed. While felonies cannot be expunged, a motion can be run to reduce the case to a misdemeanor and then apply for an expungement. Felony reductions to misdemeanors generally take 6 to 12 weeks from the date the application is filed. Felonies, which cannot be expunged, can sometimes be reduced to a misdemeanor and will take the same time. Again, this does not include any necessary research time.
Depending upon information received and the location of the court, the estimated time to seal a juvenile record is 2 to 6 weeks from the filing of the application.