How long a DUI conviction appears on your record in California?

A conviction for driving drunk can have devastating consequences until much after serving your sentence. California law considers the DUI as criminal offense, meaning that you will have a criminal record. Future employers, schools and homeowners who perform background checks have access to that sentence. Therefore, many people often are eager to get out of their registration of a DUI conviction. DUI convictions are permanent, however will remain there unless you convince a court to remove them.

Criminal record

The National Crime Information Center (NCIC stands for the National Crime Information Center) is a database of all national criminal records. Maintained by the FBI, NCIC gives all enforcement law agencies in US access to your file. If you are convicted of a DUI in California, NCIC will track and record the sentence. If you are convicted of a crime, that conviction becomes a matter of public record and is accessible by police, employers, schools or any other person wishing to conduct a verification of your background.

The sentences are permanent

In California, a DUI sentence, like all criminal convictions will remain on your record forever unless proactive measures are taken to eliminate it. People often think that DUI sentences are traffic violations, which will disappear from your record after a period of time. However, a DUI is a criminal conviction, ranging from a class B misdemeanor to a felony of the third degree depending on the circumstances. All criminal convictions are kept in databases such as NCIC and other permanently.

Expunge a conviction

The purge is the process of an arrest or conviction that is removed from your record. The California Penal Code section 1203.4 sets forth the requirements to have your record expunged. In this section, any person who has complied with the terms of his/her probation may request the court that the conviction is expunged, which under California law acts as a dismissal of the original charges. The purge is not a right, and is not guaranteed as a matter of law. The court has discretion as to whether your request is granted. If the expunge is granted you note that while companies and other private entities no longer be able to see the sentence, remain in the NCIC and may be seen by the police. A DUI conviction expunged remains a major penalty if you have a second DUI arrest in 10 years. In other words, this arrest is considered a second offense although it was expunged. The state will still be able to charge you with a greater degree of crime.