Expungement of a DUI Conviction

What Is An Expungement?

An expungement is the result of a legal process that results in a set aside of your DUI conviction and a dismissal of the case.

How Does the Expungement Process Work?

The Law Office of Denis White can handle and guide you through the expungement process.

Filing of Petition

The expungement process involves the filing of a petition with the court where your DUI conviction occurred.  Along with this petition, typically the Law Office of Denis White would include a declaration from you explaining why the petition should be granted. We can also file letters of recommendation from employer, friends, family, clergy person and other evidence to persuade the court to grant the petition.

Copies of the petition and accompanying documents must be given to the district attorney’s office and, in some cases, the probation department.


After the petition is filed, the court schedules a hearing. If you have an attorney, you normally aren’t required to be in court.  Probation will provide the judge and counsel with a written report as to how you performed on probation.

A representative from district attorney’s office will also likely be present and will weigh in on whether you are a suitable candidate for an expungement.

An attorney from the Law Office of Denis White can appear at the hearing, argue on your behalf and present evidence demonstrating that granting the petition would serve the interests of justice.

Expungement Granted

If the judge grants the expungement, the court staff will notify the California Department of Justice (DOJ) that the expungement was granted and the DOJ will update your record to show the DUI has been dismissed.

Expungement Not Granted

Unless the motion is denied “with prejudice” there is no limit to how many times you can petition for an expungement or how long you have to wait to re-petition. So if your expungement petition is at first denied, you can try again.  An attorney from the Law Office of Denis White can advise you on the best way to handle a second petition and how long to wait until you re-file.

How Does the Court Decide Who Receives a DUI Expungement?

The judge is not required to grant a request for an expungement. Instead the court is allowed to use its discretion – in other words, the judge has the freedom to decide whether to grant an expungement on a case-by-case basis.

Generally, a DUI expungement can be granted if:

  • You have fulfilled all the conditions of probation for the entire probationary period; or
  • You have been discharged from probation early; and
  • If the judge, in his or her discretion, believes you should be granted relief in the interests of justice.

How Does a DUI Expungement Affect Employment?

After a DUI expungement, if a potential employer asks if you have ever been convicted of DUI you can honestly answer “No.”   But a better response might be “Yes, expungement granted.” This is because many employment background checks look back 10 years and the potential employer is likely to discover you had a DUI conviction dismissed.  Sometimes it’s better that the potential employer not think you’re trying to hide anything.

If you are applying for certain kinds of jobs, such as government jobs, jobs that require a security clearance, jobs that require a government-issued license, certificate or permit, or you are contracting with the State Lottery, you are or may be required to disclose the conviction and expungement.

How Does a DUI Expungement Affect My Driver’s License?

An expunged DUI conviction still counts on your driving record and with the DMV as a prior for 10 years after the date of the offense.  What this means is that an expunged DUI can be used against you by the DMV for purposes of suspending or restricting your license if you get another DUI in the future.

Does an Expunged DUI Count Against Me in Court if I Get Another DUI?

Yes.  An expunged DUI conviction still counts as a prior if you are charged in criminal court with DUI in the future and can be used to make future DUI charges more serious and subject to heavier penalties.