Salisbury DUI Expungement Attorney
Sometimes, it is possible to have your record expunged, which means that it is as if your criminal record never existed. This is an option available for those who were acquitted or found not guilty of a crime. If you are uncertain as to whether this applies to you, especially regarding your DUI case, contact an experienced Salisbury DUI attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to examine the facts of the case and tell you whether DUI expungement or record sealing is an option for you.
The DUI Expungement Process in Salisbury
It is important to understand that expungement for any conviction is a pretty long, drawn-out process because the defendant files the appropriate paper work and asks the court to have all record of the incident expunged. And then the court has to send out an order to every agency that was involved in the case and order each one of those agencies to expunge their records. That would mean that the State Attorney’s Office has to comply and expunge their record as does perhaps the Public Defender’s Office, the detention center, and the law enforcement agency, if there was one that investigated the crime. Getting all of those agencies to actually comply and get everything expunged within any sort of reasonable time is pretty difficult.
The expungement process for a DUI in Salisbury can take months and months. But ideally, if the process is followed correctly, every single piece of the public record of that person’s case should be destroyed so that there is no history of it and no evidence of it.
Dealing with a Salisbury Arrest Record
Typically, DUI arrest records are going to remain a part of the court file for as long as the court file exists. If a person has been convicted as a result of being charged, then that conviction and that record continues to exist forever. However, if a person is found not guilty of a DUI or if their case was dismissed, they have the ability to have those records expunged, which they can do with the help of an experienced Salisbury DUI expungement lawyer. If they go through the expungement process, then there should be no record found of a person’s arrest.
Differences Between Record Sealing and Expungement
Expungement is the process by which all records of the person’s case are destroyed. When it is done correctly, that means that every agency that was involved in the case has destroyed their records as well. That means that the records of the police, the state attorney, if the person was on pretrial supervision by parole on probation, and all of the different agencies have destroyed their record of the incident so that it really should appear as if it never happened. If you search that person’s name if they had a case and it was expunged, it should absolutely not even come up on any kind of record check.
But, as a Salisbury DUI expungement attorney will tell you, the rules of expungement are very, very specific. You can only get a record expunged if you were found not guilty, or if your case was dismissed. If you received a probation before judgment, you can eventually get it expunged but it just takes longer- there is a three year waiting period under the current expungement statute.
If you were actually convicted of a crime, you cannot get that expunged. It is going to be on your record forever. That can also be true if there were other offenses that you were charged with but not convicted of. But under certain circumstances even those other charges that were dismissed potentially cannot be expunged either.
What it Means to Have a Record Sealed
Expungement is very different from having a record sealed. The sealing of records is really more a term of art that is used for certain kinds of civil matters, for example protective orders. There is a procedure under the law of protective orders that allows for people to have their record sealed. Sometimes, sealing the record is a term applied to juvenile cases, because juvenile matters are not supposed to be a matter of public record. Once an individual reaches the age of 24, their juvenile record is not supposed to even be considered, for example, when determining an appropriate sentence in a criminal case.
With that said, it is also very important to understand that the law is different when it comes to DUIs. Under the statutes regarding DUIs and DWIs, they are specifically prohibited from being expunged. If a person receives a probation before judgment for a DUI or a DWI charge, that probation before judgment is always going to be there, it will just be on a separate part of their driving record that does not show up as a conviction.
DUI Acquittals and Expungement
If you are acquitted of a DUI, your arrest record will still be available to the public, unless you take the extra step of getting it expunged. It will not automatically be expunged, and therefore it will still be a matter of public record.
It is important for a person to understand that they need to take that additional step of filing a petition for expunging a DUI in Salisbury. They have to fill out all the paper work correctly and they have to pay a filing fee. Then they need to also make sure that each agency that was involved in their case has filed an order of compliance. It is the order of compliance that tells the court that this record was actually deleted or destroyed from that agency’s files. Some people do not understand that they have to take that extra step and therefore they are surprised to find out that later somebody ran a background check and it showed that they were arrested.
There is no one that is monitoring the Internet to make sure that the information was removed. The best example of that is if there was any sort of new story about a person’s arrest or charges, that will be out there forever. There is no way to expunge a record that exists on the Internet by way of a news agency’s website or a newspaper’s website.