A DUI expungement in the Newport Beach Courthouse refers to clearing your criminal record under Penal Code 1203.4. Under this criminal code section, the law allows you to clear your criminal background as long as certain requirements are met.
This article discusses expungement eligibility, the process for clearing your criminal record, and the benefits of getting an expungement of your DUI conviction in the Newport Beach Courthouse.
What is a DUI Expungement in the Newport Beach Courthouse?
Driving under the influence (“DUI”) is one of the most common criminal convictions. You may have been out having a good time, had a few drinks, and without even feeling inebriated decided to get into the car and drive.
Since .08 is the legal blood alcohol content (“BAC”) limit, you may have ended up with a conviction under Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) for drunk driving – even if you were not driving recklessly and even if you did not “feel drunk.”
The Newport Beach Courthouse, also known as the Harbor Justice Center, is located at 4601 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660.
Once you are convicted of DUI in Newport Beach, even a first time DUI, that conviction is reported to the State Department of Justice and you now have a criminal record . A criminal record can cause you to lose employment opportunities and can even hinder your ability to travel (for example, Canada law requires an expungement of your DUI before allowing access across its border).
Expungement is the common term for a dismissal of your criminal record under California Penal Code 1203.4.
An expungement restores travel and employment opportunities, and allows you a fresh start – uninhibited by your past DUI conviction.
Eligibility for DUI Expungement in the Newport Beach Courthouse
The law only allows a DUI expungement in Newport Beach Courthouse in the case where you did not serve time in prison. In most cases, a DUI is a misdemeanor, not a felony, meaning your potential sentence included jail time, but not prison time.
However, even if you were convicted of a DUI as a felony, you are still entitled to a felony expungement of your DUI, as long as you served time in jail rather than prison (or neither jail nor prison).
Prison time is only a threshold question when considering your eligibility for expungement. You also must:
- not currently be charged with any offense;
- not be on probation for any offense; and
- not be serving a sentence for any offense.
From here, expungement eligibility breaks down into a couple of more scenarios:
- if you did not violate probation while on probation for your DUI, then you’re entitled to a “mandatory expungement”; but
- if you did violate probation, then you are only entitled to an expungement “in the interest of justice.”
Below is a discussion of the difference between these two scenarios.
DUI Expungement in the Newport Beach Courthouse – Mandatory vs. Interest of Justice
A “mandatory expungement” is a little misleading, in that, it doesn’t mean you are entitled to an expungement no matter what.
It means that you are set up for a successful granting of your motion, assuming the law doesn’t otherwise prohibit it. In this case, the judge looks to make sure the requirements of the law are met, and assuming they are, the judge will grant your motion to dismiss your conviction.
With a “discretionary expungement,” even if you have met all of the threshold legal requirements discussed above (i.e. not on probation anymore, no time in prison, etc.), the judge still retains discretion to deny your motion if the judge feels it does not serve the interests of justice.
Factors the judge will consider include (but are not limited to):
- the age of your conviction;
- your past criminal history – whether you have more than one past conviction;
- signs of rehabilitation;
- letters of reference from current employers, pastors, etc.;
- volunteer work; and
- whether you’ve been denied employment opportunities because of this conviction.
With a mandatory expungement, you have to make sure you motion is filed properly or the judge will deny it, including:
- proper paperwork, law, and filing;
- proper service on the District Attorney in the time required by law; and
- proper eligibility.
With a discretionary expungement, you need all of the above, plus a court hearing in which you can present oral argument before the judge in court, and against the District Attorney who will most likely oppose you and argue against you for the judge should not grant your motion.
As an experienced expungement attorney, I can appear in court for you and handle your expungement motion from start to finish, including the oral argument. That’s what attorneys do.
Some people try to handle an expungement on their own, without an attorney, to their detriment. When you have a job on the line, it’s important to take this motion seriously and ensure your best chances of success.
Hire an Attorney for Your DUI Expungement in the Newport Beach Courthouse
My office consists of a team of experienced expungement lawyers, whose job it is to ensure your motion gets granted. Rather than try to handle a very sensitive situation on your own, and risk delaying your motion or altogether losing the opportunity to get your motion granted, we can handle your case for you – from start to finish.
For a free consultation, you can reach me personally here: