DWI and Criminal Records

If you are convicted for a DUI or DWI offense, it will appear on your criminal record. After such a conviction, a search of criminal records could turn up that fact. That search may be done by a potential employer or a government agency investigating your background.

Because of the availability of criminal records, you may be prevented from obtaining a job that you seek or find your personal life under the scrutiny by another at the touch of a button. Keeping your record clear is a good reason to hire a criminal defense lawyer in case you’re arrested for DUI.

Under certain circumstances, your criminal records may be cleared, or expunged.

Criminal record expungement is the process of removing specific arrests and charges from the criminal record. This doesn’t apply to all arrests and charges.

Under Section 9122 of Pennsylvania statutes, someone arrested for DUI can return to court after they complete their Accelerated Rehabilitative Dispostion (ARD) program (see prior blog on first time DWI arrest) and have their record expunged. The public will no longer have access to the DUI record.

The Pennsylvania State Police will keep records of an expunged offense and use it for future investigative purposes only, but not for purposes of,

  • Impeaching your testimony in court,
  • Enhancing your sentence for a future offense, or
  • Make it available to employers or anyone in the public.

A DUI arrest generates two records, a criminal one and one with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which cannot be expunged. PennDOT will keep a record of the DUI charge against you, even if it is handled through ARD and expunged from the criminal record. Some employers, like trucking companies, will still be able to find out about the charge. The information will also be available to law enforcement agencies in the event that you get a subsequent DUI or DWI arrest.

While it is not possible to expunge the DUI record at the DMV, it is possible to expunge the DUI record at the court, which will lead to the DUI record being expunged at the State Police (PATCH REPORT) and the FBI.

It is important to retain an attorney who can not only help you with your DUI record expungement but who will make sure that Pennsylvania and federal agencies follow through with court-ordered directives and destroy these records.

We can help make that happen, if you qualify. Contact our office so we can discuss how we can help.

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