Presuming that the laws in your state are similar to mine, New York, you cannot have DUI, DWI, BUI, BWI removed from your record at all. The grievousness of such a crime is likened in the law to illegal gun possession or dumping toxic waste. That's to say that people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are partaking in the same reckless endangerment as those who possess an illegal handgun or those who more indirectly cause danger to others around them by dumping toxic waste illegally. Given the statistics on how many people have been killed by drunk drivers as opposed to illegal handguns or toxic waste, it is actually the most superlative reckless endangerment of the three examples, often considered in certain states not to be reckless endangerment at all, but the higher class of culpability known as "knowledgeable."
Your driving record, sometimes referred to as an "abstract" because it is a list of your infractions going back to a time when you started driving, not an actual account of how good a driver you are, is not a matter of public record, but those in authority or with due cause may pay to use it and may also formulate policies with regard to abstracts.
For instance, I once worked for a bus company. Our policy, which stepped on the toes of no laws, was to not hire anyone as a bus driver who'd had a DUI or DWI within the previous 20 years. There are far more qualifications than that, but this one aspect is that which interests you. Some poor guy, looking for a job, a decent and good guy age 37 just wanting to take care of his family applied. At the interview he was asked about his driving record. Like anybody, he stated that it was clean. I never understood why people presume that a bus company isn't within their rights to check. Well, we did, as we did all applicants. Turns out he had a DWI on his record from when he was a self-proclaimed "stupid" kid at age 18. It was 19 years later and we still couldn't hire him, not only because the term had not yet expired, but also because he lied during the interview. He wasn't the only one. People lied all the time about felony records and weapons charges, car accidents and classes of driver’s license. Through a system of fingerprinting and checking the abstracts, we caught them all.
Anyway, that guy, like the others, was peeved. He could not believe that we had any legal authority not to hire him because his infraction was so long in the past. We wanted him. Like I said, he was a decent guy with a clean driving record ever since. Still, we couldn't hire him. Those policies weren't just for the good of the company, they were strict so as to fall in line with standards that the state puts forth by law with regard the children and passenger safety. Like all the others, somebody, usually somebody in the family or a friend, told that guy that after a certain amount of time his crime would just drop off of the record, get washed away.
That is an urban myth. Infractions never get dropped from your abstract. Crimes never get dropped from your criminal record. It's an urban myth that stems from a time when all such things were kept on paper and workers would only look up information back to a certain date without having to go into some scary archives basement. Today we have computers, period. Your whole driving abstract is at the touch of a button.
What does happen is one of two things. Either you pay for your crime through the criminal justice system, or you fight the charges until they are overturned, also through the criminal justice system. Though evidence of both will never be removed from your record, the manner in which that evidence is treated and/or held against you at later times is prescribed by law. The charges may never drop form your record, but there may be laws in your state that disallow others from failing to hire you based on those charges or disallow issuances of other licenses based on those charges. In other words, there are laws to prevent other people from holding those charges against you IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, but there are no laws that force your record to be cleaned.
In conclusion, there will be no way to have your record erased before court. Lawyers may know a trick or two around it, but the record is what it is. Court is the system through which you have to go in order for a determination to be made which CAN, but almost never, in some states, include in the determination an order for an expunging of your record. If, more likely in your case, the payment for your DUI crime way back when was a suspension of your license, the court may also find that you have not yet paid your debt to society. Rather than send you to prison, which they can here on a DUI, they decided instead that you shouldn't drive a car. It sucks, but that's your punishment. In fact, despite that realism that motor vehicle law is governed at a state level, with a suspended license, you shouldn’t be driving in any state.
I don't know that you fall into this category or not, but many people who look at the suspension of their license as a mechanism of their record, figuring that if they change the record they change the outcome, are usually repeat offenders. These are people that would have you believe the one time they were caught was the only time they were DUI, and they are lying. They've, overall, not accepted the responsibility for their actions. They don't get it. They blame the episode on having been caught and not on the fact that they, themselves were wrong. Unfortunately, the only way to accept responsibility for DUI, is not after-the-fact, but before you got into the car. You missed your chance. A suspended license is not a function of your record. That's a misnomer. A suspended license is a function of your actions, actions you cannot go back and change. This is evidenced by the fact that you can, through court, get your license back, even if your record has not changed. It is a further indicator that actions and punishments are hand in hand, not actions and records or actions and the act of getting caught. If you were being truthful with yourself when posing the question, “Did I drive after having used a substance that is supposed to prevent me from driving,” you’d answer, “Yes, that was me.” No excuses, no bewilderment over the state of the law today, no complaints about how long ago it was. You did it. Plain and simple. Now what? Court or punishment?
Your day in court is your right. Use it. Don’t avoid it. It, though daunting, is the only fair and level playing field you have. Take it like an adult, an adult who knows her/his rights. Anything else is just childish jabbering on a couch, the “woe is me” factor that still refuses to deal with what you’ve done. Don’t miss out on your absolute RIGHTS in court over your license which is no more than a PRIVILEDGE, a privilege you abused.
Answered By: wolvensense - 4/23/2006