Can a DWI be removed from a criminal record in the state of North Carolina?
A Driving While Impaired (DWI) charge is a misdemeanor traffic offense. As a traffic offense, a DWI charge cannot be removed from a person’s North Carolina criminal record unless the case is dismissed or a not guilty verdict is entered.
Can you get a DUI off your record? If a person is convicted of a DWI charge then the charge can, most likely, not be removed from the person’s driving record.
Expungement is what we call the time intensive process you must go through to have a DWI removed from your criminal record. But can you get a DWI expunged? In order to even qualify for an expungement of the misdemeanor, the conviction you are seeking to expunge must be at least 15 years old.
Although expungement is quite a long difficult process, it is often the best option to take. Otherwise, you may have the DWI affecting you the rest of your life, seeing as a criminal record can prevent future success in applying to schools, job opportunities, and the like (see more on our blog about the consequences of a criminal record in North Carolina).
Beginning the Expungement Process
To expunge a DWI offense from your criminal record, a Petition for Expunction would have to be filed by you (with the help of your lawyer). All the conditions and requirements for eligibility for such an expungement would have to be met by the convicted person requesting expungement.
If the Petition for Expunction is accepted, then all information related to your case will be removed, deleted, and destroyed by all agencies of the state. This is why the process of expunction is so long, as there are many different agencies which house information on the conviction which all need the proper paperwork in order to expunge your record.
Why do I still find information about my DWI on the internet after expungement?
After a DWI or a criminal charge is expunged, all state agencies housing information about your criminal record should remove, delete, and destroy all documents related to your conviction. However, private agencies that collect information related to arrests and criminal process may not automatically take information down following an expungement.
Online information at sites such as www.mugshots.com, may need to be individually contacted after expungement in order to have information related to a DWI arrest removed. This process can be very frustrating and time consuming, but it is well worth keeping your online reputation clean. Talk to an experienced DWI lawyer for assistance.
Having a DWI Removed From Your Driving Record
A DWI can only be removed from your North Carolina Driving Record if it is dismissed or a not guilty verdict is entered. After the approval of the Petition for Expunction by an appropriate judge in your county, the Petition for Expunction will be forwarded along to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), where all the information related to the expunged DWI will be removed from your North Carolina Driving History.
Check your driving record in North Carolina on the NC Department of Transportation website!
Wrapping it all up
The process for removing a DWI from a criminal record may be long and painful, but at the end of the day, it is possible and it is worth it. If you have the opportunity to get your criminal record cleaned up, take it, no matter how much work you have to do for it.
Your record has a larger influence on your life then you might think. Treat it well and fight for it.
If you or someone you know have been charged with DWI, it is important to consult with an experienced DWI attorney that can help zealously defend your case. Contact us at Minick Law, P.C. for a free consultation on your case.