Written by Timothy Czekaj
If you have a DUI on your record, it can hold you back in many ways. You may be wondering how to clear your name going forward. A DUI expungement legally removes the record of your charge and conviction from the public depository that shows all DUI cases in Pennsylvania. With the help of an experienced attorney, you may be able to seek an expungement that may allow you to clear up your record.
As DUI attorney with years of experience, Czekaj Law, LLC understands how difficult a DUI can be for everyone involved. Do not hesitate to seek legal counsel if you have been arrested for a DUI, or if you would like to explore your options for removing a previous DUI conviction from your record. Call Czekaj Law, LLC today at (717) 275-9770 for a free consultation with one of our DUI lawyers.
Having Completed an ARD Program Will Make Your DUI Expungement Easier
For many Pennsylvania residents who are formally charged with a DUI, an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program can help them avoid a conviction. These programs vary by county, but they usually involve up to one year of probation, community service, drug and alcohol assessments and treatment, and attendance at safety school. If you are accepted into an ARD program, you can successfully complete it by following through on the requirements set forth by the judge and district attorney in your case.
Successful completion of an ARD program will prevent a conviction from showing up on your record. However, it does not automatically remove the DUI charge from your record. Although there will be no formal conviction, DUI charges resolved through ARD will be considered to be prior offenses if you are later charged with another similar offense. Therefore you can receive a much more serious charge or penalty if you are arrested for a DUI or similar crime in the future. A DUI expungement can remove everything related to your DUI charge and ARD program from your official record, and it can be completed as follows:
- You and your lawyer will file the required criminal request form
- Proof of your completion of the ARD program will be presented
- A motion for expungement is requested through the clerk of courts
- If there is no objection from the district attorney who handled your charge, then your expungement will be granted
Note: It is important to note that the ARD offense will still be considered a first offense for purposes of calculating grading of any subsequent offense, even if the expungement has been granted.
A DUI Expungement Without Completion of an ARD Program
Pennsylvania law allows for a DUI expungement if you have not completed an ARD program, but these are much more difficult to achieve. In this situation, the state courts want to be certain that your expungement will not put unnecessary risks on the community, and they may grant it if the following circumstances apply:
- You are at least 70 years old and you have been free of arrest or prosecution for at least 10 years since last being on supervised probation
- You are seeking the expungement of a summary offense and have been free of arrest or prosecution for at least five years following the conviction of this prior offense
- Expungements are also available for those who have been deceased for at least three years
- You are seeking expungement of an offense for which the Governor has granted a pardon
If you are in a situation where an expungement may seem difficult or impossible, you should discuss your situation with your attorney. It may be necessary to seek a pardon before you qualify to request that your record be expunged. A pardon is an act of clemency by the Governor and may be granted if the Board of Pardons and the Governor are convinced you are no longer a danger of re-offending. After receiving a pardon, you are eligible to request expungement of the offense(s) pardoned. Our office regularly assists people with requesting pardons of criminal convictions, and we can help you understand your options given the details of your case.
Czekaj Law, LLC Can Help You
Your life can be greatly interrupted by a DUI conviction, and a formal charge can be harmful, even if you were not convicted of the offense. If you would like to clear your name and move on with your life, a DUI expungement may be helpful. Do not hesitate to contact Czekaj Law, LLC to speak with a skilled and compassionate DUI attorney about your case.