In this day and age, information regarding the law is incredibly abundant and available to anyone who knows how to find it. Unfortunately, sifting through what applies to your situation and what doesn't can be challenging, especially because laws can differ between states.
Our Leesburg readers can see this exemplified by drunk-driving laws. Although every state has a legal limit for the amount of alcohol that can be found in a driver's system and a set of criminal charges for those found guilty of breaking the law, each state handles the process of dealing with convictions in a different way. While in one state it might be possible to get a DUI conviction expunged or wiped clean from a criminal record, the same is not true in all states.
Determining whether or not this is the case here in Virginia can be incredibly difficult because of the complexity of our laws. Most people find our state's laws tough to read and interpret, which means even our Leesburg readers might misunderstand or misapply the law to their situation. This could lead to costly mistakes, especially if a person is trying to manage a legal case without the help of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney.
One common question that gets asked here in Virginia all the time is, "can a DUI conviction get expunged from a criminal record?" As we mentioned above, this is allowed in some states. But here in Virginia, the process of expunging a criminal record of a crime is incredibly difficult and even impossible in some situations.
According to the Code of Virginia § 19.2-392.2, a person may only request an expungement of their police and court records if:
- the individual is acquitted of the crime
- an action of nolle prosequi is taken (prosecutors took no further action in the case)
- the charges are dismissed completely
Although drunk-driving charges do fall under this section as crimes that can be expunged, one of the conditions above has to be met in order to have a request for expungement approved by the courts.
Because DUI convictions can be incredibly damaging, Virginians need to know their rights and how the law applies to their situation. By talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney, this is possible.