As you all know, each state in our country is allowed to draft and enforce its own laws. While every state may have the same basic laws, such as charges for drinking and driving, each state is allowed to handle violations of the law how its courts see fit. This means that while laws might be similar, trial outcomes will not always be the same from state to state.
Our Leesburg readers can see this exemplified by looking at how each state handles DUI expungements. As you may remember from our post in May regarding expungements, this legal remedy is not possible in every state. Here in Virginia, DUI expungements are only allowed under very specific circumstances and a person must first petition the courts before their record is even considered for expungement.
This leads us to a question we’d like today’s readers to consider: would Virginians benefit more from broader DUI expungement laws?
For some people, the answer may be no because they believe that someone who is accused of driving under the influence should have to live with their mistake for the rest of their lives. For those who believe Virginians could benefit from broader DUI expungement laws, the likely belief is that rehabilitation is possible and that the law should account for this more.
Wherever you stand on this issue, we’d like you to also consider a scenario that is all too common in Virginia: a person makes the mistake of driving while intoxicated. They are subsequently charged and convicted of driving under the influence. The driver is incredibly remorseful of their mistake though and works hard to never make the same mistake again. They vow to stop drinking and have been sober ever since.
We ask our readers: should a person in a situation such as this be forced to keep a DUI on their record or would it be more beneficial to grant an expungement? Under our state’s current laws, this wouldn’t be allowed. But seeing as how the person in this scenario is no longer at risk of making the same mistake, would it be fair to wipe the slate clean and allow the individual to truly move on with their life?
It’s because of scenarios such as this that we’re asking our readers to consider whether or not Virginians would benefit more from broader DUI expungement laws.