Imagine that you are a young person who is facing your first drunk driving charge. Though you're not fluent with the law, you do know that a criminal conviction can have a very severe impact on your life. In many cases, it can impact everything from entrance into college, seeking employment or getting access to affordable housing.
You worry this could happen to you if you plead guilty to the charge or get convicted by the court, which brings you to the question we're asking above: is it possible to get a first-time DUI expunged from your record?
The question is simple enough but the answer isn't. That's because, as some of our more frequent readers know, expungements are only granted under strict circumstances here in Virginia. As we explained back in a May 2015 post, there are only three instances in which it may be possible to get a criminal record expunged and none of these instances involve a DUI conviction.
If you are not aware of this fact, as is the case for most young people, you might accept a plea deal and plead guilty to driving while intoxicated. Unfortunately, this means you would receive a DUI conviction, which would stay on your criminal record. Even if you realize you've made a mistake, it's too late. There is no changing your mind once you've been convicted of a DUI.
The best way to prevent this disastrous outcome is to speak to a lawyer immediately after being charged with a DUI. Only a skilled defense lawyer can explain how the law will apply to your situation and what your best options are.