How Can I Expunge a DUI Conviction From My Record?

Posted: July 15, 2023 at 12:00 am

A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction can seriously disrupt your life, but it is sometimes possible to have a DUI expunged from your record once enough time has passed. If you’re searching for a “DUI attorney near me,” you’re on the right track, as a good attorney can increase your chances of success as you file your petition and attend your expungement hearing. Here’s how to go about expunging a DUI conviction in Olathe, KS, or elsewhere in Kansas. 

How Can I Expunge a DUI Conviction From My Record?

When you’ve been convicted of a DUI, it stays on your criminal record for life unless you take steps to have it removed. The DUI will show up whenever a prospective employer runs a criminal record check on you. It will also affect your applications with lenders and educational institutions. 

Your car insurance premiums will also be significantly higher, and you might struggle to get insured at all. The impacts of a DUI are so detrimental that it’s highly advisable to consult with an attorney about potential expungement, especially if your DUI was only a first-time offense. 

What Is a DUI Expungement?

Expungement wipes a particular arrest or conviction from your criminal record. The state destroys all physical copies of your criminal record relating to that particular crime. Your name is also removed from public records in relation to it. 

From then on, any remaining information relating to that criminal record cannot be disclosed, except under certain rare circumstances. For example, if you’re ever charged with a different crime in the future, the expunged DUI will factor into your criminal history. Apart from that, your DUI will disappear.  

You Can Start Again With a Clean Slate

Most importantly, once your DUI is expunged, employers, lenders, educational institutes, and insurance companies will no longer see a DUI when they run a criminal record check on you. For almost all intents and purposes, it will be as if the DUI never happened. 

When You Can Get a DUI Expunged in Olathe, KS

Each state has its own rules regarding DUI expungement. Those convicted of a DUI in Olathe, KS are fortunate in that Kansas allows expungement, which many states don’t. Kansas also allows expungement within a shorter timeframe than many other states for first-time offenders. 

Expunging a First-Time DUI 

In Kansas, you may potentially have a first-time DUI expunged five years after your jail sentence, probation, community service, or diversion is completed. A diversion is a situation where the prosecutor agreed to a deal and the DUI charges are dismissed or not brought to begin with. 

After five years have passed since the completion of your court-ordered sentence, you may arrange for your attorney to file a petition for expungement on your behalf. To be eligible for the petition, you must also have had no other criminal offenses or convictions during that five-year period and no criminal charges pending. 

Expunging a Second or Third-Time DUI

The state of Kansas is more forgiving of first-time DUIs than subsequent offenses. For second-time and all subsequent DUIs, it’s still possible to have them expunged, but you’ll need to wait ten years following the completion of your court-ordered sentence. It will also be harder to successfully persuade the judge to expunge your record.

The Process for DUI Expungements

The legal process of expungement begins with your attorney filing a petition with the same court in which you were originally convicted. Your attorney will also draft a proposed court order, which the judge may simply sign off on if they agree to expunge your DUI. 

Once the petition is filed, the city or county attorney may not believe that the expungement is in the interests of justice, or they may have another reason to object to your expungement. In this case, they’ll state their objection in response to your petition. The next step will be a hearing. 

Arguing Your Case in a Court Hearing

Your attorney will schedule a hearing that requires you, your attorney, and the city or county attorney to attend and present arguments to a judge. Your attorney will explain why you should have the DUI expunged, and the city or county attorney will usually explain why they disagree. 

Your fate is now in the hands of the judge, who may speak to you directly to weigh the sincerity of your attorney’s statements. The judge will usually make a decision there and then on whether to grant the request for expungement. 

How To Prepare for Your Expungement Hearing

When presenting your case to the judge, various factors can weigh in your favor. Maintaining a clear record since the time of your conviction is clearly a necessary factor. It will also help if you have an impeccable probationary record. Further demonstrations of acting as an upstanding and productive citizen will also work to your benefit, such as diligently working in pursuit of your career since the conviction. 

You may also show the judge that you’ve been volunteering for charities and community events. You’ll need to have actually enacted any proclamations of good character. It’s unwise to attempt to paint an overly rosy picture, as the judge will probably question you directly and is very likely to detect any exaggeration or confabulation. As the offense is a DUI, it will also help to show a record of clean urine tests throughout your probationary period.

How Can a DUI Attorney Near Me Help?

You may file a petition for expungement on your own, but it’s highly recommended to find a good DUI attorney near you to help prepare and represent you in the hearing. With extensive experience helping other clients successfully attain DUI expungements, your attorney will know precisely what information to prepare and present to the judge to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.

On top of that, any procedural mistakes during the petition filing or hearing process may result in an automatic rejection. An attorney will ensure that all the correct documentation is provided and everything is carried out correctly. By clarifying the law and your rights, your attorney can offer you invaluable guidance and moral support during the entire process. Without an attorney by your side, filing for expungement can be a stressful and oftentimes unfruitful journey. 

DUI Expungement in Missouri

Olathe is within the metropolis of Kansas City, which spreads across two states: Kansas and Missouri. It’s therefore useful to note the different rules for DUI expungement in Missouri. In Missouri, the rules for expungement are a good deal stricter than in Kansas: you may only expunge the first-time DUI offense and only after ten years have passed since your court-ordered sentence has ended.

Also, the DUI conviction must have been a misdemeanor to be applicable for expungement in Missouri, rather than a felony offense. And the incident must not have involved a commercial vehicle. For these reasons, it’s generally considerably harder to have a request for expungement granted in Missouri than in Kansas. 

If you’d like a seasoned DUI attorney to help you gain a DUI expungement, contact Henderson Legal Defense, LLC Attorneys at Law today at (913) 782-4030 for a free consultation. Our award-winning attorneys are relentless in their pursuit of the best possible outcome for all of their clients.