Will a DUI be on my permanent record, and how will that affect me?
In Pennsylvania, all criminal convictions are accessible on a public record database. Because a DUI is a criminal offense, it will be accessible. Now, there are reasons why it will not be. Generally, if you have gotten an expungement of any offense, it won’t be accessible to the public. A DUI may still be accessible in certain circumstances. If you had a first DUI, and you were able to get into the ARD program, you were eligible for accelerated rehabilitative disposition.
When you begin the criminal process, you are on the path to go to a jury trial. If you are eligible for ARD, then the District Attorney’s Office actually agrees to take you out of that path to a jury trial. If you do everything that is asked from you for a certain period of time, the district attorney’s office will actually agree to dismiss the charges, where then you would be eligible for an expungement.
If you are facing a first time DUI, and you are eligible for ARD, then you are able to get a dismissal and then get that expunged. Now, depending on what county you are in, ARD is different. In some places once you finish ARD, the expungement will happen automatically. In other places, it won’t happen automatically. Once you finish ARD in some counties, you will get a letter from adult probation where they tell you that you’ve successfully completed ARD. You then take that letter to the Clerk of Courts, and you have to file to have your DUI expunged. There is a filing fee associated with it but if you have any questions whether the DUI is expunged from your record, it’s important that you call an attorney who can look into it.
Now, as far as DUIs and expungements, it’s not accessible to the public anymore but PennDOT will still have a record of your DUI and so will the district attorney’s office where your DUI took place. They do this for grading purposes. If you are ever charged with a DUI a second time, they need to know whether or not you’ve been offered ARD before and they would need to know whether or not you’ve faced a DUI charge before.
Outside of a first time offense, a DUI will be on your permanent record. And that can affect your employment, depending on where you work.
For example, if an attorney is charged with a DUI, they have to let certain people know that they are facing criminal charges and that can affect them and their license.
If you’re in a profession where you’re licensed to do something, usually a criminal charge could affect it. If you have a profession that’s in the public sector, a criminal charge could affect it. So it’s important that before you plead guilty to any charge, or before you go to trial, that you speak with an attorney who can talk to you about what options you have, and the strength of what defenses that you may have.
We would be happy to talk to you about your case at Bononi & Company. Our phone number is 724-832-2499. We will talk to you over the phone and we can meet with you in person at our Latrobe, Greensburg or Johnstown offices to talk to you about your case and how we can help you.