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What a DUI expungement can do for you

Many people may not know about, or even heard about, criminal expungements. When an expungement is granted to someone, it means that the individual's criminal history is effectively hidden from view. The record still exists, mind you, so that it can be referenced in case of other criminal offenses -- but the charge won't show up in background checks.

This is a huge gift for many people who have a criminal charge, such as a driving under the influence offense, because, in a way, it gives them a chance to start over. Having a criminal history disrupts a person's ability to find living arrangements, suitable work and even lines of credit. Obscuring these crimes so that the individual has a chance to rebuild his or her life is an important step.

In other words, expungements are very good, and they should be utilized more often for crimes that are non-violent in nature -- such as a DUI. DUI expungements are not guaranteed for anyone, though you probably have a better chance of getting a first offense removed than any subsequent offenses. How you get an expungement also varies from state to state, so it is best to look into the rules, or to consult an attorney to help you through the process.

Remember that an expungement doesn't completely wipe a criminal charge from your record. It simply tucks the charge away so that it can't inflict damage on your future attempts to get a job or find housing, among other things.

Source: FindLaw, "DUI Expungement," Accessed Nov. 14, 2014

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