Florida DUI (driving under the influence) offenses can have significant consequences, including loss of license, fines, prison time, ignition interlock devices, vehicle immobilization and more. Someone with a DUI on their record can potentially face hardships when seeking employment, renting an apartment, or taking out loans. A qualified DUI lawyer can fight to build your case and can answer any questions you may have about Ft Lauderdale DUI arrest records.
Drunk Driving Arrests vs. Convictions
Floridians who have been arrested, charged, or convicted of a Florida DUI will have it show up on their criminal background checks and may be required to disclose that information in certain situations. However, Florida allows someone to seal or expunge their DUI arrest records in certain situations which means that it will no longer show up in most background checks and they will no longer need to disclose it. In essence, a sealed or expunged record treats an offense as if it never existed.
The ability to seal or expunge a DUI record differs when it comes to DUI convictions versus DUI arrests/charges. Anyone who has been convicted of a Florida DUI offense, or for reckless driving and similar offenses, is generally not eligible to have their DUI record sealed or expunged – unless a DUI case was later reduced to a reckless driving charge and a Florida court withheld adjudication. This is also true in situations where someone was convicted at trial or pled guilty or no contest beforehand. Anyone who has been arrested or merely charged with a Florida DUI offense, but not convicted, may be eligible to have that record sealed or expunged.
Process of DUI Arrest Record Expungement
In order to get Ft. Lauderdale DUI arrest records sealed or expunged, an application must be filed with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The applicant must generally provide fingerprints and obtain a certified disposition from the court where the arrest was processed. In many cases, forms must be signed in front of a notary public. Once the FDLE certifies the applicant’s eligibility, the applicant’s attorney files a petition with the Clerk of Courts that must include a notarized affidavit. The State Attorney’s Office must also be served with a copy.
In some situations, the order to seal or expunge a DUI arrest record may be signed by a judge without a hearing. In others, the applicant may have to appear before a judge and explain why they believe their record should be sealed or expunged. Anyone who is eligible to have a DUI arrest sealed or expunged from their record should do so. More and more employers, landlords, and financial institutions require background checks – especially since the cost of doing so has decreased due to online databases.
Contacting a Ft. Lauderdale DUI Lawyer
Being charged with DUI can be an overwhelming experience. If you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI, the make sure to contact a Ft. Lauderdale DUI attorney today. A qualified attorney can examine all of the aspects of your case and advise you of your legal options going forward. Speak to a knowledgeable attorney that can answer any questions you may have about Ft. Lauderdale DUI arrest records.