DUI convictions never go away in Washington State. According to the law says that a DUI conviction must stay on your record for 99 years in Washington State. It cannot be expunged, vacated, or sealed. For the rest of your life – it is on your permanent record.
According to Washington Revised Code 9.96.060, DUIs cannot be expunged from a driver’s record. Therefore, it is regrettable that a driver’s DUI convictions cannot be erased from their criminal record. Although many Washington State drivers find this upsetting, there are valid reasons why it can be so difficult to have a DUI expunged from a criminal record.
DUIs are treated seriously in Washington State, and the regulations reflect this. Washington State does not permit the erasing of criminal records associated with a DUI after a predetermined amount of time, despite the fact that having a DUI is very common.
For a number of reasons, it is not possible to have a DUI expunged in Washington State. It is effective to reduce the risk that they will do so and receive a second driving conviction if they have a DUI on their record. The first is that the negligent motorist might commit the same error once more.
Driving offenders who frequently commit serious violations face hefty punishments, therefore it’s crucial to handle DUI accusations carefully and avoid accumulating more charges. Because a further violation is anticipated, a DUI conviction in Washington State stays on a person’s record for seven years.
Drivers cannot have DUI arrests expunged from their records for another reason: most courts want offenders to take full responsibility for their unsafe driving habits.
Judges are particularly hesitant to expunge DUI convictions from a driver’s criminal record because they want the conviction to be taken seriously and serve as a deterrent to future offenders.
A DUI accusation and a DUI conviction are obviously two very different things. A dependable, skilled, and passionate advocate can clarify these distinctions, which have the power to alter lives. Despite the fact that many people are detained and charged with DUI, not all of them are found guilty. Several factors could influence the case between the time of the charge and the time of the conviction.
While DUI and physical control charges can not be vacated, reductions from the following charges can be:
- Reckless Driving
- Reckless Endangerment
- Negligent Driving First Degree
- Hit and Run
- Driving on a Suspended License
While convictions for the aforementioned charges may be overturned, it should be noted that this is a discretionary decision taken by the court and not a matter of right. Some judges will object to the proposal and do so. This is especially true if the conviction stems from a DUI accusation that was later dropped. These judges believe that in the event of a later DUI conviction, a DUI reduction counts as a prior DUI. The use of the initial conviction as a prior offense in sentencing calculations would be rendered invalid by its expungement.
Anyone who meets the requirements for the expungement of such a conviction should submit a motion to do so for this reason alone. In addition to possessing a qualified charge that is eligible for expungement, one must also:
- Have no new criminal charges pending at the time the motion is made
- Have no new convictions for any crime in any court
- Never had a record of another conviction vacated
- Not be currently restrained or restrained within the five years prior to the application of record vacation by a domestic violence protection order, no contact order, anti-harassment order or civil restraining order
- Three years must have elapsed since compliance with all conditions of the sentencing court
- If the conviction sought to be vacated would count as a “prior offense” in case of a subsequent DUI conviction, at least ten (10) years must have elapsed since the arrest for that prior offense