A drunk driving conviction has lifelong consequences. Long after your driver’s license has been restored, you’ll still have the DUI conviction on your permanent record. The good news is that the expungement laws in Michigan for DUI cases have recently been changed.
This means your conviction involving an operating while intoxicated OWI offense can now be removed. And this removal or expungement comes with many benefits. Many kinds of DUI convictions are eligible, sometimes even those drunk driving convictions involving injury or death can be expunged.
What Does DUI Expungement Actually Mean?
A DUI Michigan expungement will remove the conviction from your criminal record, and in most respects, the expungement allow you to proceed in your affairs as though you had never been convicted. For example, with some limitations that are beyond the scope of this article, a successful DUI expungement will allow you to avoid having to answer “yes” when asked about prior convictions on job and school applications.
Again, with some limitations, a successful DUI expungement will also prevent the DUI conviction from showing up on a background check. and background questionnaires.
Consequently, a successful DUI/OWI expungement will close out that chapter of your past and give you a fresh new start.
Will Anyone Be Able to Find My DUI Conviction?
It many instances the answer is no, the conviction will be removed from your record. A more resolute answer is not possible because there are many different kinds of records available to many different different kinds of people.
What might be available to a police officer or prosecuting attorney is different from what might be available to a corporation’s HR department. For example, while the standard criminal background check may not find the conviction, there may be deep background checks that do discover the arrest and final expungement resolution.
Background and criminal checks available to law-enforcement are different from what LARA may have available to it when you are renewing or applying for a state license. Lawyers also have their own licensing, character and fitness commission, and the records available to the State Bar might be different from those available to others.
In summary, as someone considering expungement, it is important to understand that the DUI will not be removed from every conceivable record, but for most people most of the time, expungement will serve its intended purpose. So, in general a criminal record that has been set aside is not visible to future employers, but Michigan law enforcement as well as police in the other 49 states can still pull up the conviction.
Will the DUI Show Up on My Michigan Driving Record?
The law also specifically prevents the conviction from being removed from your driving record. This means that even if you remove the first offense OWI from your criminal record, you would still have the conviction listed on your visible driving record for seven years from the date of conviction.
After seven years, the public driving record will continue to show the conviction as “one prior reportable driving conviction.” People who review this record may know what this means, and may therefore look further back into your driving record.
So it’s important to know that even after 7 years the appropriate notation will still be visible on your master driving record with the Secretary of State. That means that if there was another conviction, the Secretary of State could assess driving sanctions considering the expunged first offense OWI, even if you could only be charged with a first offense drunk driving.
The law is not clear how this will be handled by the Secretary of State, and as of the date of this article, they have provided no comment or guidance. We will update our blog once this occurs.
Will Employers Really Pull Both Criminal and Driving Records?
The answer to the question is unequivocally, maybe. Employers filling positions that require driving or in which a company vehicle will be issued have much greater incentive to search both criminal and driving records. Especially if they want to find out whether there has been an DUI conviction in the distant past.
Why It’s Important to Have a MI Charge Expunged
No one wants a criminal record. The intent of the legislature is to give people with DUI convictions the ability to remove the mistakes of the past and approach the future with a clean slate. This will help any time you are seeking employment, background checks for volunteering, applications to undergraduate and graduate schools, or just being asked about your past.
To learn more or begin the process of having your Michigan DUI conviction expunged, call today at ((248) 306-9158. The expungement lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm will talk to you for free. There is no obligation, and we are available 24/7.