Can You Expunge Traffic Offenses and Violations in California?April 1, 2020
Many people wonder if they can get a traffic offense or violation removed from their records. Having a DUI or driving without a license conviction show up on your record can have negative consequences. It can inhibit your job or housing opportunities by having that unfortunate mark of a criminal record. Generally, traffic violations fall into three categories: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Infractions are the least severe offense. Luckily, California Penal Code 1203.4 allows for certain infraction, misdemeanor, and felony traffic violations to be “expunged.”
What Does a California Expungement Do?
In California, the term expungement has a different meaning than most states. A California expungement will not be “erased” or “sealed” from the public’s view. Instead, it will show up as a dismissed case. Most people trying to expunge records do so in order to pass background checks conducted by potential employers. However, some worry about the effects of having the case still show up on background checks, even though it will be marked as dismissed. Still, you are legally allowed say that you have never been convicted of the offense. California also recently passed laws protecting employment options for those with a criminal history. These laws are commonly referred to as Ban the Box legislation.
There is one caveat to expunging traffic violations. Traffic violations create two types of records: criminal and driving. Although you can expunge the conviction on your criminal record, it will remain on your DMV record. The DMV is a separate agency from the courts, and so they maintain a set of records that is independent of your criminal record. Consequently, any points received from traffic violations will also remain on your driving record.
There are just a few requirements that need to be met in order to be eligible. For example, you must have completed your sentence of probation, and cannot have any pending cases. The expungement process for getting your traffic violation expunged is relatively simple, but it’s best to seek the assistance of a law firm or an experienced attorney. If you are looking to get your traffic violation expunged, check out our free, secure eligibility test to see if you qualify today.
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