Can you clear your record of a DUI?

by | Oct 22, 2021 | Motor vehicle accidents

Clearing a conviction for driving under the influence can be a difficult legal task in New Jersey. Just as the only real method of sobering up is the passage of time, the same principle applies in New Jersey DUI cases. New Jersey views impaired driving differently from other states, as it is not considered a criminal offense that can be expunged at a later date when the defendant has met all criteria associated with punishment and rehabilitation in becoming a law-abiding resident. Charges for impaired driving are considered traffic violations. The problem with this twisted legal application is that a conviction can still land a defendant in jail for a significant amount of time.

The DUI lookback period

The New Jersey driving behavior lookback period is set as 10 years, as are many other states that actually consider DUI a crime. This typically only applies for the court system in subsequent DUI cases. However, the traffic violations look back period for a driving abstract is set at five years. Traffic violations cannot be removed during this time period, so clearing a DUI cannot be accomplished initially.

Reevaluating a prior conviction

New Jersey also allows for prior convictions to be revisited by the court. Also known in the legal industry as “post-conviction relief” when filed in court, it can allow DUI attorneys an opportunity to have a prior conviction set aside, then allowing them to arrange a plea agreement for a reduced traffic violation charge in a current case.

DUI convictions can assuredly have a major impact on life going forward for those who have been accused in New Jersey. And while a DUI conviction is not classified as eligible for a case expungement, there are some steps that can be taken when wanting to mitigate the future damage that can come with a DUI conviction.