In Florida, a DUI conviction stays on your record indefinitely. Having this mar on your record can affect you years down the road. It can thwart your career, hurt you in family court cases, and increase your auto insurance premiums.
This is why it is so important to hire a defense lawyer to fight your DUI charges. If you have been arrested for DUI in St. Petersburg, call Goldman Wetzel to speak to our DUI defense attorneys. We can represent you during your hearing and fight to have your charges dropped or reduced. Contact us today at 727-828-3900.
How long do DUIs stay on your record in Florida?
There are two public records on which a DUI will show up: your criminal record (or “rap sheet”), and your driving record.
Criminal record: Most DUIs are misdemeanor offenses that stay on your record forever. Twenty or 30 years down the road, a judge, officer, or employer can pull your record and see what you were charged with, when you were arrested, and what the outcome of the case was, e.g., convicted, dismissed, etc.
Driving record: When the state convicts you of a DUI, your traffic infraction also goes on your record with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Having a DUI on your driving record affects you in two ways.
- Future charges: First, if you are arrested for DUI again, having a prior DUI on your record will upgrade the second offense and result in stiffer penalties.
- Insurance premiums: Second, when your auto insurance company learns of your DUI, it will increase your premiums, often exponentially. Most insurance companies will only look back three to five years on your driving record when calculating your premiums, but each state, district, and insurer is different. For detailed information about how a DUI conviction will affect your rates in the future, you can try speaking to your insurance agent, although they are often very vague and will likely not provide you with solid answers.
Can I get my DUI records expunged or sealed?
You have probably heard about people getting their records expunged or sealed to permanently remove them from their criminal records. In the majority of instances in Florida, DUI records are not eligible for sealment or expungement. Why? Because a DUI conviction requires an adjudication of guilt, and guilty convictions prevent you from sealing or expunging your record. Even if you accept a plea bargain in your DUI case, you will still be adjudicated guilty and will, therefore, be ineligible for sealment or expungement.
Note: We may be able to get your record sealed if we got your case reduced to a Reckless Driving and the judge withheld adjudication, or if we won your case.
What about websites that promise to make DUI records disappear?
You might have come across online providers that promise to give you post-conviction relief for a DUI and make your records disappear in exchange for a hefty fee.
Do not fall for it. While offenders in some states may be able to take certain steps to seal their criminal records, this does not apply to Florida DUI cases. Save your money and hire an attorney to fight your case instead.
Why should I hire Goldman Wetzel to fight my DUI charges?
Our DUI attorneys are passionate about providing the understanding and legal counsel people need when they have been charged with a crime. Society may peg you as guilty from the moment of your arrest, but we believe in giving each of our clients the non-judgmental, compassionate service they deserve while providing the smart, aggressive representation they need.
There are a few reasons that make Goldman Wetzel the best choice for your DUI case:
- DUI cases are one of our primary practice areas. We know DUI laws and defenses inside and out and will find the best approach for your case.
- Unlike other firms, our two attorneys work as one cohesive team to brainstorm and carefully manage each DUI case we take on.
- Our unique backgrounds with the Florida State Attorney’s Office and within the Pinellas County criminal justice system means that we are thoroughly steeped in DUI laws and criminal procedures. We have first-hand insight into what how prosecutors handle these types of cases, which allows us to find holes in the prosecutor’s cases.
Do not let DUI charges tarnish your entire future. Call Goldman Wetzel at 727-828-3900 for a free consultation to discuss your defense.