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Why You Should Not Plan to Expunge Your DUI History

Posted on in DUI Defense

Oak Brook DUI defense attorney, expunge DUI, DUI history, expungement, pleading guiltyThe human race has a tendency to take the path of least resistance—it is in our nature. A direct route is chosen instead of a scenic route. A quick fix serves its purpose over a complete overhaul. One chooses to pay a fine rather than going to court to have his or her story heard. Although in some cases it makes good sense to take the path with less stress and resistance, in others it creates more work and perhaps irreparable damage later in life.

For instance, if you are charged with a DUI, it may be tempting to plead guilty, avoid hiring an attorney, accept the consequences now, and expunge the conviction later in life, if it becomes a problem. Unfortunately, those plans may not work as anticipated.

Pleading Guilty is a Conviction

When you plead guilty to a charge, or even pay a traffic citation fine, you are effectively saying, “I committed the crime of which you accuse me.” Pleading guilty or “no contest” to a crime impacts a criminal record the same as if a jury of peers determined guilt. It would take highly unusual circumstances for a judge to turn around then and find you “not guilty.”

If you plead guilty, you will not only face all of the same punishments by a court of law, but also the secondary consequences. Penalties include:

  • Licensure loss;
  • Negative mark on background checks;
  • Adverse impact on employment opportunities;
  • Increased insurance premiums;
  • Harm to professional relations;
  • Social stigma; and
  • Decreased educational opportunities.

Expungement as an Option

The Illinois Identification Act allows a qualifying arrest, supervision, and probation to be expunged from a record. Expungement wipes a record clean as though the incident never occurred. However, a conviction is disqualified from expungement. In many situations, sealing a record is an option—one which would alleviate many of the above-listed predicaments. However, DUI convictions do not qualify for either expungement or sealing.

Other Options

An arrest for DUI is as visible on a criminal record as is a conviction. A conviction of Driving Under the Influence is not something that can be removed from a record; however, an arrest can be removed as long as it did not result in a conviction. The most beneficial option is to avoid the “easy” route of pleading guilty. This course may lead to a lifetime of consequences—ones that may not affect you now but may cause difficulties later.

Hiring an attorney is the most effective decision you can make to protect your rights, freedoms, and future. If you would like to discuss your situation with a proven Oak Brook, IL DUI defense attorney, contact McMahon Law Offices today. We proudly offer our services with a free consultation to those who call 630-953-4400 today.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/osad/Expungement/Documents/Crinminal%20Exp%20Guide/ExpungementSealingOverview.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

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