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california dui defense lawyerIf you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you face many serious penalties in the short term. Your sentence could include fines, jail time, probation, driver’s license suspension, court-ordered community service, DUI school, and attendance at AA meetings. However, you may also be concerned about the long-term effects of a conviction, including a criminal record that can impact future sentencing and employment and housing opportunities. It is important to understand how your criminal record can affect you, as well as whether you have any options to remove a DUI conviction from your record.

Expunging a DUI Conviction in California

A DUI conviction is likely to remain on your record in some form for the rest of your life. However, under some circumstances, it is possible to have a DUI conviction dismissed, preventing it from affecting certain aspects of your life.

The most important requirement for dismissing a DUI conviction is that you have completed any term of probation that was included in your sentence. In California, DUI sentences often include a probationary period of between three and five years, during which time you must refrain from committing any additional criminal offenses. Probation also typically includes conditions such as attending DUI school, completing community service, and driving with restricted privileges. Once the probation period ends, you can petition the court for dismissal, provided that you have abided by all of the conditions of probation and you are not currently serving another sentence or facing pending criminal charges.

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San Francisco Out of State DUI Defense LawyerThere is little doubt that California, at least pre-COVID and also before the major, frequent fires, has always been the place to be when traveling within the U.S.—you might be there to check out Hollywood and all the stars, or you could be there to savor some lush libations in wine country throughout Napa. Whatever your reasons for traveling here as an out-of-state visitor, odds are you will probably need a car or a rental. Much of the most popular spots in California are not exactly within walking distance of wherever you might be. Residents know this—and have known this—for years. So if you do end up driving a lot while here as a nonresident, you should know that when it comes to a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, things can get complicated. Here is why. 

California Is Serious About Out-of-State DUI Due to Interstate Agreements

Do not think that being in a new place for a short while disqualifies you from severe consequences with regards to DUI charges; in fact, in California, out-of-state DUI is a serious offense that could result in major punishments in both California and your home state. The reason for this is mostly due to an interstate agreement about road safety:

The state of California is one of 45 states that agreed to join the Nonresidential Violator Compact, also known as the Interstate Driver’s License Compact or the IDLC, at least partially. This compact is a partnership between states across the nation to share all violation information from out-of-state residents with their fellow members of the compact. For many states, this includes minor traffic violations; for California, it is primarily for more serious dangers to safety like DUI. As such, if you are charged or convicted of DUI in California as a nonresident, you will face stiff penalties and consequences, both in California and your home state. The constant sharing of information between states with regards to this might actually make your case even more complicated, as the prosecution might discover a history of criminal activity, including prior DUIs.   

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San Francisco DUI Defense attorneysDriving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. By driving under the influence, you not only put your own life at risk but also the lives of innocent passengers, drivers, and pedestrians. In doing so, you could also cause expensive and destructive damage to roads, vehicles, and property. As such, the penalties for DUI in California are severe, including revocation or suspension of your driver’s license, hefty fines, and substantial prison time. However, one area of concern that is particularly significant yet understated is the possible loss of your professional license. A DUI conviction—even a DUI arrest—could put your entire professional career in jeopardy. Here are some ways to minimize the damage to your professional licensure when planning your DUI defense. 

4 Tips for Developing Your Professional License DUI Defense

Despite California’s AB-2138 Law, passed earlier this year, making it more difficult for licensing organizations to revoke or withhold licenses from professionals, there are still plenty of situations when a DUI arrest or conviction could be a calamity for your career. If that is the case, consider these tips: 

  1. Respond with the appropriate attitude. The licensing board will know of the DUI almost as soon as anyone else does. Once they find out, they will probably issue inquiries and other requests of you to help them further understand the situation. While different California Business & Professions Codes allow revocation and suspension of licenses for DUIs, there are limitations, so you are not entirely out of luck, especially when given the opportunity to respond to the licensing agency’s questions. But you must have the proper attitude about it all: You cannot be unresponsive, but you also do not want to be so accommodating that you incriminate yourself with a wealth of information. If you refuse to be forthright or, at the least, cooperate, maybe even suggesting that you do not regret or even entirely understand the ramifications of the DUI, the licensing body will be less willing to fairly consider your side of the story.
  2. Be honest and straightforward in communication. Do not get caught in a lie. You are all professionals there (literally), so attempting to evade questions by being unprofessional is most unwise. It might even be a good idea to openly and swiftly alert the licensing agency of your DUI in advance so that they know you are being proactive and conscientious enough to care about the outcome.
  3. Compile and provide convincing evidence. You do not want to go into too much  detail, but you should provide convincing evidence surrounding the case to suggest that the circumstances made it such that your DUI did not show an utter lack of responsible behavior on your part as it would potentially pertain to your profession. This awareness will go a long way with a discerning licensing board.
  4. Hire a lawyer. An attorney will not just help you with the small things like initiating correspondence with the licensing board and responding to their preemptive inquiries; an attorney will also handle even more substantial challenges of your case, such as coaching you if asked to respond to questions from the licensing agency and developing a comprehensive, winning strategy to make sure you get to keep your license and continue doing what you love for a living.

Contact a San Francisco Professional License DUI Defense Lawyer

If you are worried about losing your professional license due to DUI, reach out to a Sonoma DUI defense attorney. It is no coincidence that Attorney Paul Burglin finds himself in court winning cases to help professionals get their career licenses back or prevent them from losing those professional licenses in the first place: he is an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who has literally written the book on California Drunk Driving Law. His three decades of experience helping professionals recover from the legal repercussions of licensure defense will be a great benefit to you if you are faced with such a difficult time in your career. Call Burglin Law Offices, P.C. at 415-729-7300 for a free consultation.

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