What is a San Diego California DUI Conviction Expungement?

A San Diego California DUI expungement is an important legal procedure to:

(a) Withdraw a DUI plea
(b) Obtain an Order setting aside the DUI conviction
(c) Enter a plea of Not Guilty
(d) Obtain an Order of dismissal of the accusatory DUI pleading upon successful petition to the Court for review of a San Diego California DUI or Drunk Driving – related conviction.

The Court will first review & determine:

  • If the term of San Diego California Superior Court probation was successfully completed & concluded.
  • That all fines, restitution and reimbursement ordered by the court have been paid and everything ordered by the court was completed in a timely manner.
  • That the petitioner has no new pending California cases.
  • That the petitioner is not now on probation for another offense.
  • The Court then may allow the petitioner to withdraw his or plea or finding of guilt or no contest, and thereafter orders the case dismissed.

What if I am still on probation?

You need probation to conclude before filing for expungement. 

How does this help me?

A legal withdrawal of plea, an entry of not guilty, and a court dismissal of a San Diego California DUI is obviously very useful. If the petition is granted, you are released from ALL penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction of DUI.

Expungement law (Penal Code Section 1203.4) provides in part:

“[Petitioner shall]…be permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty; or, if he or she has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty; and, in either case, the court shall thereupon dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and except as noted below, he or she shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted, except…”

(1) The order does not relieve the defendant of the obligation to disclose the aforementioned conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public offense, for licensure by an state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery.

(2) The order does not permit the defendant to own, possess, or have custody or control of any firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, and it does not prevent conviction of the defendant under California Penal Code section 12021.

What about applying for jobs?

If Private Employers ask if you have every been convicted of a crime, you generally can respond with “NO”. (Each question is different so please first contact an attorney before answering any specific question, in every case and for every form.)

On questions by Government Employers or Government Licensing Applications if you are asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you must disclose the expunged case.

Can employers consider a California DUI conviction that has been expunged (dismissed)?

In most San Diego California DUI cases, the answer is NO!

Once your California DUI cases is expunged (dismissed), it is no longer considered a California DUI conviction and California Labor Code 432.7(a) prohibits employers from asking an applicant to disclose information concerning a California DUI arrest or detention that did not result in California DUI conviction, or information concerning a referral to, and participation in, any pretrial or posttrial diversion program, nor shall any employer seek from any source whatsoever, or utilize, as a factor in determining any condition of employment including hiring. An employer who intentionally violates this section can be liable for a misdemeanor, plus fines, and attorney’s fees. This section does not apply to criminal justice agencies, health facilities, and has a few other narrow exceptions.

What doesn’t a DUI Expungement do?

Your dismissed DUI conviction can still be used to increase your punishment in future DUI cases. The offense is “priorable”.

It can still be used to enhance penalties & increase punishment should you get another DUI.

It can be used to try to put you in jail or increase the length of a DMV suspension.

Even if the violation shows up as a dismissal on the CA DMV or administrative per se driving record, CA DMV Mandatory Actions Unit (916) 657-6525 has said the violation will stay on one’s record for 7 years as a 2 point major violation.   As far as insurance goes, some companies will not charge any points past the 3 years while other insurance companies say it affects premiums for up to 7 years.

Does this erase all records and destroy the Court file?

No. An expungement changes and updates the disposition of the case to reflect a dismissal under 1203.4 of the Penal Code. This means the Court file, the California Department of Justice, and the FBI update their files to show the case has been ordered dismissed by the Court.

What happens after my California DUI record is expunged by my California DUI attorney?

You will receive a California court order setting aside your California DUI conviction and dismissing your California DUI case. California DUI / Criminal record databases should be updated to reflect that your California DUI conviction was set aside and your California DUI case was dismissed. Your California DUI lawyer will request that court’s dismissal order for you.

Will I need to go to Court?

No. San Diego DUI lawyer Rick Mueller handles all San Diego Superior Court work for you.

How Long Does A DUI Expungement Take?

Misdemeanors: Most expungements for misdemeanors take about a couple of months or so to complete from the time the application is filed.  This does not include the time needed to research all records and process the application. The more prepared you are as to the San Diego California DUI information needed (Case number, date of birth, conviction date, probation length, Vehicle Code charge number, and San Diego county court location) the quicker the application can be processed. If it is necessary to search the court records for information, it may take additional time.

Why Expunge my record? Why spend the money?

There are a number of reasons to do so such as employment or licensing. However, at least half my clients want to expunge their record as final “closure” on an old mistake- just for peace of mind.

If there is a possibility you are thinking of going to Canada, expungement is something to do.

Does an expunged California DUI appear when a background check is made?

The type background check is important for the search results.

A “hard” type of search usually means you authorize a government agency to release your records and you providing fingerprints. The results of this search probably will reveal a California DUI court case, a California DUI or whatever you were charged with, and a dismissal with no finding of guilt but no California DUI conviction.

A “soft” type of search is common among employers, utilizing a private company to look for convictions. Expect nothing at all in many, if not most situations. In a small number cases it may reveal a court case, a California DUI or charge of whatever you were charged with, and a dismissal with no finding of guilt but not a California DUI conviction.

Upon successfully using this Penal Code 1203.4 procedure, both DMV and California DUI prosecutors still utilize California DUI prior records to attempt to increase punishment in the event of a subsequent DUI in California.


*A San Diego Superior Court order dismissing the conviction under Penal Code 1203.4 does not relieve you of your legal obligation to disclose the aforementioned conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public offense, for a license by a local or state agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery.

*While you are legally entitled to respond on any application – with the exceptions noted in the statute – you have never been convicted of a crime; however, a database search by any prospective employer and any government entity will definitely reveal the reality of the existence of the crime and the arrest no matter what, technically with the Penal Code Section 1203.4 dismissal order (expungement entry).

So to honestly respond on any application asking if you have ever been convicted of a crime, fully disclose:  state the crime [e.g. Vehicle Code Section 23152 or 23103(a)], the date you successfully completed probation, the order showing your petition for dismissal (expungement) per Penal Code Section 1203.4 was granted by the Superior Court, and thus your understanding that you have a legal right to indicate you have never been convicted of a crime.
*California generally refers to this “dismissal” process as an “expungement,” but it is not an actual extinction of the conviction.  Though the guilty plea or finding is said to be set aside and the charge dismissed, a California DUI-related charge or conviction remains on one’s DMV record, the conviction can still be seen on a criminal background search, and the conviction can still be used as a “prior” for sentencing enhancement purposes if a person gets another DUI.
*Once a California DUI-related charge is “expunged” in this manner, the defendant can honestly state that she or he has never been convicted except when applying for public office, or responding to State Licensing Board inquiries or the California State Lottery Commission.
*Other employers may not lawfully look for these “expunged” convictions because the California Labor Code prohibits them from doing so.
*Here are the respective California “expungement” and Labor Code laws:

How do I get started?

Email SanDiegoDUI@yahoo.com with your email address to be emailed an affordable proposal, a draft declaration (supporting sworn statement with reasons why you need petition granted, San Diego DUI case dismissed and conviction expunged). I will need Case Number, Conviction Date, Length of Probation, and Conviction Code to file for expungement.

Rick will email you the information needed to immediately start the DUI expungement process which takes at least several months.

If you want to get started right away, San Diego DUI lawyer Rick Mueller simply needs:
    • Your Case number in San Diego Superior Court,
    • Your Date of birth, 
    • San Diego DUI Conviction date, 
    • Length of your San Diego Superior Court DUI probation,
    • California Vehicle Code charge number [e.g. VC 23152(a) or (b)], 
    • San Diego court location or part of county arrested,
    • Good reason you need DUI charge dismissed/expunged, and
    • Your current address & phone number.
Based on good reason why you need the case dismissed or expunged, a draft declaration will be sent to you for signature.  It will be your sworn statement of the reason(s) why you need your San Diego case to be dismissed and your DUI conviction expunged).
After your San Diego DUI case is expunged, most California employers are not permitted to question you concerning it.  Visit here.
You need to forward your California ‘DL Driving Record’ instantly available online for $2 at this DMV site.  It should show the date, case number and Vehicle Code for your DUI conviction.
San Diego DUI attorney Rick Mueller can alternatively order you a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) for no charge, if you email:
    • Your legal name
    • Your date of birth
    • Your California Driver’s License number (if you do not have a CA license, then the number for your state and/or the California Index number, a 7 digit number beginning with an X.)

Let’s get it started.

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware this page is NOT a comprehensive analysis of all expungement law, types of answers to types of questions asked, or of all types of remedies that may be available to you. This is NOT intended to be legal advice, and a consultation with an Attorney is always first recommended and before answering any question.