Preventing an arrest on suspicion of DUI from being made available to employers and landlords can be an integral part of criminal defense.
In the criminal justice system there is no such thing as a slap on the wrist. Criminal misdemeanor charges of DUI, even if cleared, have lasting consequences. Between hefty fines, court fees, and probation, an arrest on suspicion of DUI is a difficult, stressful and expensive prospect. Unfortunately, for Virginians arrested and charged with DUI, the potential financial and life consequences do not end there.
An arrest can appear on a criminal background check. The arrest can therefore loom over future applications for employment, promotions, or other career advancement. This is true even if the charges were dropped or ended in an acquittal, provided the defendant does nothing to erase those records. An arrest can also affect housing prospects, volunteer and community service opportunities, and other quality of life matters. Some criminal charges will prevent an individual from owning firearms in the future, for example.,.
That is why Virginia law allows record expungements for certain criminal cases. An expungement, once completed, deletes all police and court records involving an arrest and criminal case. In order to be eligible for an expungement, the defendant must have been found not guilty, not prosecuted (nolle prosequi), or otherwise had the case dismissed. Individuals who receive an absolute pardon or whose name was used in error are also eligible for criminal expungements.
When a record is expunged, the record is not destroyed but removed from public access and sealed from potential employers and the public. A criminal expungement also requires law enforcement to delete records of an arrest.
Preventing a DUI from destroying a career
Virginia law does not go easy on those suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even a first-time misdemeanor DUI charge carries significant life consequences over and above any time spent in jail or initial fines.
For individuals charged with a first-time DUI, the stakes are high. However, Virginians have rights in the criminal justice system, including constitutional rights regarding police searches and seizures. In addition, there could be options regarding plea bargains for reduced charges, that may mitigate some of the extensive penalties associated with a DUI. If the case is eventually dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty, then an expungement can be extremely beneficial in order to get that person’s life back on track.
With so much at stake, it is imperative that those charged with a DUI in Virginia contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Ronald E. Smith to discuss their legal options and defense.
Keywords: Criminal record, expungement, arrest, DUI.
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Dear Mr. Brillantine and Mr. Smith,
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We just want to thank you for all your help in our son’s recent traffic case. Things were looking extremely bleak. However, thanks to your knowledge of the law, persistence, ability to talk to people, hard work and grace … What a relief it has been. We also appreciate the courtesy and professionalism of your wonderful staff.- Previous Client
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Thank you for all your help. Please extend my thanks also to Martin for his patient support of an incoherent client, as well as to Lisa for her many phone calls. Thanks for that usually elusive gift … a second chance.- Previous Client
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Dear Mr. Smith,
I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for your help with my recent difficult situation. I was amazed at your skill and knowledge of the court system, and appreciative of your insight in these matters. I can look back on this experience as a valuable lesson and continue on with my life. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.- Previous Client