How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Florida:- Usually, a minimum of ten years is prescribed to keep a DUI on your record by most states, but Florida has stringent laws to deal with cases of DUI and keeps a DUI conviction on your record for a period of 75 years. As no reasoning behind this number 75 exists, the intention behind this could be the devastating consequences of DUI and to keep a deterrence among the drivers to abide by the law, as once you become a DUI convict, the record will be there as long as you live.
What if Florida is Not Your Home State?
If Florida is not your home state and you got a DUI conviction in Florida, does it hamper your record for 75 years, even though your home state does not prescribe such a period?
The answer lies in the Driver’s License Compact, an interstate Compact between 45 states that share with each other records of traffic violations. The consequence is that even though Florida is not your home state; if you get a DUI conviction in Florida, your record will be the same in your home state if it falls within those 45 states. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia are not part of the Driver’s License Compact.
DUI and Enhanced Punishment
The record is maintained to be used in subsequent instances of DUI arrests and enhanced penalties are awarded to repeat offenders. From elevated penalties to jail terms, this record is kept to haunt repeat offenders. Moreover, it does not matter whether your 1st DUI occurred in Florida or in any other state as your DUI in another state will be used in Florida to enhance your DUI penalties.
Consequences of a DUI Conviction
There is a range of consequences after a DUI conviction, from paying fines to serving a jail term, there are a variety of criminal penalties prescribed.
But, is that it? What about the other factors of your life that are affected by a DUI conviction?
A DUI conviction can affect your employment as there are chances of losing a job or not getting work, especially in jobs where there is a duty of care towards others. Another major area that is negatively affected by a DUI conviction is your insurance.
Sometimes insurance companies increase their rates once there is a DUI conviction making it unaffordable for some customers. Ultimately, it affects your personal life a lot. From hiring a lawyer to attending the trial in court, the process is not necessarily easy and can hamper your personal relations and development in life.
How to Remove DUI from Your Record?
DUI falls under the purview of “mandatory adjudication” by courts and hence there are no provisions for sealing or expunging a DUI from your driving record. It means it will leave an eternal impact on your record. Then, what are the options to clear your record?
Get the Case Reduced to “Reckless Driving”
Unlike DUI, for reckless driving, the law in Florida permits the withholding of Adjudication. Hence, if you manage to get your DUI case reduced to reckless driving and withhold the adjudication, the conviction can be sealed and your record will not have the mention of DUI.
Get the Charges Dropped
The ideal approach would be to take the assistance of a good attorney and get the charges dropped before conviction. If the chargers are dropped, there will be no mention of DUI on your driving records. There are numerous defences that you may plead which will make the prosecution put a halt in pursuing the case. Some of them are; no evidence that you were driving, the car was not in motion, or there is a medical condition that causes drinking-like symptoms.
Let the Court Find You Not Guilty
The third option you can choose is to go for a full-fledged trial and let the court find you not guilty. This will also prevent hampering your driving record from a DUI conviction. The interesting thing to note is that if you go ahead with accepting a plea bargain, this will damage the possibility of not guilty as your right to trial vanishes as soon as you accept a plea bargain.
Pre-Trial Diversion Programs
Another way that you may explore in some counties of Florida is pre-trial diversion programs. It is possible to prevent a DUI from your driving record in Florida by entering into a pre-trial diversion program. One of the basic requirements to enter into such programs is that there must not be a previous DUI conviction.
There are some other eligibility requirements too, such as signing a contract promising to follow the terms and conditions of the program. Once you complete a pretrial diversion program, the DUI case is dismissed and DUI conviction is not mentioned in your driving record. There are a few counties that do not offer diversion programs such as Hillsborough.
However, there is a catch as these counties have a variant of the DUI program that provides for a reduction of DUI charges to reckless driving.
DUI conviction in itself is a legal landscape incorporating both criminal as well as administrative law consequences. As discussed, it has several consequences on your personal as well as professional life. It is advisable to always consult a DUI specialist attorney, who will take care of your DUI case, as it involves complex issues that must be addressed by a specialist.
A DUI case must be dealt with due care and diligence as it not only impacts your driving record but also has the potential to affect your personal liberty as one of the punishments is serving a jail term.
Q. Can you get a DUI removed from your record in Florida?
Once someone is found guilty and convicted, there is no way to expunge a DUI for their record in Florida.
Q. Does a DUI show up on a background check in Florida?
DUIs are part of the public record for 75 years in Florida and will show up on a background check.