A DUI conviction is a serious offense.
DUI convictions carry serious consequences. They can affect your employment eligibility and your ability to apply for housing.
DUIs may lead to jail time, driver license suspension, and significant fines, and they will stay on your criminal record for a long time.
If you were convicted of DUI, you may want to know if your conviction can be removed from your criminal record. In Wyoming, state lawmakers recently changed the rules so that courts now may expunge misdemeanor DUI convictions.
However, you cannot remove a felony DUI conviction from your record.
If possible, you should do everything possible to avoid a DUI conviction. If you were charged with DUI, you should contact a qualified criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will help you weigh your legal options and defend you in court proceedings.
IS A DRIVING RECORD THE SAME AS A CRIMINAL RECORD?
First, you should understand that a driving record and a criminal record are not the same things.
Driving records include a list of any criminal or non-criminal traffic-related offenses, including DUIs. States track driving records to determine the status of your driver’s license. Unlike some states, Wyoming does not track driver licenses based on a points system.
Wyoming law allows drivers up to three moving violations (of any kind) within a twelve-month period. If a driver has more than three violations in that period, their driver’s license will be suspended.
In contrast, a criminal record lists any of your previous criminal misdemeanor or felony offenses, including traffic-related criminal offenses.
Driving records and criminal records have different rules regarding whether a previous offense can be removed and how long the offense remains on your record.
HOW LONG DOES A DUI STAY ON YOUR DRIVING RECORD?
In Wyoming, a DUI offense will remain on your driving record for ten years after the date of the offense.
In addition to having DUI on your driving record, you will also lose your license for 90 days if convicted of DUI. You will be able to lift the suspension only if you agree to install an ignition interlock device on your car.
Ignition interlocks have a breathalyzer device that measures your BAC. You must blow into the interlock device to prove sobriety every time you want to drive your car.
HOW LONG DOES A DUI STAY ON YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD?
Under Wyoming law, felony DUI convictions cannot be removed from your record.
However, if you have a misdemeanor DUI conviction, there is good news. In 2015, the Wyoming Legislature changed the laws regarding expungement of criminal conviction records. Under the new laws, courts may now expunge misdemeanor DUI convictions no less than five years after the date of the conviction.
Although DUI convictions are now eligible for expungement, you still must follow certain court procedures and meet specific requirements so that a court will remove the record.
HOW DO I REMOVE A DUI CONVICTION FROM MY RECORD?
Wyoming law requires specific procedures to expunge a DUI conviction from your record.
First, you must demonstrate that you have completed all of the sentencing requirements imposed by the court for the original conviction. This may include:
- Serving jail time,
- Paying fines or court costs and any restitution, and
- Completing court-ordered substance abuse classes.
Once the court confirms you have completed your sentencing requirements, you may file a petition for expungement of your misdemeanor conviction.
Under Wyoming Statute 7-13-1501 expungement of a criminal conviction requires:
- That at least five years have passed since the end of the terms of the sentence (such as probation or a jail term),
- That the DUI did not involve the use of a firearm, and
- That you pay a $100 filing fee for each petition for expungement.
A court may, at its discretion, request a copy of your criminal history for review. If the court finds you are eligible, it will expunge your misdemeanor DUI conviction.
Expungement means that your conviction will not appear in a criminal background check, such as those performed for employment or housing. However, expungement does not prevent other law enforcement agencies from accessing your records.
SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO EXPUNGE MY DUI?
Filing a petition for expungement is a complicated and time-consuming process. In addition to the requirements listed above, you must give notice to all affected parties, including any affected victims and the district attorney.
The district attorney and any of the identified victims have the option to oppose your petition. If this happens, the court will set a date for a hearing to hear arguments from both sides. Given these complex legal procedures, it is best to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney to handle your petition.
The attorneys at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense have extensive experience successfully handling criminal DUI convictions. We understand the difficulties a DUI conviction can cause.
Our dedicated staff cares deeply about our clients and will ensure you receive the best possible representation. For a free consultation, contact our offices at 307-215-9724 or fill out an online form today.