Southaven DUI Lawyer explains how you may be able to keep a Mississippi DUI off your record
Thanks to recent changes in the laws, it may be possible for some individuals who’ve been charged with drunk driving to keep a conviction off their record. Additionally, others who have already been convicted may now be able to petition to have that conviction removed.
Non-adjudication has long been used in Mississippi for first-time, non-traffic related misdemeanor crimes. It is basically what’s called diversion in other states, where the defendant pleads guilty but a final judgment is withheld. That means he or she is not convicted but instead the sentence is deferred for a period of time (usually six months) and is later dismissed.
Before, DUIs were excluded from non-adjudicable offenses. This meant there was no relief for somebody charged with drunk driving, even first offenders. But that has changed. The state legislature has now made it possible for some DUI offenders to go through this process and avoid a permanent conviction.
To qualify for Mississippi DUI non-adjudication, it must be your first offense. This means somebody with a conviction already on their record is not eligible. You must not have refused a breath test, unless the court provides written findings as to why non-adjudication should be allowed where the test was refused. You must pay a non-adjudication fee as well as all fines and court costs that would have been imposed under a conviction. You must attend and complete an alcohol safety education class. Finally you must install an interlock ignition device on your vehicle, obtain an interlock restricted license for 120 days, and not have any interlock device violations. Once all these conditions are satisfied you may petition the court for dismissal and removal of the charge from your record.
Mississippi DUI Expunction
The law also allows some convictions to now be expunged. An expunction is allowed only for first-time offenders who did not refuse a breath test, and the result of that test must be below .16. You must complete all terms and conditions of the sentence, and it must be five years from the completion of that sentence to when you ask for the expunction. So if you have a DUI conviction that’s from 10 years ago you can apply now. But if you were convicted, say, last year, you must wait four more years.
These are significant changes in the laws that will let some people remove or avoid a DUI conviction. If you would like to try to keep a drunk driving charge off your record, talk to Southaven DUI lawyer Patrick Stegall today.