You already know that a DUI conviction has serious consequences – but you may not realize that these consequences can follow you around long after you complete a jail sentence or pay a fine. For the most part, a DUI shows up on criminal background checks in Arizona, meaning it can follow you to job interviews, housing applications, and more. However, a DUI arrest may not always appear in background checks.
A criminal conviction for driving under the influence in Arizona, whether it is your first or you have priors, will appear as part of your permanent criminal record. If someone conducts a background check, your DUI conviction will appear. Related charges can also appear, such as refusal to take a blood alcohol concentration test. If you were arrested for a DUI but the charges were dropped, however, this may not be visible on your record.
If you’re not sure whether a DUI arrest or charge is part of your criminal record, you can contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and ask. They can let you know if your driving record is clean or not. If not, it is reasonably safe to assume that your criminal record isn’t clean, either. While there are ways to remove a DUI from your record if you qualify, it’s always better to avoid a conviction to begin with by hiring a DUI defense attorney in Scottsdale.
Whether your DUI is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, it will appear on a background check. Having a DUI – or any criminal conviction – on your record can interfere with your life in multiple ways. Criminal background checks are used in Arizona for a variety of purposes. A potential employer may use a background check to decide whether to hire an applicant, for example, or a landlord can use it as a reason to reject an individual’s application for housing. It can also get in the way of qualifying for a loan, going to college and serving in the military.
The law in Arizona was recently updated, however, to make things a little easier for people with criminal records. In May 2021, Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2067 into law. This bill permits people who successfully fulfill the conditions of their sentence or probation to apply to have a conviction set aside and receive a certificate that protects them from being barred from obtaining occupational licenses. This law can help people with DUIs obtain the occupational licenses that they need to pursue careers and specialties.
Arizona does not have an expungement law that allows people to completely erase criminal convictions from their records. However, Arizona Revised Statute Section 13-905 allows for the “setting aside” of certain convictions. Setting a record aside means to erase the record as if you were never found guilty of driving under the influence. This can allow you to own firearms, vote and regain other rights if you were convicted of a felony DUI. You may be eligible to have a DUI conviction set aside if you:
A DUI conviction on your criminal record can be detrimental to your life in more ways than one. If you have the opportunity to expunge your record or receive Arizona’s equivalent of setting a DUI conviction aside, this can protect you from the many negative repercussions of having a criminal history. You may need an attorney to help you with this process after receiving a DUI or similar conviction in Arizona. For more information, contact us to request a free case review.