Can a DUI Conviction be expunged in the State of Washington?

September 9, 2017

A DUI arrest opens a world of headaches, and a conviction can impact your family, job and freedom. Every DUI arrest is different, and you’ll want to know what your rights are. Contact us as soon as possible after any DUI arrest in or around Spokane for a free consultation. You have rights that you’ll want to invoke. Please also feel free to visit our Spokane DUI Lawyer page.

Can a DUI conviction be expunged in the State of Washington?

In the State of Washington, a DUI conviction may not be  be vacated or expunged from a person’s criminal record. Section 9.96.060 of the Revised Code of Washington simply doesn’t allow a DUI conviction to be vacated or expunged.

The rationale
Sentencing guidelines are behind the legislative intent of not being able to expunge a Washington DUI. When somebody is convicted of a DUI, he or she is looking at a sentence that turns on any prior DUI convictions coupled with their blood alcohol content. If expungement of a DUI arrest and conviction is available, prosecutors might not be able to obtain an accurate criminal history of a repeat DUI offender.

Is there an alternative?
Although section 9.96.060 specifically addresses DUI convictions, it overlooks the common practice of reducing a DUI charge to a lesser offense in return for a plea of guilty to that lesser offense. For example, if a DUI defendant is fortunate enough to have the prosecution agree to reduce and amend the charge down to reckless or negligent driving, he or she might still be eligible for future expungement.

If you’ve exhausted all pretrial defense options, and the inability to expunge a DUI conviction in the future remains an issue for you, we might be able to look into entering a negotiated plea to a lesser offense before trial. Assuming that our efforts at reduction are successful, the DUI charge would be dismissed, and you would be entering a plea of guilty to a reduced charge. Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation right away after any Spokene County DUI arrest. We’ll be pleased to discuss all of your options with you.

Related Articles

Get in Touch with Us
Discuss your case with an expert

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*We will get in touch once we review your submission.