In many scenarios, driving under the influence (DUI) charges are technical infractions. Although some people get arrested for causing crashes, many others face charges because of targeted enforcement efforts. An officer pulls someone over for bad driving or tests their breath for alcohol and then determines that they are over the legal limit. The driver doesn’t hurt anyone or even cause any property damage, and yet they face criminal prosecution.
DUI charges can lead to jail time, large fines and the loss of your driver’s license. You could potentially lose your job, especially if you have to drive for work or your employer has a zero-tolerance policy for criminal convictions. Someone who pleads guilty or gets convicted in criminal court will also have a criminal record holding them back.
How long will your DUI charges stay on your record?
Your criminal record
In theory, any criminal conviction in Oklahoma may persist indefinitely. Those who access state records can quickly find evidence that you broke the law, even if it happened many years ago.
Records of a DUI offense will still show up in a criminal background check decades after your conviction. Although employers shouldn’t give much weight to old charges, the blemish on your background check could be the deciding factor about a major promotion or new job opportunity.
Some drivers will qualify for expungement if they wait long enough and do not have any other criminal charges. Otherwise, without an expungement, a DUI could limit your opportunities for the rest of your life.
Your driving record
A DUI is a traffic infraction in addition to being a criminal offense. It will show up when insurance providers or employers check your driving history. Unlike your criminal record, blemishes on your driving record aren’t permanent. Your DUI will only remain on your driving record for 10 years.
You won’t need to file court paperwork like you would for an expungement. A decade after your conviction, what you pay for insurance may decrease as the offense comes off of your record. For many drivers accused of intoxication at the wheel, defending against such allegations is the better approach when compared with pleading guilty.
Learning more about DUI charges and criminal defense strategies can help those accused of drunk driving in Oklahoma.