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California DUI from 1985. Is it a felony, misdemeanor or non criminal traffic offense.

Los Angeles, CA |

I am applying for a job and need to know if my California conviction for DUI in 1985 was a felony, misdemeanor or neither. There was no accident and I just paid a fine in court.

Attorney Answers 2


If you only paid a fine then it clearly was not a Felony. A DUI would likely have resulted in you having to do a drinking driver program and if you did not do that and still have a valid CA license, then you likely did not have a Misdemeanor. That leaves a wet reckless or underage driving violation for being under 0.08, but over 0.01. The key is whether or not you lost driving privilege somewhere along the line here. The only way to fully know what your case was is to go to the clerk of the court where you paid the fine and get a docket of charges and disposition in you case. The clerk can tell you what occurred for certain, we here are just making educated guesses.

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Mr. Woolsey's answer covers all the possibilities I can think of and is well reasoned. It is likely that the court file has been destroyed and it's too old for DMV to have a record. Department of Justice (DOJ) keeps records for 100 years but it takes a while to get them. If it is critical that you give a correct answer, DOJ is the way to go. You can find the process on line by typing in De[partment of Justice Criminal Records.

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