I have an old DWAI conviction. Is there any way to expunge it from the records? What are my chances of success?
The only thing you could do is retain counsel to make a motion to vacate under CPL 440. The motion is made at the trial court and an attorney must make a plenary review of the record and write a detailed legal brief, as well as obtain mitigating facts and circumstances of your life to show grounds in the interest of justice to vacate and dismiss. There is no guarantee of success and it is a very expensive proposition. I wouldn't undertake it for less than $5,000.00 and likely more.
The 440 motion to vacte is an option, however the DWAI issue would still need to be addressed with the DMV. Upon improbable sucess, very likely, a seperate action would need to be undertaken to clear your driving abstract with the DMV. This is a significant undertaking. The reason why you are asking the question would determine the value of such efforts.
You cannot expunge or seal these records. You choice of reopening the case has already been outlined. Note that this is not something anyone can guarantee happening for you.
Another possibility would be a pardon, but I would not expect one. Pardons put a governor's reputation in your hands.
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There actually is, at least in theory, one thing you could do. You could seek a pardon from the Governor. It actually is a formal process by which you can request a pardon. I have been involved in one such case where my client sought and obtained a pardon for a New York felony conviction (not a DWI or DWAI.) Interestingly, he later applied for a pistol permit in Pennsylvania and was turned down on the grounds that he had a previous felony conviction. We appealed the decision all the way to the highest court in Pennsylvania, arguing that the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution meant that Pennsylvania had to honor the pardon received in New York. The District Attorney of the local Pennsylvania county opposed, but the high court ruled in our favor. My client go his pistol permit.
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