You can seek an an expungement before the end of probation, but you have to be off probation. To get an expungement early, you need a two-part motion: a motion to terminate probation early and a motion to dismiss pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4 (the expungement).
If your motions are granted, you can tell private employers you have not been convicted of a crime, but they will still show up on a background check and would still have to be disclosed for professional licensing.
Can you do this yourself? Yes, but in your case, I'd suggest an attorney to do it right and to consult with face to face about your situation, since you're asking specific questions about applications and details of your case that we cannot answer over the internet.
Step one is to get the probation termnated early. Provided that you are in compliance with all of the terms of your probation (i.e., paid all fines and fees, paid any restitution, completed the drinking driver program, done any jail time, and not had any new violations), and that the probationary period was 3 years, the judge should certainly listen to such a motion. In Ventura, I routinely am able to have a 3 year probation period terminated after about 2 years have gone. Hiring an attorney who is familiar with your court system will certainly help, and it shouldn't cost too much. Once probation is terminated, then you can move on to step two.
Step two will be to move for the matter to be expunged off your record via 1203.4. Once probation is terminated, and provided that you can justify the request (such as not being able to progress in school with these on your record or not being able to find employment), then it should be fairly easy to get the expungement. Good luck.
DUI expungement is a legal process that petitions the Court to review a DUI-related conviction to determine:
If the term of probation was successfully completed & concluded;
That all fines, restitution and reimbursement ordered by the court have been paid and everything ordered by the court was completed in a timely manner;
That the petitioner is not now on probation for another offense;
That the petitioner has no new pending cases;
The Court then may allow the petitioner to withdraw his or plea or finding of guilt or no contest, and thereafter orders the case dismissed.
How does this help me?
Expungement law (Penal Code Section 1203.4) provides in part:
"[Petitioner shall]...be permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty; or, if he or she has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty; and, in either case, the court shall thereupon dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and except as noted below, he or she shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted, except as provided..."
What about applying for jobs?
If Private Employers ask if you have every been convicted of a crime, you generally can respond with "NO".
(Each question is different so please first contact an attorney before answering any specific question, in every case and for every form.)
On questions by Government Employers or Government Licensing Applications if you are asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you must disclose the expunged case.
What doesn't a DUI Expungement do?
Your dismissed DUI conviction can still be used to increase your punishment in future DUI cases. The offense is "priorable".
It can still be used to enhance penalties & increase punishment should you get another DUI.
It can be used to try to put you in jail or increase the length of a DMV suspension.
Does this erase all records and destroy the Court file?
No. An expungement
the disposition of the case to reflect a dismissal under 1203.4 of the Penal Code. This means the Court file, the California Department of Justice, and the FBI update their files to show the case has been ordered dismissed by the Court.
Will I need to go to Court?
No. I handle all Court work for you.
How Long Does A DUI Expungement Take?
Misdemeanors: Most expungements for misdemeanors take between 4 to 6 weeks to complete from the time the application is filed. This does not include the time needed to research all records and process the application. The more prepared you are as to the information needed (Case number, date of birth, conviction date, probation length, Vehicle Code charge number, and San Diego county court location) the quicker the application can be processed. If it is necessary to search the court records for information, it may take additional time.
Why Expunge my record? Why spend the money?
There are a number of reasons to do so such as employment or licensing. However, at least half our clients want to expunge their record as final "closure" on an old mistake- just for peace of mind.
DISCLAIMER: Please be aware this page is NOT a comprehensive analysis of all expungement law, types of answers to types of questions asked, or of all types of remedies that may be available to you. This is NOT intended to be legal advice, and a consultation with an Attorney is always first recommended and before answering any question.