Does Mississippi Allow for DUI Expungements?
Expungements for DUI charges in Mississippi became law in 2014. In order to qualify for an expungement, a defendant must wait five years after completing the court-ordered requirements of their conviction. However, you must also not wait too long, or you may forfeit your right to have your records sealed at all. You must also meet the following requirements.
You Cannot Be a Repeat Offender
Any prior DUI convictions or pending drinking and driving charges are likely to cause you to be ineligible to have your record expunged. Mississippi has a five-year lookback period where previous DUI convictions are considered before sentencing a defendant after being convicted of any new DUI charges. This is also called the “washout period.”
If you were convicted of a first-time DUI and another three years later, you will be prosecuted as a habitual offender the second time. However, if the second conviction occurred six years after the first, the second conviction would be recorded as a first-time offense.
You Did Not Refuse Chemical Testing
When you obtain a driver’s license in Mississippi, you give implied consent to submit to blood alcohol testing if a law enforcement officer asks you to. Refusal is usually not in your best interests; not only will you automatically have your driver’s license suspended, but you also won’t be able to have your records expunged later on.
Your BAC Level Was Within Acceptable Limits
To charge you with drinking and driving, your blood alcohol content must be 0.08% or more. However, the higher your BAC at the time of your arrest, the harsher your penalties are likely to be. If your BAC is double the legal limit (0.16%) or more, you will not be able to have your records sealed or expunged.
You Did Not Have a Commercial License or Permit
If you have either a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or a commercial learner’s permit at the time of your DUI arrest, you will not be eligible for expungement in Mississippi.
How a Mississippi DUI Lawyer Can Help You
It may be possible to avoid a drunk driving conviction at all with the help of a seasoned Mississippi DUI attorney. Contact J. Brian Kelley for more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss how best to protect your rights under the law. Call now at (662) 324-3476. Serving Starkville, Columbus, West Point, Eupora, Louisville, and surrounding areas in Northeast Mississippi