California is one of several U.S states that allows expungement of a DUI, where people can remove their DUI conviction off their criminal record under certain criteria.
So if you've been convicted of a DUI, and don't want it to haunt you for the rest of your life, you may be able to get a second chance and have the conviction cleared. According to California Penal Code Section 1203.4, a person qualifies for DUI expungement if he or she has completed all terms of probation, paid all fines, and is not charged with another crime.
Expunging a DUI can be liberating and can mean not having to disclose it on a job application, but DUI offenders shouldn't get completely excited because the DUI conviction will never completely go away. If you're convicted of another DUI after your prior DUI has already been expunged, you will still be charged as a two time DUI offender, and suffer the harsh consequences of a second time DUI.
Earlier this year, Los Angeles actor Mel Gibson got his infamous 2006 DUI expunged, where at the time of his arrest, a breathalyzer showed his blood-alcohol level to be .12 percent where the legal limit is .08 percent. Because Gibson was a first time drunk driving offender, he was eligible for expungement upon the completion of his three year probation and attendance to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
His expungement was filed on September 21 of this year by Blair Berk, his Los Angeles drunk driving attorney. The expungement procedure took place before Judge Lawrence J. Mira during a 90 second hearing.
So while Gibson hopes to put his drunk driving conviction behind him, it may be longer before the public forgets about his notorious Malibu incident where he made anti-semetic marks to police officers. It may take more than expungement for Gibson to clean up his image.
Mel Gibson's 2006 DUI Conviction Expunged (Los Angeles Times)