How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record in California?

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record in California?

Anyone who has had to navigate life with a DUI on their record can attest that it is not an ideal item to show up on a background check. The truth is many people assume a DUI will just go away on its own, but DUIs do not automatically fall off of an offender’s criminal record. To see if you are eligible to petition for a request for an expungement of your DUI, consult with an Ontario DUI attorney.

While DUIs do fall off an offender’s driving record after ten years, incidents typically remain on a driver’s criminal record indefinitely. Furthermore, charges that do not result in conviction and arrests can also remain on one’s record indefinitely. Offenders who have unwanted, lingering DUI charges, arrests, or convictions on their criminal records, which will appear on a background check, may be able to have these items cleared from their driving records.

In some instances, drivers receive a DUI conviction and then remain on the straight and narrow for years, never getting in trouble again. Then, one day, they are applying for a job, housing, or a volunteer position that requires a background check, and suddenly, that DUI from many years back shows up, and their application gets declined.

Thus, the answer to the question, “How long does a DUI stay on your driving record in California?” is ten years, but a conviction can remain longer on criminal history records and appear on thorough background checks.

How a DUI Arrest Affects Your Driving Record

Aside from the potential jail time, which can be up to one year, fines of up to $2,000, and a license suspension of up to one year, a DUI can impact your driving record in other ways as well. For ten years after the date of your arrest, law enforcement officers will be able to view your DUI on your driving record if you get pulled over again.

This might raise suspicion regarding whether you are driving under the influence again. Furthermore, officials at the DMV can also see your record, including any DUIs from the last ten years.

Background checks do not include information regarding your driving record; therefore, potential employers cannot see that you have a DUI on your driving record; however, they can see criminal convictions and arrests on your criminal history. If you are applying for a job that requires you to operate a vehicle, you might be asked to provide a copy of your driving record. A DUI is almost always an immediate denial for transportation jobs or jobs that require driving in the job description.

Points on Your Driver’s License

Another way DUI can affect your driving record is by adding points to your driver’s license. Points are penalties that, when accrued, can ultimately result in the suspension of your driver’s license and driving privileges. If you are convicted of DUI in the state, you will receive two points to your license.

A second offense will incur another two points. Four points will result in a licensed suspension for one year. Six points will result in a license suspension for two years. Eight points will result in a licensed suspension for three years.

DUIs are not the only way you can incur points on your license. Other traffic violations, such as speeding, can also add points to your license, which could result in a suspension if you already have points from a DUI.

The most concerning problem with points on your driver’s license is that these points do not go away after you complete a license suspension, so even getting pulled over for a minimal traffic citation could result in another license suspension. In addition, you can get multiple charges in one arrest, which could rack up the points and suspend your license for multiple years as a result of just one arrest.

There are a few different options offenders have if they hope to maintain their driving privileges following a DUI. One is having an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their car that measures their blood alcohol content (BAC) before allowing their vehicle to start and permitting them to operate the vehicle.

While having an IID does not remove points or convictions and is not a penalty or part of a sentence, it is an option to keep driving privileges following a DUI conviction.

The ideal way to fight your DUI in Ontario is to hire a qualified and reputable Ontario DUI attorney who can determine the route of least resistance for your case and can potentially assist in optimizing the outcome for you.


Q: Can You Get a DUI Removed From Your Record?

A: There is no set time period after which a California DUI falls off an individual’s permanent criminal record. In order to get a DUI expunged from an individual’s criminal record, they must file a petition with the court requesting the DUI be removed. Pending approval, the DUI will be removed from public access to the offender’s criminal records.

Q: Will a DUI Show Up on a Background Check After Ten Years?

A: A DUI in the state will fall off a driver’s driving record after ten years. However, arrest records, criminal charges, and convictions will remain on an offender’s criminal record and will show up on background checks indefinitely until the offender takes the necessary steps with the court to expunge the charges or seal the record.

Q: How Long Does a DUI Affect Your Insurance?

A: Some insurance carriers only look back three to five years, while others look further back. However, they cannot see more than ten years of a driver’s record. For this reason, drivers who have questionable records are advised to get quotes from a few different companies.

Q: How Many Points Is a DUI?

A: Any California driver who receives a DUI conviction will get two points added to their driver’s license and driving record on file at the DMV. Points are not incurred for an arrest or for charges alone. Four points will result in the suspension of the driver’s license and driving privileges.

Getting Rid of Your DUI Record With an Experienced Ontario DUI Attorney

The Law Office of David P. Flores has handled thousands of cases in which we have represented the defendant and were able to get DUI charges reduced or dropped for our clients. If you are hitting roadblocks in your efforts to get an expungement finalized or do not know where to begin, consider speaking with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate legal team members regarding the likelihood of your request for a DUI expungement. Contact The Law Office of David D. Flores to learn how our legal services can assist you in your legal endeavors.

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