In our recent blog we noted one of the key changes to Mississippi DUI law that will become effective October 1, 2014. Another major change is that DUI convictions will now be eligible for expunction. Previously, DUIs could be expunged from your arrest record only if you were found not guilty, the case was dismissed, or you were otherwise not convicted. But under Mississippi Code Annotated § 63-11-30(13), as of October 1, 2014, certain DUI convictions will be eligible for expunction.
For starters, expunction is available only for first offense convictions. Another critical requirement is that the offender did not have a commercial driver’s license at the time of the offense. The other statutory requirements include:
- Conviction must be at least five years old;
- Offender successfully completed all terms and conditions of the sentence imposed;
- Did not refuse to submit to a breath or blood test;
- BAC tested below .16%, if test results are available;
- Offender has not been convicted of or have pending any other DUI offense;
- Provide the court with justification for the expunction.
If all of the conditions are met, the offender may petition the circuit court for the county in which the conviction occurred for a hearing on expunging their record of the DUI offense. A person is well advised to hire an attorney to do this for them. As the judge must justify the expunction in writing in the order granting the expunction, a person should hire an attorney to ensure their petition is properly drafted and supported. Nonetheless, the new expunction provision should benefit potentially thousands of people whose DUI record has impaired their ability to get a job, get into schools, obtain professional licensure, or any of the host of problems a DUI conviction can cause.