DUI convictions result in harsh penalties. However, the consequences don’t end at jail time, fines, and community service obligations. Having a DUI visible on your record complicates your future, potentially costing you job, education, and housing opportunities.
A DUI conviction is not easily sealed, removed, or expunged. It will appear on background checks as a charge or arrest. What’s more, even if a driver is successful in removing the infraction from their criminal record, it could stay on a driving record longer.
The Washout Period
The “washout period” in West Virginia is a separate consideration that refers to the length of time in which a DUI conviction can affect any subsequent drunk driving charges. In West Virginia, the period is 10 years.
So, if a person was convicted of a DUI in 2010, and once more in 2015, that initial conviction will be considered during their 2015 legal proceedings, and the incident will be punished as a second offense. However, if the driver only had a single conviction in 2010, with their second offense happening in 2021, it would be punished as a first offense as it occurs after the washout period.
It’s important to note that this applies to any DUI charges, even if the first offense happened in another state.
Act Fast When Charged with a DUI
For those who have only just recently been charged with a DUI, participation in the DUI Deferral Program offers a chance at expungement.
Drivers must contact the court within 30 days to request the ability to participate in the program. In order to partake, the driver must be a first-time offender and plead guilty to the charge.
Following their admission of fault, the driver will have their license revoked for 15 days. Following this license suspension, the driver must have an ignition interlock device installed for 165 days. After successfully completing the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program, we can file a motion with the Magistrate Court to dismiss the charge.
At this point, though dismissed, the arrest will still be visible on your record. However, after one year, we can file an additional motion to have the charge expunged.
It’s important to note that participation in the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program will incur a few fees, including:
- Application fee: $100
- Installation charge: $75
- Rental and service fee: $3 a day, totaling $495 for a 165-day program
- De-installation charge: $40
The Effect of a DUI on a Driving Record
Beyond standing to intensify the punishments of a later conviction, having a DUI charge on your record will have additional effects on your life. Having a DUI on your record will:
- Raise your insurance rates
- Make it difficult to obtain a job involving driving
Unlike prosecutors who look back at the previous decade, insurers will typically only consider the past three to five years when determining your premium.
You do not have to surrender to the hardships associated with a DUI conviction. Contact our attorneys at (304) 867-0049 for help fighting the charge and protecting your future.