How Long Does a DUI Charge Stay on My Record?

Understanding the Severity and Permanence of Tennessee DUIs

DUIs are major offenses in every state with the severity of punishments reflecting the seriousness of the crime. While many of the punishments are geared towards correcting behavior, such as by necessitating participation in driving safety courses, the conviction leaves a lasting stain on a Tennessee criminal record. Luckily, in some cases, the mark isn’t necessarily permanent.

DUIs that Were Dismissed or Did Not Result in a Conviction

Tennessee laws allow for any criminal charge that did not result in a conviction to be expungable. Even if you were arrested, being released without a charge offers an opportunity to seek an expungement of the event from your record.

Expungable DUI Cases

If an offense started as a DUI but was later reduced to a reckless driving or reckless endangerment charge, it is expungable under Tennessee law after five years. This is important for drivers who have been arrested for DUI in Tennessee for a first offense, as these individuals are often offered a reduced charge in return for a guilty plea, meaning many drivers charged for a DUI are instead given a reckless driving or endangerment conviction that can be removed after the necessary waiting period.

Inexpugnable DUI Cases

A DUI charge, if not reduced to a lesser charge or dismissed before conviction, will lead to a permanent mark on your criminal record. However, it’s worth remaining aware of the potential for expungement in the discussed scenarios, as many remain unaware of the freeing potential for expunction that awaits them after their reduced charges or dropped case.

For more information about your DUI charge and whether it’s expungable, contact Patton | Pittman Attorneys.

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