Joseph A. Lombardo
If you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey, it’s important to understand the seriousness of your situation. If convicted, you won’t be able to expunge a DWI from your record in New Jersey.
DWI convictions are not eligible for expungement in New Jersey and will remain on your driving record for the rest of your life. Those facing DWI charges are not eligible for pretrial intervention (PTI) programs either, which could otherwise prevent a conviction in the first place. Since DWIs are considered traffic offenses and not crimes, they will not show up on a criminal background check, but will appear on driving record checks. Because a DWI conviction will never leave your record, the only answer is to be proactive and hire an attorney that can prevent a conviction in the first place.
Our lawyers are here to help New Jersey residents beat DWI charges. For a free case evaluation with the Atlantic City DWI attorneys at the Lombardo Law Group, LLC, call today at (609) 445-4300.
Can a DWI Be Expunged in New Jersey?
If you were arrested and convicted of a DWI in New Jersey, that can follow you for the rest of your life. While you may have heard that expungement can allow those with certain convictions to wipe the slate clean, it’s not possible for New Jersey residents convicted of driving while intoxicated.
In New Jersey, expungement is a pathway for those arrested or convicted of crimes to start anew. Generally, there’s a wait time before you can file for expungement, which is reflective of the seriousness of your conviction. When an expungement is granted, a previous arrest or conviction will not be visible on any background checks. Your record will be effectively sealed.
However, not all convictions are eligible for expungement. In New Jersey, serious violent crimes cannot be expunged from a criminal record. While you may expect your DWI charge to be eligible for expungement because it is not a violent crime, that’s not the case. In New Jersey, driving under the influence is considered a traffic violation, not a criminal conviction. For that reason, DWIs are not eligible for expungement in New Jersey. It does not matter how much time has passed since your arrest; you cannot get a DWI erased from your driving record in New Jersey.
Because of this, hiring an experienced Camden County DWI attorney is crucial after being arrested. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, your attorney may be able to get the charges against you dismissed. Once a DWI is on your record, it’s there for the rest of your life. New Jersey residents may not understand how serious such a charge is and how it can impact their future access to housing and employment. Because DWIs are not eligible for expungement in New Jersey, it is crucial to beat the charges against you and avoid a conviction.
Can PTI Prevent a DWI Conviction from Going on My Criminal Record in New Jersey?
Pretrial intervention (PTI) is a diversionary program in New Jersey, available to certain defendants facing criminal charges. Engaging in PTI can help you avoid a conviction, therefore taking the future issue of expungement eligibility off the table. However, PTI is unavailable to those facing DWI charges in New Jersey.
The fact that DWIs are considered traffic offenses can pose serious problems for New Jersey defendants. While a traffic offense may seem preferable to a criminal offense, that categorization makes those facing DWI charges ineligible for certain advantages, like expungement and PTI programs.
If you qualify for PTI in New Jersey, you’ll enter into a probation period. Although the conditions are strict, and a small mistake can land you in jail, PTI can prevent a conviction. If DWIs were eligible for PTI, that would prevent the charge from ever going on your record in the first place.
Unfortunately, you will not be eligible for PTI if you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence in New Jersey. That means the best way to keep a DWI off your record is to hire an experienced Egg Harbor Township DWI attorney. Although DWIs are considered traffic offenses and not criminal offenses, they can still negatively impact your life because of the stigma and judgment surrounding such charges.
Will a DWI Show Up on a Background Check if I Can’t Expunge it in New Jersey?
Although a DWI won’t show up on a criminal background check because it is not considered a criminal offense, it can appear on other comprehensive background checks. Because of that, a DWI conviction can impact your ability to find employment and housing in New Jersey.
Because driving under the influence is not considered a criminal offense, a conviction won’t typically appear on a criminal background check, especially if they are only looking for felonies. So, when applying for a job, you may not have to worry about your DWI conviction impacting the results of your application if your prospective employer only runs a criminal background check. That said, more comprehensive background checks, like driving record checks, will show a DWI conviction. This means that applications for commercial driving jobs will often be rejected.
DWI convictions can strike an emotional chord for others. Word can spread of your DWI, even if your conviction does not appear on a criminal background check. Simply hearing about your history of driving under the influence can dissuade potential employers from hiring you. Such a conviction can also negatively impact your relationship with friends and family.
Although you can’t expunge a DWI conviction from your driving record, you can prevent it from appearing there in the first place. Speak to a Haddonfield DWI attorney immediately after being arrested. Your lawyer can work to clear your name, so you don’t have to worry about background checks revealing your past.
Call Our New Jersey Attorneys After Being Arrested for a DWI
If you were recently arrested for a DWI in New Jersey, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation with the Linwood DWI attorneys at the Lombardo Law Group, LLC, call today at (609) 445-4300.
The Personal Injury Trial attorneys of Lombardo Law Group, LLC have recovered 10s of Millions for accident victims over their careers
“Joe is a top-notch attorney who zealously represents his clients with intelligence, compassion and integrity. A great resource and team player, I wholeheartedly recommend Joe Lombardo.”