Can a DUI Ever Be Expunged in Pennsylvania?

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
September 12, 2023

Driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense that involves challenging statutory consequences and a criminal record. Criminal convictions can limit a person’s ability to find employment, attain child custody, immigrate, and regain their driving privileges among other challenges that may negatively affect their life. Fortunately, Pennsylvania allows convicted offenders to purge their records through what’s called the “expungement” process.

Expungement is a legal process that removes a criminal conviction from a person’s criminal history. If an individual is granted an expungement, a court order will be entered and all criminal justice agencies will remove the arrest or conviction from their records. This includes deleting data from public records, court dockets, and police records with the expectation that it won’t show up if an employer, landlord, or school performs a criminal background check during the hiring or application process.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction will remain on your record for life unless it’s expunged or given limited access relief. Your conviction is a matter of public record, so it will be reflected in your criminal background and credit records as well as your insurance and driver’s license history. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania participates in the National Driver Registry, which means that other states will find out about your DUI and may impact your driving privileges throughout the country. Seeking an expungement of your DUI charge or conviction with the help of a criminal lawyer is crucial to secure your future.

How Does the DUI Expungement Process Work in Pennsylvania?

An expungement is a way of legally striking out records or information in files, computers, and other depositories relating to criminal charges. Simply put, the DUI conviction is deleted or erased upon a successful expungement. In Pennsylvania, your DUI may only be expunged if it is your first offense DUI and you successfully complete the ARD Program, or Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program. This is a pretrial diversionary curriculum used in counties across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Thus, it is possible to have a DUI conviction expunged in Pennsylvania, but only in very limited circumstances. In DUI cases, while your conviction may be expunged, a notation of participation in the ARD program does remain on your Pennsylvania driving record for the next decade. After 10 years, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation(PennDOT) will permanently expunge your ARD notation.

Pennsylvania enacted a new version of record repair in 2016.  This new form of expungement is called Limited Access.  You may be eligible to have your DUI Conviction restricted so that most employers and landlords would not be able to access your record.  It would only be accessible to law enforcement agencies and state government agencies. 

Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer in Montgomery County

If you’ve been convicted of DUI, it’s imperative that you get in touch with legal professionals who can help review your case, gather evidence, and petition the judge for expunction. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this process alone. The lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. understand how challenging this time can be to gain employment, housing, and more, which is why we’re dedicated to fighting for your rights and protecting your interests throughout the legal process. Our highly trusted and well-versed legal team understands the ins and outs of the expungement process and will be with you every step of the way.

For more than 65 years, the attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford have served the legal needs of clients in Montgomery County, Bucks County, Lehigh County, Chester County, Delaware County, and throughout the surrounding areas. We’ve earned the trust and respect of clients facing a wide range of legal problems. Our attorneys are ready to protect you and guard your rights. Call 215-822-7575 or complete our online contact form today.

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
Pennsylvania Attorney's
September 12, 2023
Established in 1952 by Irwin S. Rubin, Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. boasts over 65 years of experience serving clients throughout Pennsylvania. Renowned for its commitment to ethical representation, the firm has garnered prestigious accolades, including being named the "Best Law Firm" for its outstanding legal defense work by U.S. News & World Report. Their team of seasoned attorneys, recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, brings unparalleled expertise to a wide range of legal matters, ensuring exceptional representation for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.