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Clearing Your Slate: How To Get a DUI Off Your Record in South Dakota

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | DUI |

A DUI on your record can impact your life in many ways, from job opportunities to insurance rates. However, South Dakota offers a chance to clear this mark through expungement.

Understanding eligibility, the expungement process and the necessary steps can help in getting a DUI off your record.

Eligibility for expungement

To qualify for DUI expungement in South Dakota, you must meet certain criteria. First, the DUI must be a misdemeanor. Felony DUIs do not qualify for expungement. You must also complete all court-ordered conditions, such as fines, community service and probation.

The law also requires a waiting period. Five years must pass after completing all terms of the sentence. During this time, you must not commit any other crimes. The court will consider your overall behavior, so maintaining a clean record and demonstrating positive changes in life are important steps.

The expungement process

The expungement process involves several steps. The first step is obtaining a certified copy of the judgment of conviction. This document is available at the courthouse that handled your DUI case. Next, you must complete a petition for expungement. This form requires details about the conviction and the reasons for seeking expungement.

You then need to file the completed petition and certified judgment copy with the court. Filing fees apply, so it is important to check the current rates. The court will then schedule a hearing date. During the hearing, you will present your case for expungement, showing how life has improved since the DUI conviction.

If the court grants the expungement, it can take several weeks to update the record. After expungement, the DUI conviction is not visible to the public, including employers and insurance companies.

Importance of legal representation

Though you have the choice to navigate the expungement process independently, it is in your best interests to seek specialized legal assistance. An experienced professional can help ensure that you complete all paperwork correctly and that your case is as strong as possible when you present it at the hearing.

Clearing a DUI from your record can provide a fresh start. Understanding and following the steps for expungement in South Dakota will make this process smoother, allowing you to move forward with your life.