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

A driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) conviction is serious and can affect your criminal record forever. Under Virginia law, you can be charged for driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs. This conviction can never be removed from your criminal record, but there is a time limit on your driving record.

Our Manassas DUI lawyers help you understand the implications of a DUI conviction and how long it will stay on your record. Schedule your consultation to learn more about how this applies to your individual situation.

Consequences of a DUI on Your Criminal Record

You face serious consequences of a DUI, including high fines, jail time, and even driver’s license suspensions. In addition to these criminal penalties, you must deal with the long-lasting issues that arise from a criminal offense on your record.

A first-time DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia law. More serious types of DUI offenses or subsequent DUIs can raise the level of the offense, potentially resulting in a felony charge as well. All of these charges raise serious questions on your criminal record, and could collaterally affect you in many ways.

Can I Remove A DUI From My Criminal Record in Virginia?

Unfortunately, you cannot remove a DUI from your criminal record once you are lawfully convicted. This means that the DUI and any subsequent DUI offenses remain on your criminal record forever.

This is not true of all criminal offenses, which might be sealed or expunged after time. DUIs are specifically exempted from these laws to ensure they remain on your record permanently. 

What Is a Criminal Record?

A person’s criminal record refers to their history of criminal activity, including:

  • Arrests
  • Convictions
  • Other court dispositions

A person’s criminal record may be used against them in court. For example, second and subsequent DUI offenses carry more serious penalties. Prosecutors look to your criminal record to determine whether these more serious penalties apply in your case based on your history. Private companies and government entities may also look at your criminal record when making important decisions about you, such as employment or special licensure.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on my DMV Driving Record?

DUIs and DWIs are also recorded on your Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle driving record. This record can impact:

  • Driving privileges
  • Suspensions and revocations of your driver’s license
  • Special driving restrictions
  • Use of an ignition interlock device
  • Insurance coverage requirements
  • The amount of points on your license

Unlike your criminal record, however, your DUI does not stay on your DMV record forever. A DUI remains on your driving record for eleven years. After that time, it should be removed and no longer affect your driving record if the DMV properly manages its records.

Collateral Consequences of a DUI on Your Criminal Record

The inability to remove a DUI from your criminal record can have life-long consequences. This is in addition to the criminal penalties you face. These collateral consequences might include, but are not limited to:

  • Requirements for expensive high-risk car insurance coverage
  • Difficulty obtaining a commercial’s driver’s license (CDL)
  • Loss of your current job
  • Limitations on employment or difficulty finding a job because of your criminal record
  • Impacts on custody determinations
  • Difficulty getting to school or work 

Defend Your DUI To Protect Your Criminal Record

The best way to avoid problems with your criminal record is to defend against DUI charges. An effective defense may reduce the charges against you or get them dismissed entirely. 

The Virginia criminal defense lawyers from Battlefield Law Group PLLC use effective strategies to defend your DUI/DWI case. Contact us today for a free consultation.