Monday, September 5, 2011

The Right To Rehabilitation for a DUI in California

In California, as is the case in many other states, the court must inform the defendant, either orally or in writing, of his or her right to apply for relief from all penalties and disabilities resulting from a misdemeanor DUI conviction after the passage of one year from the date of pronouncement of judgment, or longer if the defendant enters into a plea bargain with the prosecution.  This right is sometimes referred to as an expungement.  According to one Tehachapi DUI Attorney, this right to relief is available provided the defendant successfully performs his or her sentence and leads a law-abiding life during that period under Penal Code Section 1203.4a. Relief is afforded by permitting the withdrawal of a plea of guilty or no contest or by setting aside a verdict of guilty and dismissing the accusatory pleading. In DUI cases, the right is limited somewhat to a Judges discretion, unlike other misdemeanor crimes. Defendants convicted of an infraction are not entitled to relief under Pen C §1203.4a. Pen C §1203.4a(b). A defendant who is granted probation on a DUI may apply for relief from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction on the successful completion of probation which under CA law is a minimum of 36 months.  Notice of this right to relief must be contained in the defendant’s probation papers