If you get charged with a DUI in New Jersey, you may be wondering if a conviction will give you a criminal record. It actually will not add to your criminal record, or create one for you if you have been living within the confines of the law until now. However, the fact that a DUI conviction does not give you a criminal record might not actually be a blessing. There are a few reasons why you should talk to a Bergen County DWI attorney from our firm and fight this charge with everything that you have got.
Why Doesn’t a DUI Give Me a Criminal Record?
A DUI does not give you a criminal record because it is not technically considered a crime under New Jersey state law. Instead, it is considered a traffic offense.
You may think that getting charged with a DUI is not so bad then. There is something important to keep in mind though. Criminal offenses can be expunged. Traffic offenses cannot.
Does That Mean I Cannot Clear a DUI Off My Record?
Expungement removes a charge from your criminal record. Law enforcement would probably be able to see an expunged charge, but most other background checks would not pick them up. This means that you would no longer need to worry that your criminal record would affect you in other areas of life.
If a DUI cannot be expunged, that means it just sits there on your record. Anyone looking into your background is going to see it.
What Are the Penalties for Having a DUI on My Record?
So even if you do not have a criminal record, the DUI will continue to haunt you. It could be found when you are:
- Applying for jobs
- Trying to secure a loan
- Seeking housing
Additionally, a DUI could affect you right now if you are in college. You could be sent through your school’s disciplinary process and penalized. If you are already working and have a professional license, most industries look down on DUI charges. This could mean a review of your license and punishments that could derail your career.
Finally, we should also mention that having a DUI on your record can make penalties for future DUI charges even more severe. We are talking about higher fines, jail time, and even the revocation of a driver’s license. Since you cannot get this charge expunged, your best bet is hiring a lawyer who can help you get it dismissed in the first place.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
Now that you know more about how DWI charges and convictions work in New Jersey, you may want to contact the Law Office of Attorney Conway. Even though this charge will not appear on your criminal record, a DUI carries so many penalties and needs to be taken seriously. We can help you ensure that one mistake does not follow you around for life.