How Long Will a DUI Stay on My Public Record in Florida?
Any interaction you have with the police generally becomes a public record as long as a report was taken or an investigation takes place. As with any criminal offense in Florida, every arrest, including court dates, is a public record and easily accessible by anyone. Even if you are innocent and win your case, the public record will, unfortunately, exist forever. While it cannot be used against you, it can leave an ugly stain on your permanent record.
In Florida, public records are documents or pieces of information that are not considered confidential. Florida Statutes 119.01 states:
(1) It is the policy of this state that all state, county, and municipal records are open for personal inspection and copying by any person. Providing access to public records is a duty of each agency.
(2)(a) Automation of public records must not erode the right of access to those records. As each agency increases its use of and dependence on electronic recordkeeping, each agency must provide reasonable public access to records electronically maintained and must ensure that exempt or confidential records are not disclosed except as otherwise permitted by law.
This is also known as Florida's "Sunshine Law." The Sunshine Law provides a right of access to governmental proceedings at both the state and local levels.
A criminal record should never amount to a lifetime of setbacks and challenges, yet for many, it does. A criminal record can affect your future in some of the following ways:
- Professions that require a license
- Housing (criminal records are not protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA)
- College education
- Joining the armed forces
- Child custody
- Owning a firearm
- Foreign travel
Can a Florida DUI Be Expunged?
In Florida, sealing or expunging is the process in which a specific criminal record becomes limited access, or is destroyed. Generally, DUIs cannot be expunged in Florida, however, if a DUI charge is reduced to a reckless driving charge, there is a possibility for expungement. Even a closed and dismissed reckless driving charge has the ability to be expunged as long as all court-ordered terms and conditions were satisfied. A Palm Beach drunk driving attorney can best advise you if your DUI charge can possibly be reduced to reckless driving.
How Can I Get My Mugshot Off The Internet?
When a case is sealed and expunged, your mugshot is erased from public government-operated databases. Unfortunately, your mugshot may remain on third-party websites forever.
Florida State Statute 901.43 states it is illegal for a third-party mugshot website to charge you in order to have your mugshot removed from their website. Technically, if they refuse, you can sue them. Unfortunately, most third-party mugshot websites are operated overseas where the same laws may not apply. Our mugshot removal lawyer has the tools to remove your mugshot off most or even all of the websites that it may appear on. We will make all efforts to have your mugshots removed permanently.
Hire an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Palm Beach County, FL
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in West Palm Beach or surrounding areas we are on standby and ready to be in your defense. Contact us or call us at (561) 671-5995 so we can review your case immediately.
I've also written a free guide, 'What You Must Know About Your DUI Case Before You Do Anything: Attacking DUI Myths That Will Hurt Your Case' to better inform others of their rights and responsibilities as a driver in Florida.
The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky handles driving under the influence (DUI) cases in all of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Loxahatchee, Royal Plam Beach, Riviera Beach, Lake Worth, Greenacres and all of Broward County.