At this point, everyone in the United States should know that drinking and driving is illegal. That doesn’t necessarily stop people from being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), but it isn’t because they don’t know it is illegal. At the same time, the average DUI defendant is hardly a hardened criminal. On the contrary, most people who end up facing DUI charges are otherwise law-abiding citizens who had a momentary lapse in judgment that resulted in an arrest for DUI. Those same people often want the whole thing to go away as quickly as possible so they accept the first plea agreement they are offered that doesn’t include jail time. What they are not thinking about at the time is how that DUI arrest will potentially haunt them for years to come. To ensure that you understand all of the repercussion of a DUI arrest, a Nebraska DUI attorney discusses background checks after a DUI arrest.
Judicial Penalties of a DUI Conviction
If you are convicted of DUI, you will be sentenced pursuant to the terms of a guilty plea agreement entered into with the State of Nebraska or by the judge if you took your case to trial. The sentence imposed pursuant to that plea or trial will represent the judicial consequences of your DUI conviction and may include things such as additional time in jail, a period of probation, installation of an ignition interlock device, and/or a license revocation. These penalties are judicial penalties, meaning they are imposed by the court. They are also fairly clearly established penalties in that you know what to expect from the imposition of these penalties. Unfortunately, the judicially imposed penalties you face as a result of a DUI conviction are not the only penalties you face.
Non-Judicial Penalties – Background Checks
Often, the non-judicial penalties you face when arrested for DUI are longer lasting and more detrimental to your life than the judicial penalties you face. Noon-judicial penalties refer to those consequences of an arrest and/or conviction that are not the result of your judicially imposed sentence. Higher insurance premiums, for example, is a non-judicial penalty that frequently follows a DUI conviction. Negative results on a background check is another non-judicial penalty. In the 21st century, background checks are routinely run on prospective employees, potential renters, to qualify for most professional licenses, and even to qualify for various state and/or federal benefits. A DUI conviction on a background check could result in disqualification for all of those things – employment, housing, professional licensing, and benefits.
Is Expungement an Option in Nebraska?
In many states, the option exists to have certain criminal records, including convictions, expunged. When a record is expunged it means it is no longer accessible to the public. The record is not completely erased as it remains available to law enforcement, courts, and certain government offices. It does, however, disappear off of a background check run by a prospective employer, landlord, or any other member of the public. Unfortunately, Nebraska is not one of the states that allow expungement of a criminal conviction. An arrest can be expunged; however, only if you can show by clear and convincing evidence that your arrest was unlawful or from an error by the arresting officer or agency.
Avoiding a Conviction
For a DUI arrest in Nebraska, the only way to prevent a conviction from turning up on future background checks is to avoid the conviction in the first place. Instead of taking the first offer given to you in your rush to put the whole thing behind you, retain the services of an experienced Nebraska DUI defense attorney and discuss possible defenses that could result in avoiding a conviction. Although the arresting officer and/or prosecuting attorney may have made it sound as if a conviction is a foregone conclusion, that is not always the case. On the contrary, there are several commonly used defenses to a DUI charge that might apply in your case.
Contact a Nebraska DUI Attorney at Petersen Law Office
If you were recently arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Nebraska, contact a DUI lawyer at Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.