No, you cannot. This is, to a certain extent, good news, as New Jersey does not consider drunk driving a crime. As such, it does not give you a criminal record, so there's nothing to expunge. It will also not come up on a criminal background check and should not interfere with you getting a job.
However, it does go on your driving record (called an Abstract) that is lifetime. Items cannot be removed. Points can be removed to affect the running total, for example, but the initial assignment of those points will always be there.
But They Do Fade Over Time
Prior convictions can become less relevant, though. For example, the more time that passes from the conviction, the more likely that your car insurance rates will go down.
The passage of time can also help if you are arrested again for DUI. This is because, although the conviction does not disappear, it may not result if you are convicted for a second offense.
Why Ten Years of Sober Driving Make a Difference
Once 10 years have passed since your first offense DUI, you become entitled to the “ten year step down rule.” What does this mean? It means that if the date you were ticketed for your first offense (not the date of conviction) was more than ten years before your second, then your second will count as a first offense for sentencing. This also means that your driver's license may not be suspended (or if it is, it is for 4 to 6 months, not 1 to 2 years), and you don't face possible jail time.
Want to know more about this "step down rule"? Check out the information here!
So What Do I Do?
If you have been charged with a second or subsequent DUI here in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, New Jersey, and that is why you are asking about an expungement of the prior conviction, you need to talk with an experienced DUI lawyer about whether the step-down can help you.
With a DUI, you need to move quickly. Call me right away at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule a free consultation. If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's drunk driving law, then download my free book, How Much Trouble Am I In? A Guide to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law.
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