Old DUI conviction and expungement

Question: I was pulled over and arrested for a DUI in 1985. I was convicted for the DUI about a year later after a long Court process. Now an employer is asking for proof it was a misdemeanor? How do I get this? The conviction is so old I no longer have the paperwork. I was working at the same job for a long time with no issue. Now that I made (or trying to make) a job change, this old DUI conviction is causing me issues.

I went through a background check and disclosed a DUI when I was filling out my application. Now the employer wants proof that it was a misdemeanor and not a felony DUI and I am not sure what or where to obtain this. The DUI occurred in Van Nuys, CA in 1985, in Van Nuys Court.

Answer: The Court is the first place to try and see if they can give you a certified docket that will show details about the conviction. Based on the age of the case and conviction (almost 40 years ago), what they can offer may be limited. If that is the case, then records have to be pulled from archives downtown. Feel free to contact me at 818-336-1384 and I am happy to assist you with this further or answer your questions. Pulling really old records is not always as straight forward as one would think it should be.

Also, when we talk we can also discuss getting your conviction withdrawn and dismissed (often referred to as an expungement). I regularly hand this process and other criminal record clearing processes for my clients. This is beneficial for employment purposes and in most cases would not have to be reported to your employer once successfully dismissed. Convictions like this don’t always cause problems with employment, but you never know when they are going to cause delays or issues with jobs. I generally recommend petitioning the court to dismiss the conviction pursuant to PC 1203.4 (or other avenues of doing so where applicable) as soon as probation is completed.


Philip Hache, Attorney