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Misdemeanor Driving Offenses – On Your Record Forever

Home Blog Criminal Cases Misdemeanor Driving Offenses – On Your Record Forever

If a person contacts me about an “Expungement” (technically called a Set-Aside of Conviction), and I ask if they have any other Criminal Convictions, besides the one they want “expunged,” I’m often answered with a “nope. That’s the only thing I have.” After a few more questions, however, I learn that the person cannot qualify to have a matter removed from their record because they actually DO have another prior Criminal Conviction. It’s that pesky “Traffic Offense” Misdemeanor (such as a DUI or Suspended License case) that they didn’t realize stays on their Record forever.

Civil Infractions have their own way of “coming off” a person’s Driving Record. First, remember that Civil Infractions are NOT Criminal offenses, so they’re only reported on a person’s Driving Record. After 2 years, the State drops the Points associated with any Civil Infraction. And a Driving Record, at least as far as Civil Infractions are concerned, only goes back 10 years. This means that a person who gets a Speeding Ticket for 20 MPH over the limit will have the Points count on their Driving Record for 2 years (Insurance Companies count them for 3 years; that’s another story) and the violation will show up for 10 years. 11 years after that Ticket, even if a Police Officer runs the person’s Driving Record as part of a Traffic Stop, the old 20-Over Ticket will not show up.

If there’s a moral to this story, I suppose it’s twofold: First, know the difference between Civil Infraction and Misdemeanor Driving Offenses, and Second, know that a Misdemeanor Traffic Conviction stays on your Criminal Record, like a bad tattoo, forever, and can never be removed.