How to Expunge a DUI Record

Getting behind the wheel while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a very stupid decision. This mistake can cost you a hefty fine or your freedom. You can get arrested for drunk driving and this charge may result to expensive fines, community service, jail time and a permanent record.

A DUI conviction in your record can have a negative impact which may affect many areas of your life. Even after you have paid the fines, attended drunk driving classes, and served your sentence, you may realize that a DUI conviction on your record can become a form of punishment on its own. For instance, a permanent record can keep you from getting a job, a loan, or from renting a decent apartment. To that end, you may want to have your DUI record expunged.

What Is Expungement?

When the court agrees to expunge a criminal record, it basically means that the conviction is sealed or erased. To that end, when a background check is performed, the record won’t appear. This is very helpful for those who are seeking employment, applying for a loan, or for other purposes.

Remember though that the record is not completely erased. It can still be seen by law enforcers and court officials to check whether the person has previous run-ins with the law. But an expungement will keep the permanent record from ruining the individual’s life.

How To Expunge A DUI

1. Understand what it means to expunge a DUI record: As previously mentioned, DUI is a permanent record. If it gets expunged, all the information about the case, including the files, records, and criminal charges will be sealed. This means that in case you apply for a job, you can tell your potential employer that you have never been arrested, charged, or convicted of DUI.

2. Learn about the laws involving the expungement procedure: You need to understand that expungement process may vary from state to state. To that end, you must check with your country’s court or law enforcement agency where the arrests are expunged. Ask about the requirements, such as a certificate that proves you have completed probation and how many years before you can get your DUI expunged. There are some states that allow immediate expungement for some cases, such as a first offense in DUI.

3. Complete the process: It is crucial to fill out all the necessary forms and requests for expungement, such as the Motion to Expunge. After filling out the formal request, you will need to submit the application to the court and pay the fees necessary. You must then attend the expungement hearing once it is scheduled by the court. Lastly, you may also need to appear in front of a judge.

If everything went well, the judge will agree to the expungement plea. He will then give a court order to expunge the DUI record.

Drink Driving – It’s Criminal Liability And Other Legal Ramifications

What is drink driving?

Drink driving or drunk driving, as other countries call it, generally means driving under the influence of alcohol. However, it actually includes other series of offences. Here are some major circumstances as grounds for getting drink driving-related charges:

  • drink driving
  • drug driving
  • exceeding prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA)
  • refusing a breath test and/or analysis
  • refusing to accompany to the police station
  • refusing a blood or urine test, and
  • driving under the influence (DUI)

While there’s a distinction between a PCA and a DUI, you could still end up liable even if you weren’t actually driving.

What is its criminal liability?

In cases of minor accidents, the offender may just be slapped with a negligence charge. However, it could become an issue of criminal liability if a victim dies and if it is argued that the driver chose to drive knowing that he or she was drunk. As a result, the offender may have to face a bigger court case, additional compensation for the victims, and even gaol time. The legal ramifications can really hit the offender’s finances, not to mention the suspension, or worst, the revocation of his or her driver’s licence. As a matter of fact, the offender automatically gets his licence disqualified even without the order of a court when he or she is convicted.

To be charged with such an offence differs in each country. In different parts of Australia alone, the criminal justice system differs in its standards for criminal liability when it comes to drink driving. You may find that some states imposed less severe penalties while others have heavier ones.

The strictest in handling such an offence in Australia is the state of Victoria. In fact, you do not even have to be driving to be charged with a drink driving offence.

What happens to an offender?

PCA offences are divided into five categories – novice, special, low, middle, and high. Depending on the severity of the offence, the court can shorten or lengthen the disqualification period.

If you are charged, your licence is automatically suspended for 24 hours upon being pulled up by the police while over the limit. Some charges involve more than a 24-hour suspension, and the offender is prohibited from driving until everything is finalised in court. But there are also certain situations where it is possible to get a special licence while waiting to go to court.

What is the best way to get your license back?

There are different steps to getting your license back depending on your case and other factors. The best way to make sure your case is handled effectively to your advantage is to consult your drink driving lawyer. This will help you know what you’re up against and even allow you to minimise penalties. To learn more, click here.

How Are Motor Vehicle Accident Settlement Amounts Determined

When a compensation claim is being calculated by a solicitor, a number of different factors relating to the victim’s injuries and circumstances must be taken into account. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible so an accurate record of your injuries is held by a professional organisation. Your solicitor will need access to your medical records in order to establish the extent of your injuries which will help them to determine how much compensation you are owed for your physical injuries.

It is impossible to say exactly how much motor vehicle accident compensation you will receive without an accurate assessment of your case being carried out by qualified solicitor. There are guideline amounts that are issued by the courts and solicitors use this information to calculate the extent of your damages. Once your solicitor has been able to gather the initial evidence relating to your motor vehicle accident, and the injuries you sustained as a consequence, it is likely they will be able to advise you as to the likely level of compensation you should expect to receive.

After your accident, if you have been unable to work as a result of your injuries, you need to make a record of any earnings you have lost as a direct result of the accident. If you were receiving sick pay from your employer, you need to keep the wage slips that detail the amounts you were paid. Your solicitor will also need to seek wage slips from before your accident so they can calculate your losses accurately. As part of a compensation award for damages, you are entitled to claim compensation for loss of earnings after a motor vehicle accident.

If you had to wait for treatment on the NHS, you can claim compensation for any expenses you had to pay if you sought medical attention privately. If you choose to make a claim through a reputable law firm, it is likely they will be able to arrange for you to receive the rehabilitation treatment you need through one of their independent providers. If, for example, you need physiotherapy treatment in order to recover from your injuries completely, your solicitor should be able to arrange for a reputable rehabilitation provider to give you the treatment you need. You will need to keep evidence of any expenses you have incurred as a direct result of your motor vehicle accident injuries – even small amounts, like travel expenses and parking expenses, add up.

If you would like to be fully compensated for every aspect of your suffering, and for every financial loss you have made as a direct result of being involved in a road traffic accident, you need to keep as much evidence documented as you can. Providing you are able to give your solicitor the information they need about your damages, there is an extremely good chance a reputable law firm will be able to make sure you are fully compensated.

The actual amount of compensation you receive will be based on a combination of different factors relating to your case such as the severity of your injury, the impact that the injury has had on your daily life, whether or not your injury is ongoing, whether you will fully recover from your injury and whether or not you will be able to continue working.

Road Traffic Accident Claims Involving Speeding Motorists and Children

With the first term of school now well underway, and the dark nights rapidly closing in, drivers should be aware that they must look out for children when behind the wheel. Avoiding road traffic accident claims involving children involves careful, attentive and patient driving, so people should stay well within the speed limit and keep their eyes out for any potential hazards.

The surrounding streets on many schools have a 20mph speed limit, and built up areas usually have a 30mph limit. Research by Direct Line found that while 64% of drivers think that the traffic on local roads is frequently too fast and poses a danger to children on bikes or on foot, and while 65% think action should be taken to make cycling and walking safer in village and town centres, schools and residential areas, a huge number of drivers still regularly break the speed limit.

This is particularly dangerous around school opening and closing times and in the early evening when children play out. In road traffic accident claims involving collisions with pedestrians, the victim has a 95% likelihood of survival in an accident at 20mph, but at 40mph this falls to just 10%. It is thought that excessive speed is a factor in around 1,000 deaths and 38,000 injuries every year.

Every day, five children aged 16 or younger are seriously injured or lose their lives in motor vehicle accidents when cycling or walking around. Sticking to the speed limit gives drivers far more time to react to dangers and take evasive action when required.

But the Direct Line study found that 63% of respondents confessed to driving at 35mph or even faster in 30mph zones, with 29% saying they do so on at least a weekly basis. While 67% of people said they feel like other road users put them under pressure to speed, 33% admitted to giving into this pressure so they could drive faster.

Drive within the speed limits to avoid road traffic accident claims

Speed limits are not the recommended driving speed, but are the absolute maximum speed that a driver is allowed to go at. Breaking the speed limit and being in a car crash will be a strong indicator of liability in a road accident compensation claim and could make all the difference between an almost inconsequential accident involving minor injuries and a devastating accident leading to the loss of multiple lives.

Drivers who admit that other road users drive too quickly and put children at risk should consider their own driving and ensure they do not make the same mistake – the Direct Line poll reveals that many of these drivers are occasionally speeding around built-up areas.

Direct Line estimates that if 20mph limits were the norm across all residential areas, casualties would be reduced and health outcomes would be improved, which would see the campaign paying for itself several times over. Not only would it cut the number of road traffic accident claims, but it would also help to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.

People should always drive in the same way they would want other motorists to drive if their children were playing nearby, Direct Line Head of Motor Rob Miles said.

Road Traffic Accident Claims Made Easy

Roads are no longer safe as they once used to be. Road traffic accidents have become very common. Almost every day we get a report of an accident. People try their best to make a claim before the limitation time ends to get compensation for the damages to their vehicle and personal injury.

Is it necessary to demand compensation?

If you are suffering from injuries due to an accident caused by someone else then it is your legal right to make personal injury claims for compensation. Medical treatments, rehabilitation, caretaker, vehicle repair and recovery are not affordable for everyone. Especially, when the injury is sever and require long time for healing. Compensation money not only makes one’s life easy but also teaches a lesson to the person at fault.

What should one carry when going on the road?

When travelling, one must carry:

  1. A mobile phone: to call emergency, in case of personal injuries, claim firm and family
  2. Camera: to take photographs for evidence purpose
  3. First-aid kit: to deal with the injuries before the help arrives
  4. Copy of the insurance policy
  5. License
  6. Identity card
  7. Vehicle registration
  8. A paper and a pen: to note down important information regarding the accident

Why is it easy to make a claim?

Making road traffic accident claims are easier than in the past. The modern life has become very busy. One hardly has time to pursue lawyers and people who are involved in an accident that caused personal injuries. Many times, a victim is not in position to meet anyone or go anywhere due to severity of the injury. A Claim Management Company is a blessing in situations like these. Here is how the lawyers make a claim process easy for a claimant:

  1. Their team is easily approachable and reliable.
  2. They are just a call away and available round the clock to help the accident victims.
  3. We only need to give them a call and tell them about the accident in detail.
  4. They will listen carefully and assess the worth of your personal injury claim.
  5. The lawyers and claim specialists deal in all types of claims.
  6. These lawyers will start the claim process by signing an agreement with the claimant.
  7. Then the claim management company will send its team to probe into the accident and collect all evidences.
  8. They will arrange for the victim’s medical examination.
  9. The team will compile all documents and hand them over to the specialist lawyer.
  10. The company promises the claimants to keep all information confidential.
  11. The lawyers will contact the insurers of both parties to conclude.
  12. If the insurer or the party at fault rejects the claim, then the lawyer will file a lawsuit.
  13. The claim firm will manage court proceedings on behalf of the claimant.
  14. The victim will not have to attend the proceeding or visit the insurers.
  15. The claim firm will arrange treatment and rehabilitation of the person, until he or she recovers.
  16. They even help in case of loss of earnings due to an accident.
  17. The company or the assigned lawyers will not charge anything at all for making a claim, if it is lost. This means that making a claim is not only easy but also free of any risk.

Traffic Lawyer – Your Best Defense When Facing Traffic Offenses

The reason why a lot of people learn to drive because they eventually want to own a car someday. The benefits of owning a car are endless. Imagine the convenience of going anywhere you need to like to school, work, stores, and other places without having to wait until scheduled departure time like what buses and trains do. Anytime they want to ride with their pets heading to any place, they can happily bring their pets with them without any complaints or nuisance from passengers who don’t want to travel with pets. To put it simply, you are your own boss when you have your own car.

However, like anything else, having your own car means a huge responsibility on your shoulders. Among the responsibilities are you have to acquire excellent knowledge about traffic rules, get satisfactory driving skills, and learn to respect other drivers. Should you miss one of these, you might end up in the motoring accidents regularly featured on the news with a bunch of traffic offense which is not at all ideal.

If you talk about driving offenses, there is a lot. In fact, most of them you can get charged with or at some instance cost your life. There is the careless driving, dangerous driving causing death or serious injury, driving with license suspended, driving a motor vehicle when directed to stop by police, refusing to stop, entering a level crossing when a train is approaching, tampering with a motor vehicle without just cause, and many more. If in an unfortunate case you are faced with these offenses, the only wise thing to do is to consult an experienced traffic lawyer.

Through consulting a lawyer, you will be provided with the best legal help to get the best result for your traffic offense. They can give you the most efficient advice to get the lowest penalty as much as possible and be able to still keep your license. This is why it is important during these trying times to work and coordinate closely with your lawyer. Together, you can carefully come up with a strategy to result in less damage. Also, it is important to fully cooperate with your lawyer to resolve the issue easily and immediately. They can either get you to plead guilty or not depending on your case but all steps would be towards getting the least penalty.

It is the court’s discretion whether to convict you or not. They can also disqualify you if there is a required minimum disqualification period. Being with a competent and experienced lawyer, you may be able to get out of the case unscathed. You can keep your license, avoid a conviction, and go on with your life of course with more awareness about traffic regulations and safety practices. All these you will enjoy if you are working with a seasoned lawyer.

How Common Are Car Accident Compensation Claims Involving Uninsured Drivers?

Suffering personal injuries in a road accident is bad enough, but having to make a claim against an uninsured driver can make a bad situation considerably worse. In fact, recent research by Saga Car Insurance found this is the biggest driving fear among men over 50, cited by 23% of respondents to a Populus poll.

People fear the consequences of an accident with an uninsured driver more than they should, perhaps – many think it is impossible to make a car accident compensation claim when this happens, and that they will be left to deal with the financial aftermath by themselves.

However, you can still claim through the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) as part of its Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement – you should speak to road accident solicitors to cover your potential legal expenses and inform your insurance company about the accident.

Saga suggested that gender discrepancies could be responsible for the number of men who fear uninsured driver accidents, as only 7% of the women polled said this was their biggest driving fear. Women appeared to fear motor vehicle accidents themselves rather than the process of making a road accident claim, as 30% said driving in snowy conditions is their biggest fear, but just 15% of men did.

Road accidents with uninsured drivers

The MIB suggests there could be 1.2 million uninsured drivers on the road today, down from 2 million in 2005 and out of around 40 million drivers. The group has seen the number of car accident claims it deals with fall from over 37,000 in 2005 to around 25,000 nowadays.

It is thought that the increasing use and sophistication of Automatic Number-Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems could be responsible for this fall. All insurers are supposed to put the details of new policies on the Motor Insurers’ Database so they can be checked by ADPR within seven days of the application being accepted, and at the moment this happens in 98.8% of cases.

Saga claims one in 14 motorists over the age of 50 have been hit by an uninsured driver, and the MIB notes uninsured drivers are around five times more likely to be involved in a road accident, to fail to comply with the rules of the road or to be involved in other forms of criminal activity than other motorists.

While it is likely that the average uninsured driver is more reckless and careless than other road users, it is thought that part of the reason these motorists are so much more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents is because they are generally younger and inexperienced. Research has shown some young people are actually unaware that driving without car insurance is a criminal offence.

Claiming car accident compensation

It is still possible to claim car accident compensation following an accident with an uninsured driver, but you will need specialist legal assistance to do so. Find solicitors who specialise in this kind of compensation claim to get the money you are entitled to.

3 Lesser-Known Virginia Reckless Driving Laws

These three “lesser-known” Virginia reckless driving laws sometimes take drivers by surprise.

Many people incorrectly assume speeding is the only way a driver can be charged with reckless driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The truth is, speeding is but one out of the more than dozen driving behaviors deemed to be reckless. Our own expert analysis has revealed several somewhat common, ableit lesser-known forms of this criminal Class 1 misdemeanor.

Due to the well-known nature of the “speeding” version of reckless driving in Virginia, you will find contained in this article a brief discussion following this list.

1. Maintain Control (Failure) or Operating a Vehicle with Faulty Brakes

“[Driving] a vehicle which is not under proper control or which has inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes… “

This charge often follows a car accident. But oftentimes, the officer arrives to the scene late (and thus, does not witness the accident). This will lead to a situation in which an officer may seek statements from witnesses, or from the driver. But if there are no witnesses, and if the driver makes no incriminating statement, then there is a good argument to be made in court that the prosecution cannot meet their burden of proof. Remember: in no event does a person have to testify. This is a fundamental Constitutional right. Unfortunately, people often make statements to police officers and do not realize they are making an incriminating statement.

It is particularly important to take a reckless driving charge seriously, primarily due to the fact that it is a criminal offense… not a mere traffic infraction. In Virginia, a criminal conviction will remain on an adult’s criminal record for life.

2. Passing Vehicle (When Approaching a Curve or Hill)

This particular offense applies when the driver’s view along the road is obstructed. This does not apply if the road has more than one lane in the direction that the driver is traveling, nor does it apply on “designated one-way roadways or highways.”

To illustrate, consider this example:

As you approach the top of a hill (one that you cannot see over), a driver from your rear crosses over the double-solid yellow line and speeds up to pass. Since you cannot quite see what is over the crest, the driver passing you surely cannot safely see. If there is an oncoming car in that driver’s lane, he will possibly strike it in a head-on collision.

3. Obstructed View (Ever seen a mattress on top of someone’s roof)?

This offense is sometimes charged when a person innocently makes an attempt to transport a large, bulky object (i.e., a mattress, lumber, etc..). Other times, it is an offense charged when too many people are in a vehicle. For example, if a person is sitting on the console between a driver and passenger, then it is possible that the driver’s view may be “obstructed,” or blocked.

A Note on Reckless Driving by way of Speed

Most reckless driving charges in Virginia are a result of a driver speeding. But not just any speed qualifies as “reckless.” There are two distinct ways in which a driver may be charged with reckless driving; one is actually somewhat controversial.

  • 20 mph or more above the limit.
  • “in excess” of 80 mph, regardless of limit.

The first type (speeding 20 mph or more over the limit) is the less controversial form of reckless driving by speed. The controversey is due to the “regardless of limit” language. For example, a driver who is speeding 81 mph on a highway with a limit of 70 mph can be charged and convicted of reckless driving, despite the fact that he or she was only traveling 11 mph over the limit. When it comes to speed, however, there are several defenses which may apply in some cases.

Careful! These Poor Excuses Typically Fail

It is common for unrepresented drivers to make poor, but logical excuses. Some examples of such excuses are:

  • “I had to use the bathroom.”
  • “I was going with the flow of traffic.”
  • “I was late to an interview.”
  • “Someone was trying to race me.”

There are, however, viable defenses in some cases. For example, in Virginia, if there is a dispute as to speed (and a radar or laser device was used by the arresting officer), then the officer must show a valid calibration certificate in court. If the certificate is outdated, then the case is dismissed.

“What Fines am I Facing?”

Regardless of the form of reckless driving a person is accused of violating, all are Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offenses in Virginia:

  • up to 12 months in jail,
  • a fine up to $2,500, and
  • loss of driving privileges.

The actual punishment(s) you face, if charged and convicted, will vary depending upon multiple factors. The maximum penalties are rare, but possible.