2024 How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Florida?

2024 How Long Does
Donald Day

Unfortunately, it is not possible to remove a DUI from your record in Florida. Once a conviction is made, the offender is deemed guilty and is ineligible for expungement or sealing of their record. This is the primary reason that anyone who is arrested in Florida for a DUI should hire a qualified Florida DUI attorney to defend them against such charges.

If someone is arrested in Florida for a DUI, there are only two ways for them to prevent a DUI from appearing on their driving record and permanent criminal record: to prevent a conviction with either a not-guilty verdict or a dismissal of charges. Once a conviction is handed down, the DUI will go on the offender’s permanent criminal record and remain on their driving record for 75 years thereafter.

How a Florida DUI Attorney Can Help

Hiring an attorney for a DUI charge is essential for anyone who is conscientious of their criminal record being checked for reasons like employment, volunteer positions, housing applications, and others that require a clean criminal history. In many cases, it is possible to avoid a DUI conviction, especially for first-time offenders.

A competent and seasoned Florida DUI attorney understands what’s at stake with a guilty DUI conviction and can aggressively investigate a DUI arrest to find any errors made in the administering of blood alcohol content (BAC) tests, field sobriety tests, probable cause for the initial stop, arrest and booking procedures, and a number of other areas that are often admissible in court as valid grounds for a case dismissal and dropped charges.

These defense strategies are called motions to suppress. Their success depends heavily on a thorough and complete understanding of Florida DUI laws. The specific types of motion to suppress defenses are listed below.

  • Challenging the validity of the traffic stop
  • Challenging the validity of the field sobriety test
  • Challenging the blood test
  • Challenging the breathalyzer test
  • Challenging the urine test
  • Accident report privilege
  • Challenging whether the defendant actually refused to test

Florida DUI Defense Strategies

In order for the prosecution to garner a guilty verdict for a DUI, there are three elements they must prove:

  • The defendant was driving or in physical control of the vehicle.
  • The defendant was driving or in physical control of the vehicle while they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The defendant was driving or in physical control of the vehicle while they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol to a point that impaired them beyond their normal faculties.

If the defense can disprove one of these three elements necessary for a guilty verdict, the state cannot find the defendant guilty. These defense arguments are fairly common, and three such tactics are explained below.

  • Wheel Witness Defense – This strategy involves showing that the state cannot prove the defendant was driving.
  • Actual Physical Control Defense – This strategy is often used when the driver was found asleep at the wheel, and the keys were not in the ignition.
  • Inoperability Defense – This defense tactic proves the vehicle in question was not drivable or operable; therefore, there is no possibility of DUI.

There are also other DUI defense tactics that are rarely used because they are extremely hard to prove. Some examples of these are listed below.

  • Necessity Defense – If an individual is arrested and charged with a DUI, the necessity defense is an option only if the defense can prove the driver had no plans to drive before they started drinking but was forced to do so because they or someone else was in imminent danger of death or bodily harm, or if there was a medical emergency or a natural disaster. This is not a common defense for a DUI.
  • Duress – Similar to necessity, a duress defense must prove that the defendant had no plans to drive before drinking, but someone suddenly made the defendant commit the crime by putting them under duress with an immediate threat. This is also not a common DUI defense.


Q: How Many Years Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Florida?

A: Florida state law prevents a DUI conviction from being removed from a person’s driving record for 75 years. Additionally, it can never be removed from an offender’s criminal record and will remain on background checks for life with no option for expungement or sealing of the record.

Q: Will a DUI Conviction Be Automatically Removed From Your Florida Driving Record After Five Years?

A: A DUI will not be automatically removed from an offender’s driving record before 75 years have passed. It will also remain on your criminal record for life. Getting a DUI in Florida means a mandatory adjudication of guilt, which can never be expunged or sealed. However, previous convictions can only affect your charges and penalties within a five or ten-year period.

Q: How Do I Remove a DUI From My Record in Florida?

A: It is not possible to get a DUI removed from a driving record or a criminal record once a conviction has been made. The only way to prevent a DUI charge from going on your permanent record is to fight the charges in hopes of getting them dropped before a conviction is made or getting found not guilty of the charges.

Q: Is a DUI a Felony in Florida?

A: For a DUI to be charged as a felony, there must be extenuating circumstances, such as if the DUI resulted in death (DUI manslaughter), the DUI resulted in serious bodily injury, there was a minor in the car, or the DUI is a third or subsequent repeat offense.

A Skilled Florida DUI Attorney Can Represent You

Most defendants facing DUI charges may experience severe consequences as a result of a DUI conviction on their record. However, It is highly unlikely that you alone can receive a not-guilty verdict without the help of a skilled Florida DUI attorney.

At the Law Office of Donald P. Day, our lawyers can advise you on which defense strategy makes the most sense for your case and then argue that defense on your behalf using their legal skills, knowledge of the law, and experience in Florida DUI cases. Contact the Law Office of Donald P. Day today to discuss your case.