Contributor: Adam Justinger
One study has shown that over five percent of North Dakota drivers report that they have had a DUI in the last seven years. However, that number is likely much higher if the seven-year restriction is removed. For example, maybe you were 19 years old driving home from a college party when you received a DUI. Or, maybe you were 45 and made the mistake of driving home after a happy hour with some of your colleagues. No matter what your story is, a DUI conviction is a serious matter that can have lifelong consequences. These consequences may include your insurance rates increasing or not being allowed into Canada. However, a new law passed by the North Dakota Legislature now allows individuals to seal a prior DUI conviction from their record.
During the 2019 North Dakota Legislative Session, the North Dakota Legislature passed HB 1334. As our previous blog outlined, HB 1334 added a new statute under chapter 39-08 of the North Dakota Century Code to allow for a previous DUI conviction to be sealed from an individual’s record. After the bill passed both the House and Senate, the governor signed the bill in April. The new statute went into effect on August 1, 2019.
How Can I Get My DUI Conviction Sealed And Am I Eligible?
Under the new statute, a person is eligible to have their DUI sealed if they have pleaded guilty to a DUI offense more than seven (7) years ago and have not pled guilty to or been found guilty of a subsequent DUI or any other criminal offense within seven (7) years since their DUI conviction. To put it simply, if it has been more than seven (7) years since your DUI conviction and you have not had another criminal conviction, you are eligible to have your North Dakota DUI sealed.
How Can I Get My DUI Conviction Sealed?
If you are eligible to have your DUI sealed, an attorney can draft up the proper paperwork and file it in your court case. These documents may include, but are not limited to, a motion to seal or a stipulation to seal. After the proper documents are filed with the court, the judge will issue an order determining whether your record will be sealed. If the judge’s order grants the motion/stipulation to seal, the DUI conviction will be sealed from your record and will not be visible on the North Dakota Court website. However, it should be noted that the statute does not apply to an individual who is licensed as a commercial driver or to a prosecutor’s access to the prior offense for purposes of enhancement under the DUI statute.
If you are eligible and want to try and have your DUI conviction sealed, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney to help you with the process. For help with the sealing process or other criminal issues in North Dakota or Minnesota, please do not hesitate to call Adam Justinger at SW&L Attorneys in Fargo at 701-297-2890.
This article is only meant to provide general information and does not constitute legal advice.