Can You Expunge a Traffic Violation From Your Record?

Clearing a traffic violation conviction from your driving record.

“Expungement” normally refers to the process for removing a conviction from your criminal record. However, in some states, you can also expunge a traffic infraction from you record. In states that allow it, expunging a traffic violation can have certain benefits.

Traffic Violation Expungements

In many states, like California, expungement procedures are available only for criminal convictions—not traffic infractions. So, in these states, you generally can’t expunge minor traffic violations like speeding, running a stop sign, and the like. For some of the more serious driving-related offenses, on the other hand—like driving under the influence (DUI) and reckless driving—expungement would likely be possible in these states.

However, some states have a process for expunging minor traffic violation convictions. To find out whether a traffic ticket expungement is possible in your states, it’s best to check with a local traffic attorney.

Expungement Procedures

Expungement procedures vary by jurisdiction. In many areas, you can apply for an expungement by filling out a standard form. There are also states that automatically expungement traffic violations after a certain number of years have passed.

To be eligible for an expungement, you typically have to meet certain criteria. For example, following a traffic violation conviction, there might be a waiting period to complete before you’re allowed to apply for the expungement.

Alternatives to Traffic Expungements

In states that don’t allow traffic ticket expungements, you might still be able to lessen the impact of a traffic ticket. For eligible drivers, traffic school can be a good option for keeping a ticket from affecting your driving record. And, in most states, traffic violation points expire after a certain number of years. So, if you can stay violation-free, your violation point tally will eventually go down on its own.

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