What is the statute of limitations for a DUI?

UPDATED: Mar 1, 2013

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What is the statute of limitations for a DUI?

Asked on March 1, 2013 under Criminal Law, West Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I don't exctly know what you mean. I assume that you want to know, how long does a DUI conviction stay on your record? The fact is that DUI's remain in your criminal history forever. However, for sentencing purposes, prior DUI's can typically be used in determining the penalty to be imposed if they are anywhere from about 3-10 years old. This is known as the "look back period"; after that time it's as though you were never convicted. So, for example, if your first DUI offense was 12 years ago, you would be treated as a first-time offender when the court imposes a sentence for this latest conviction. If it was only 2 years ago, then this would be considered to be your second offense and you would be punished accordingly. 

Note: In a handful of states, there is no look back period. This means that a previous DUI conviction, no matter how old, can be used in determining a sentence for a later DUI.

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