DUI Background Checks in Pennsylvania

pennsylvania background check

DUI Background Checks in Pennsylvania: Implications, Expungement, and More


If you’ve been convicted of a DUI or arrested on suspicion of one, it will likely appear on a background check. This could have major implications on your ability to find a job, get into college, or even rent an apartment. 

You may be able to get your record expunged, meaning those charges and convictions will only be accessible by law enforcement and certain state agencies. Getting your record expunged can be complicated – luckily our Pennsylvania DUI lawyer from Kellis Law Firm can help you navigate the process.

Call us at 215-977-4183 or contact us online for your free consultation. We’ll tell you more about how we can work to minimize the impacts of your DUI.

What Shows Up on PA Background Checks?

A DUI conviction, and any other conviction, will be on a background check as it’s part of your criminal history report. The background check will likely show the following information related to your DUI: 

  • The case number and disposition of the case
  • Whether your DUI was a misdemeanor or felony
  • The specific charges that were filed and those you were convicted of
  • The sentence you received
  • Probation terms

A background check isn’t limited to criminal convictions. A thorough Pennsylvania background check might also include the following:

  • Other criminal filings
  • Civil filings with you as either the plaintiff or defendant
  • State or professional licenses in your name
  • Arrest record
  • Military history
  • Driving record

Having a DUI on Your Record Could Greatly Affect You

It’s really hard to overstate the many ways that a DUI conviction can hurt you. Here are just a few of them.


pennsylvania background check employer

Many employers won’t look twice at a candidate with a criminal conviction, much less one as serious as a DUI. The job market is very competitive without such a charge, so employers will have little issue eliminating applicants with a DUI. 


Although you might not be immediately disqualified from renting due to your DUI conviction, it could pose some obstacles. A landlord may be less likely to rent to you, thinking you could pose a safety risk. 


Every student applying for college will be asked if they’ve been convicted of a criminal offense. Denying your DUI won’t help because they’ll likely conduct a background check and will learn that you lied–a lie is more likely to get your application denied than admitting to the offense. 

Some specialized schools, such as a nursing program or medical school, might not admit you with a DUI conviction. If you’re convicted of a DUI during school, it could result in your suspension or expulsion. 

Increase in Auto Insurance Rates

According to a study performed by the research company Value Penguin, a DUI could increase your auto insurance rates by as much as 72%. That could lead to a substantial financial burden in addition to the costs and fees associated with your DUI. 

Expungement is Possible with the Help of a Skilled Lawyer

An attorney with the Kellis Law Firm may be able to help expunge your record, keeping your conviction private to background checks not conducted by law enforcement or certain state agencies. Although everyone wants their record expunged, there are strict requirements to be met in order to qualify. 


If you were found not guilty of a DUI or the charges were dismissed, you are likely eligible to have your record expunged. If you were convicted of a DUI, you might also qualify, however additional conditions must be met. 

1. Your DUI must be classified as a “summary offense”

Pennsylvania state law considers this to be a minor offense. There are some instances where a DUI can fall into this category:

  • It must have been your first offense,

  • Your BAC (blood alcohol content) level must have been within 0.08-0.099%

  • Your fine could not have been more than $300

2. Successfully complete an ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) program

This typically involves participating in alcohol and drug abuse programs, performing community service, and possibly paying restitution. 

3. You’ve not been arrested for another DUI in the last five years

4. Less common ways to have a conviction expunged

  • The offender is 71 or older and has not been arrested in at least the past 10 years.
  • The person has been deceased for at least three years.
  • The governor issues a pardon for the offense.

Process for Expungement

If you’re eligible, you may file a petition. Your best chance of having a successful petition is to hire an experienced attorney, especially if the district attorney challenges your petition.

If your petition is challenged, a hearing will be held where a judge will either grant or deny your request. 

Arrested for DUI? Don’t let it haunt you forever.

Kellis Law Firm has extensive experience helping clients through the expungement process. We want to help you put this unfortunate incident behind you and move forward with your life without being negatively impacted by the results of a background check.

Learn more by contacting us online or giving us a call at 215-977-4183.