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How Can a DUI Affect Your Employment?

DUI convictions carry serious repercussions that can impact just about every aspect of your life. One thing that many people forget about in the aftermath of a DUI is the effect it can have on you professionally. Even if your current job has no issue with a DUI you can still run into problems with future employment opportunities.

A DUI conviction can have a major impact on your employment, both current and future. Many jobs have consequences for employees who receive a DUI. It is also common for prospective employers to ask about your criminal history. Strict company policies regarding DUI convictions can prevent you from maintaining a current job, or obtaining a new one, or cause you to be passed up for promotion opportunities. If you are not a government employee, required to work with sensitive documents, working with children, or a driver it is possible your employer will be more willing to work with you, but that will vary depending on the employer.

If you are facing a drunk driving charge you will need the help of a talented defense attorney. Having a DUI conviction on your driving record can seriously impact your professional life as well as your professional life. An experienced Cook County DUI lawyer will know the best approach for you based on the specific factors surrounding your case and will develop the most effective defense strategies for your situation. Our dedicated team at Chicago DUI Defense is ready to help you work through your case and will fight to get the best possible results for you. Contact one of our criminal defense attorneys today to see what we can do to help.

How Does a DUI Charge or Conviction Affect Your Career?

When facing all the penalties that come along with a DUI it can be easy to forget that having one on your record can carry adverse consequences for you professionally. Even a misdemeanor charge for a DUI is a serious criminal offense and can result in a permanent entry on your criminal record. This can introduce a number of possible employment issues for you, for both your current employer as well as future opportunities.

Some of the most severe penalties for a DUI conviction will affect your ability to hold your current job or make it more difficult for you to secure future employment. These include:

License Suspension

You can expect to have your driver's license suspended following your DUI arrest, with more time being added if you are convicted. A license suspension can throw a wrench into the works for a wide range of day-to-day tasks such as going to the grocery store or filling up your gas tank.

keys alcohol and a gavel on adesk

Even more importantly, it may prevent you from getting to work which will likely result in you losing your job. For those working in specific fields, particularly driving careers, you can face termination simply for receiving a DUI conviction. That's why it's important to contact one of our DUI criminal defense attorneys, to ensure the best possible result for your case.

Background Checks

A DUI conviction, or even a charge that has not been expunged, will show up on criminal background checks. This can leave you struggling to find future employment. Many companies have strict policies regarding employment background checks. For example, if you are a medical professional, work in law enforcement, work for a school, or are seeking a career path in these fields you may find yourself unable to find work.

This can be particularly difficult for those who have trained for one particular career path, as they may suddenly find themselves out of work in their field. Failing a background check will often prevent you from moving forward in the hiring process, which will seriously limit your future employment opportunities.

Time in Jail

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI you could end up serving time in jail. If you have a jail sentence and are unable to work as a result you could be terminated from your job. Not many employers are willing to work with you to help you keep your job following a stint in jail.

Differentiating Between a Charge and a Conviction

It is important to understand the difference between criminal charges vs an actual conviction for a DUI. A charge is an accusation of criminal activity while a conviction means that your guilt has been demonstrated in a court of law or that you have confessed to committing a crime.

A DUI charge without a conviction, due to your case being dropped or a not guilty verdict from a trial, for example, can be expunged from your criminal record to prevent it from causing you more harm. If you are found guilty and convicted of your DUI charge you will not be able to remove it from your record.

Do I Have To Disclose a DUI to My Employer?

The short answer is that it depends. Some jobs will require you to disclose your DUI, while others will not. You will want to check your employment contract or employee handbook for an agreement or company policy. If you find either you will need to inform your current employer that you have received a DUI. If there is no provision in your contract or mention of it in your contract then you may choose to keep it to yourself.

The answer for a potential employer is slightly more complicated. The vast majority of job applications will have some form of question asking about your criminal history. While you can lie or leave out information on your applications it is inadvisable for you to do so. If you are found to have lied on your application you will certainly be removed from the hiring process. If this is found out after you are hired you can expect to have your employment terminated.

Jobs That a DUI Can Prevent You From Having

There are certain professions that have particularly strong policies when it comes to DUIs. Whether you currently work in these fields or are pursuing a career in them, a DUI arrest can negatively impact your employment eligibility. Some of these jobs include:

  • Drivers - If you hold a driving job, one that requires you to operate a motor vehicle as part of your responsibilities, your employer likely has a policy in place regarding DUIs. If you are trying to secure work in the field you need to be prepared to face an uphill battle.
  • Childcare Workers and Teachers - If you are a teacher or work for a daycare provider or other childcare facility it is very possible that you will either lose your job or have a difficult time finding a new one following a DUI.
  • Jobs Dealing with Confidential Information - Companies that regularly handle sensitive or confidential information are highly unlikely to employ someone with a criminal record.
  • Government Work - If you are seeking a government job that requires a security clearance a DUI conviction can prove to be a major obstacle.
  • Medical Professions - Doctors, nurses, and others in the medical field may not be able to keep their jobs or find new ones with a DUI conviction on their criminal history.
job applications with text listing jobs a DUI can prevent you from having over them

Contact a Chicago DUI Defense Attorney Today!

Many jobs look unfavorably on DUI convictions for their employees. This means that you can be fired for receiving a DUI, and also means that it can make finding a new job much more difficult. Not every company will run a background check on all of their applicants, but many will. The best way for you to prevent this issue is to prevent it from ever being recorded on your criminal record. Doing this will require an experienced lawyer with a history of successfully defending DUI cases.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol you need an attorney who knows the laws governing your case and will fight to get the best possible result for you. Our knowledgeable DUI lawyers at Chicago DUI Defense will work with you to build an aggressive defense strategy. Call us today or schedule an appointment online today.

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