If you’re searching for a job, a DUI won’t make it any easier. While getting a DUI may not seem particularly harmful at the time, especially considering more people in the U.S get convicted of DUIs than any other crime, it’s a criminal offense that can haunt you the rest of your life. Not only can it affect your ability to get a job, but it can also affect the type of job you get.
With the exception of cases involving injury and death, or offenders with multiple DUIs, the majority of DUI charges are misdemeanors. However, even a misdemeanor DUI conviction can narrow your job prospects.
As you begin looking for employment after a DUI, most employers will ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. Many employers also now run background checks, so it’s important to be candid and tell the truth about your DUI if asked about your past misdemeanor or felony convictions.
“Will a DUI prevent me from getting a job?” This is a popular question asked by everyone arrested for DUI, and honestly, it depends on the type of job you’re applying for.
If you’re looking to work in a field that requires driving, working with children, or operating heavy machinery, a DUI conviction will almost certainly rule you out. In other fields, however, your DUI conviction may not be a concern for employers.
What Type of Job Are You Applying For?
When getting a job after a DUI, almost any type of driving job will be tough to obtain. Companies who hire drivers usually can’t hire anyone convicted of a DUI within five to seven years after the arrest due to increased insurance rates.
Many other employers view DUIs seriously because a DUI conviction may indicate a potential alcohol or drug problem. Not only will many companies not want to work around the time off needed for drug classes and court cases, but they may wonder about your ability to safely perform the job as well.
For some occupations, the effects of a DUI conviction can be immediate and severe. Military members can be denied promotion, merchant seaman and anyone with an FAA license are immediately investigated, and teachers are often fired.
Don’t let a DUI conviction ruin your job prospects or current career. Consult with a DUI lawyer today before pleading your guilt!
Arrest vs Conviction – What’s the Difference?
When asking yourself, “Will a DUI prevent me from getting a job,” another factor to consider is whether you were convicted of a DUI or simply arrested. In most states, employers are allowed to ask job candidates about past convictions, but they’re not allowed to ask about arrests.
That being said, some states allow certain employers to inquire about prior arrests. For example, for those living in California, anyone applying for a job as a pharmacist, nurse, or any other occupation with access to medication must disclose any drug arrest, not just convictions.
However, for most people seeking employment after a DUI, there’s no need to volunteer information about the arrest, and information about the conviction should only be given if specifically asked on an application or during an interview.
If you’re having a hard time finding the job you want after a DUI conviction, consider talking with an attorney to get it expunged from your record. Although your original attorney wasn’t able to beat your DUI charges, an experienced DUI attorney may be able to help clear your name.
Getting a Job After a DUI
If you aren’t applying for a job with restrictions regarding DUI applicants, make sure to prepare some answers in advance to minimize any damage caused by your DUI conviction. While you shouldn’t volunteer any information, don’t hide the truth if asked about prior convictions. A background check, which most employers perform these days, will disclose the DUI and any other convictions you may have.
According to researchers at the University of West Virginia, DUI is the most common crime in the U.S., so an interviewer shouldn’t be shocked to discover it on your record. When explaining the DUI, keep it short and try to sound as apologetic as possible. However, don’t overdo it. Simply mention you had a momentary lapse in judgement, you’ve learned your lesson, and won’t do it again.
Although that should suffice, don’t stop there. Follow up by providing some recent examples of responsible actions and let the employer know you’re striving to make positive changes in your life.
Here are a couple more helpful tips to overcome employment discrimination and ensure a DUI conviction doesn’t come between you and your next job:
• Secure a Strong Referral
Your resume won’t come to your defense when a hiring manager spots an issue and wonders about the negative impacts it may have on his business. Only someone who knows you well can defend you and put to rest legitimate concerns by emphasizing the benefits and results you’ll provide an employer.
The answer is a simple one: Invest your time in securing a strong referral. Choose a credible person who respects you and have him or her contact the employer to give their recommendation of you as an employee.
Depending on your relationships with past managers or bosses, this may be easier said than done. However, it’s definitely the best tactic and well worth the effort.
A reference doesn’t necessarily have to be a former boss. It could be a previous co-worker, a manager from another department, or even a customer who respects you and knows your work ethic. In any event, your reference should be someone who’ll pick up the phone, make the call, and go the extra mile on your behalf.
• Help the Employer See What Matters Most
An employer has a right to be worried if your background check shows a DUI. After all, any red flags could become a risk to the business. Therefore, it’s up to you to remove any doubts and ease any worrying.
To do so, be candid and honest about your DUI, but make it a point not to dwell on it. If the subject arises, answer any questions and quickly shift the focus towards your ability and commitment to improve the success of the business. In other words, draw attention away from your problems by focusing on what matters most: improving the business and the bottom line. Show you’re worth the perceived risk.
A DUI Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s vital for your freedom, finances, and future job prospects to talk to an experienced DUI lawyer today!
In addition to being able to answer any questions you may have regarding jail time, suspension of your license, fines, and so on, a DUI attorney will do everything in his power to receive a not guilty plea or have the charges dismissed to keep your record clean.
With DUI cases, it’s critical to review all of the options with a DUI lawyer prior to entering a plea. A guilty plea and sentence is difficult to undo after entering your final plea, so make sure your attorney understands your career goals to take every measure possible to avoid a plea deal.
That being said, if a “not guilty” verdict seems like a longshot, a DUI attorney may be able to negotiate a deal that minimizes the impact of a DUI conviction on your career. He or she may also be able to handle any possible employment discrimination claims that arise and have your DUI expunged if convicted.
Have you been arrested for a DUI? Worried about losing your job? Do yourself and your future a favor by discussing your case with an experienced DUI lawyer today!
If your career goals involve getting a teaching job, you may exactly what kind of qualities education leaders look for in potential teaching candidates. How much will your civil and criminal background factor into the interview and vetting process? How much will past mistakes come back to haunt you?
Unlike 20 years ago when electronic records were relatively uncommon and difficult to obtain, education recruiters can now easily and quickly access many of your personal records including those that detail any past criminal offenses of which you have been convicted. When your goal involves getting into teaching after a DUI has been placed on your record, it is important for you to research and learn the answer to the critical question of Can You Be a Teacher with a DUI.
Becoming a Teacher in Spite of a DUI
If you are serious about getting a teaching position, you must learn how each state views a past DUI conviction. Some states are relatively forgiving and can overlook a single DUI conviction especially if you were convicted longer than five years ago.
Other states require that you have a spotless criminal background and that you have no DUI on your record even one that took place years in the past. A single DUI can sink your chances of getting a teaching job and make you ineligible for any job in education in that state.
So if you do have a DUI on your record and you still want to become a teacher, how can you overcome a mistake that you now regret? Your best chances of achieving your dream of joining the teaching profession centers on hiring a skilled and confident DUI attorney to help you today.
Many people make reckless mistakes when they are teenagers and young adults. Mishaps like driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can come back to haunt you long after you have grown up and moved on with your life.
When you are interested in a law enforcement career after a DUI has been placed on your record, you may wonder Can You Become a Cop With A DUI conviction from the past? The answer to this question can depend on the state in which you plan to work and the police department at which you plan to apply. You can better your chances of becoming a police officer with a DUI by hiring an attorney to help you avoid a intoxicated driving condition or clean up your criminal and driving records.
How a DUI Can Impact Your Law Enforcement Career
What is the answer to Can You Become a Cop With A DUI on your record? As noted, the answer to this question can be unclear and largely dependent on what state you want to work in as well as for what law enforcement agency you want to work.
Some police departments throughout the U.S. are overwhelmingly forgiving and can overlook a single past indiscretion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your LEO recruiter might acknowledge that you made a single mistake that could happen to anyone and thus pose no risk to the public’s safety. If you have multiple DUI convictions, however, you may be viewed as a liability and not allowed to continue with the recruitment and application process.
This single discretion can also be overlooked easier if it occurred several years ago rather than recently. An old DUI conviction may not disqualify you from joining the law enforcement sector especially if you do not have any recent offenses on your criminal or driving record. Multiple DUI offenses could sink your chances of becoming a police officer, however.
Finally, a DUI conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol may be overlooked easier than a conviction of driving under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs. The sale and use of alcohol is legal in every U.S. state, making alcohol DUI offenses relatively more common than drug-related DUIs. In fact, the prior use of illegal drugs alone could prevent you from becoming a police officer anywhere in the U.S.
So what can you do if you have a DUI on your record and still want to start a career in law enforcement? For that matter, what are your options if you are about to apply for a police officer job but have recently been arrested for DUI? Your best option for both situations involves hiring a competent and experienced DUI attorney to help you today.
Why Hire a DUI Attorney to Help Your Law Enforcement Career Chances
What can a DUI attorney do to help you become a police officer? A skilled DUI lawyer can actually do a lot to better your chances of embarking on a long, successful, and honest career in law enforcement. For example, if you already have a DUI conviction on your record, you may prefer that it not be visible to a recruiter who might conduct a thorough background check on you.
When recruiters do background checks, they can typically see all of your prior driving and criminal offenses regardless of how long ago these crimes took place. The smallest mistake from decades ago could sink your chances of becoming a police officer.
As such, you might want a DUI conviction to be off-limits to the person doing your background check. Rather than withdraw your application for employment or outright lie about your past, you can hire a DUI lawyer to have the record expunged.
An expungement means that the DUI conviction is essentially hidden from certain parties who perform background checks on you. People like law enforcement or corporate recruiters, leasing agents, insurers, and others cannot see the conviction and thus will have no knowledge that you were ever arrested for and convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
You may be able to get the record expunged easier if certain criteria apply to your DUI case. Some courts will approve an expungement request if you:
- were a juvenile when the offense took place
- satisfied the terms of your community service, jail sentence, or monetary fines
- were wrongfully convicted or had your rights violated
- had ambiguous field sobriety test results
Your attorney can review the specifics of your case and request an expungement if the right circumstances apply. This concealment of your conviction could allow you to move forward with your plans to become a police officer.
A DUI lawyer can also be your best ally as you pursue a police officer career if you have recently been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As mentioned, a recent DUI conviction can bar you from going through with the LEO application and vetting process. You need to avoid a conviction if you want recruiters to take you seriously and give you a fair chance of pursuing your law enforcement career goals.
As such, you need a DUI lawyer to take your case and fight for you in court. You should retain an attorney immediately after your arrest and ideally after you have been booked and processed at the police station. If you can, you should get one on retainer before you appear at your arraignment hearing.
If you cannot hire one before you are arraigned, you should retain a lawyer as soon as you make bail and are released from jail. Your attorney can immediately begin working your case, making sure that your rights are protected and that you were legally pulled over, tested, and detained for DUI.
Your attorney can also bargain down the charges against you or ask to have them dropped if you are a first-time or juvenile offender. If you have no prior convictions for any offense, let alone DUI, you may succeed in having the charges reduced greatly or dismissed altogether.
If not, your lawyer may be able to settle out of court so that your case avoids going to trial. If you go to trial, the details of your case may be released to the local media where anyone including LEO recruiters can read about it.
By settling out of court and taking a plea bargain, you may avoid the public scrutiny that could sink your LEO career plans later. A settlement also could result in you being sentenced to community service or paying monetary fines rather than jail time.
These punishments work in your favor better if you want recruiters to overlook your DUI conviction. If you served time in jail, which is a sentence tha can be handed down to you if your case goes to trial, you more than likely will not be considered for any position in law enforcement.
Many people assume that police officers have spotless criminal and driving records and that they have never been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, police officers are like anyone else in the public and prone to making mistakes that they later regret.
Do not allow a DUI conviction to stop you from pursuing your law enforcement career dreams. Find out what it takes to become a police officer with a DUI on your record and how you can start a law enforcement career after a DUI. You may find that achieving your goals of becoming a police officer is easier if you have a skilled and experienced DUI attorney helping you as you strive to avoid a DUI conviction and clean up your past criminal and driving records.