“On average two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving accident in their lifetime”. The consequences of drunk driving have far reaching and long term consequences. Whether it is one too many glasses of wine at dinner or a systematic drinking problem many people have gotten behind the wheel while intoxicated. A skilled attorney can explain what to do after a DUI and share helpful DUI defense secrets. If you don’t seek legal help at the time you are arrested and are convicted of a DUI, you may find yourself facing an uphill battle. Typical challenges are paying expensive fines, trying to get your driver’s license back, and increased insurance rates. Another long term challenge could be finding employment. If you lose your job or want to change your existing employment a DUI may make this difficult.
If you are trying to gain employment as a driver with a DUI conviction on your record you may find it hard to succeed. Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard of conduct than those who drive standard vehicles. If you are a commercial driver and you receive a DUI you could lose your license, lose your job and face possible jail time. Once convicted of a DUI, you will have to pay fines and get your license reinstated. After that convincing another employer to hire you may be challenging. Any position that requires driving such as delivery services or outside sales may be beyond your reach with a recent DUI conviction.
Jobs that place a high value on character and good decision making may be harder to obtain. If you are applying for a position that involves caring for children or handling sensitive materials a DUI may disqualify you. Daycares, high level positions and government jobs typically have higher standards for qualifications and screenings of applicants.
If you are applying for a desk job or anything that does not require driving, you may not be facing a disadvantage. DUI’s are fairly common and as long as the conviction does not directly impact the position you are applying for; it may not adversely affect your application.
Many prospective employers will ask if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. Pay close attention to the questions you are asked in your interview and on your application. Many states cannot ask about previous arrests; they are only permitted to inquire about past convictions. This means in some instances if you were arrested for a DUI but did not have a formal conviction you are not required to disclose it. Specific positions however such as government jobs or medical positions may have the authority to ask about any type of arrest (http://work.chron.com/can-dui-prevent-getting-job-16196.html). It is important to pay attention to the fine print and wording so you know what you are required to disclose. You can also consult with an attorney prior to completing your paperwork to receive clarification on what you are legally obliged to share with your potential employer.
While it is important to know what is and isn’t required to be disclosed, you should always be honest. Many HR departments require background checks that will show a DUI on your record. If you lie on your application or during your interview you will probably be disqualified from the hiring process and may be banned from applying in the future.
If you are applying for a job and are required to disclose your DUI, there are still things you can do. You should be honest and straightforward. Acknowledge your mistake and assure your prospective employer your DUI was a one-time error in judgment. In addition, if you have done any good works to support causes that educate about the dangers of driving while intoxicated such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, (MADD) discuss this at the interview. Taking ownership of a poor choice and demonstrating that you have learned from it demonstrates good character. You should be sincere and contrite.
In some states, you may also pursue expunging your record. Expunging your record means that the court effectively seals your record making the DUI details unavailable to prospective employers. The odds of expungement vary greatly based on the circumstances of your conviction as well as the state in which you reside. In Florida, expungement is not likely. Florida only allows the expungement of a DUI record when the charges were dropped, dismissed or the accused was found not guilty.
You have access to experienced attorneys that can advise you on your rights before, during and after a DUI. A DUI conviction does not need to haunt you. If you are ever pulled over for a DUI you should immediately obtain legal representation. If you find yourself convicted of a DUI and don’t know or understand your rights moving forward, a skilled attorney can help. Please do not hesitate to call our offices so we can explain your rights and options moving forward.