In addition to a possible jail sentence, fines, license suspension and other penalties, a DUI conviction may have a negative impact on a person's career and future employment prospects. It is not uncommon for employers to ask a prospective employee if they've ever been convicted of a crime and run background checks to ensure they hire the most qualified person for the job.
The following are the common ways a DUI can affect current and future employment:
- Job applications – Most employers ask about convictions on job applications. Additionally, your DUI will appear in public records and on your driver's license records.
- Mandatory firing policy – Many employers have a policy in their employment contracts which states that a conviction of a crime is grounds for job termination. So if your employer has such a policy, you may be fired.
- Loss of driving privileges – If your license is suspended and you failed to obtain an exemption for driving to/from work, then you must rely on public transportation, taxis, and even ridesharing services for your work commute. Having to rely on other means of transportation can run the risk of constant tardiness. But if you drive for a living, losing your license means losing your job.
- Loss of professional license – Many professional licenses, such as for lawyers, doctors, nurses, and those working with children and elderly adults, require that any arrest is disclosed to the licensing agency. A conviction could result in the loss of your license—and essentially your job.
- Missed work – Whether it's court appearances and DUI classes or mandatory jail sentences, there is plenty of opportunity to miss work. Being an excessive absentee can be grounds for firing.
- Judge of character – A DUI conviction can be seen as a reckless and irresponsible action, indicating a person's lack of concern for their own safety and the safety of others. A DUI may also indicate poor judgment on the part of the potential employee, which can mean someone who is either more qualified or has a clean record will get the job.
Most states allow employers to refuse employment to those with a conviction. However, California and eight other states offer certificates of rehabilitation for employment purposes to those convicted of a DUI or other crimes.
Contact our Ventura criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Jarrod M. Wilfert to learn how a DUI can impact your current and future employment.