Being charged with driving under the influence is certainly cause for concern. With California being one of the toughest states on DUI, motorists face serious and sometimes life-altering penalties upon conviction, including exorbitant fines, terms of imprisonment, probation, and more. While criminal penalties should absolutely motivate any accused driver to secure experienced legal representation, it is also important to remember that DUI convictions pose far more than penalties handed down by the criminal justice system.
When it comes to DUI, our legal team at The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman knows that drivers face a wide range of collateral consequences. These include short- and long-term repercussions aside from criminal penalties, and they are common consequences accused individuals don't necessarily think about when facing charges. Often, these consequences have the potential to affect a person's life in profound ways.
Having helped numerous men and women throughout Orange County after they were charged with a DUI offense, Attorney Jacqueline Goodman understands that when DUI allegations are made, a person's future may very well be on the line. This is especially true when it comes to the difficulties many people have in securing employment following a DUI conviction. As such, she works diligently to help clients fight the government's charges against them and secure the best possible resolution.
If you or someone you love is facing a DUI allegation, here's what you need to know about convictions and employment:
- Employment background checks - Employers have the ability to conduct background checks on current or potential employees, and for some jobs, they are required. Depending on how extensive a background check is, or even a motor vehicle record check, it may reveal a DUI arrest or conviction. The type of job can also influence what employers can and cannot see. For example, when applying for a professional license or running for public office, any DUI within the past 10 years must be disclosed. In any case, you have rights when it comes to background checks, including a California labor law that bars employers from asking about an arrest that did not result in a conviction.
- Limited Opportunities - The truth is that DUI arrests or convictions can limit your opportunities for employment, and may also be potential grounds for termination. Certain professions, including commercial drivers and jobs that require an employee to operate motor vehicles, have strict rules when it comes to an employee's driving record and criminal conduct. For those who are currently employed, a conviction can also have adverse consequences, especially for people who have commercial drivers' licenses or professional licenses.
- Your options - DUI arrests and convictions may not always preclude you automatically from a job, but they can certainly be considered by employers with respect to what they will infer about your character and record. When there is competition for employment, a criminal conviction can put you at a disadvantage. Depending on the circumstances involved, you may have a few options. These include certificates of rehabilitation you can present for employment purposes to show you have made efforts in good faith to get past a conviction. California is one of eight states to offer these types of certificates. In some cases, particularly after completing probation, convicted individuals may also have the opportunity for expungement, which can seal a criminal record from some, but not all, background checks.
DUIs may not always be an automatic bar to employment, at least for some jobs, but it can make life after a conviction increasingly difficult. When you understand that your personal, professional, and financial well-being is on the line, it becomes clear why working with a defense attorney who can protect your rights is crucial. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact our Orange County DUI Attorney for a FREE consultation.