Often times, when someone gets a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, their first concern relates to jail time. This, of course, is understandable. However, jail time is not the only consequence of a DUI conviction. Instead, there are many other consequences. Criminal consequences include a fine as well as the potential for jail time. In addition, people convicted of criminal offenses like DUI are put on probation for a period of time after they are sentenced. During probation, they must comply with certain rules. They may need permission to leave the state, even for a short time. There are also civil consequences for a DUI charge. These include the loss of one's license for a period of time. This may also include a requirement of ignition interlock. Below are just some of the many ways a DUI conviction can impact someone's career.
Issues with a License
If someone gets a DUI, they can lose their license for a period of time. This means they must rely on friends and family members to drive them to and from work, or rely on public transportation, or take a taxi, Uber, or Lyft. Unfortunately, none of these methods is quite as reliable as driving oneself to work. Relying on others could result in getting to work late. This will definitely have a negative impact on one's career.
If one's job relies on driving for work--even on an occasional basis--a DUI could result in one being no longer qualified for the job they are in. An understanding employer may decide to allow someone to switch job duties for the term of the suspension. However, there is no guarantee this will happen. An employer is well within their rights to fire an employee if they can no longer do their job due to DUI consequences.
Finally, depending on the nature of one's job, a DUI could be a complete bar to continued employment in a chosen field. For example, a DUI could impact a commercial driver's license, even if the DUI was obtained during off-work hours.
Even after a person regains their driving privileges fully, an employer may not want to hire or retain someone with a DUI conviction. Depending on the size of the company and the nature of their insurance coverage, an employer's insurance rates may increase if one of their drivers has a DUI conviction.
Loss of Security Clearance
Both private companies and government agencies, as well as government contractors, expect certain employees to obtain and maintain a security clearance. Often those who have questionable judgment will be denied a security clearance. DUIs are a criminal offense, and people convicted of a DUI have a criminal record. This criminal record could prevent the granting of a security clearance. It could also result in a previously granted security clearance being revoked. The loss of security clearance could result in losing one's job. On the other hand, it is possible that the loss of security clearance would only limit a person's potential for advancement in the company and not result in their firing.
Loss or Suspension of Professional License
Certain jobs require professional licenses. From daycare providers to nurses to attorneys at law, a license is required in order to practice. In many cases, when someone has a professional license, they are required to report any criminal convictions to their supervising board. A criminal conviction may result in a temporary suspension of a professional license. It may result in a complete loss of the professional license. This could result in lost employment for either a period of time or permanently in one's chosen field. Some professions won't revoke a license for getting a misdemeanor charge. However, they may revoke a license of someone who fails to report they were charged with a criminal offense.
Loss of Education Opportunities
In many career fields, career advancement is tied to advanced degrees. A criminal conviction could result in a school of higher education rejecting an applicant. Additionally, the failure to disclose the DUI conviction could result in a rejection of an application, or the revocation of an extended offer for a position as a student.
Loss of Financial Aid
Depending on the seriousness of the DUI charge, a conviction could impact one's ability to obtain federal student financial aid, including both loans and grants. Private scholarships are permitted to have their own criteria for an award. It is not uncommon for a clean criminal record to be a prerequisite for qualifying for a scholarship. A lack of financial aid could also impact one's ability to advance one's education, and therefore advance their careers.
An Inability to Pass a Background Check
A DUI is a criminal conviction. During any job application process, if they run a background check reviewing one's history for criminal convictions, a DUI conviction will appear. Depending on the employer, this may keep them from making someone a job offer they otherwise would have extended to the right candidate.
An Inability to Travel
While on probation, people often have to get permission to leave the state. Depending on the probation office, this permission may take days to weeks to be granted. This could have a negative impact on one's career if their employer needs someone who can travel on little notice.
If You are Facing DUI Charges
If you are facing DUI charges, leave nothing to chance. In addition to potential jail time and fines, a DUI charge could negatively affect your job or career. An Atlanta DUI attorney who knows the intricacies of the criminal justice system is your best bet against DUI charges. Contact our firm for a free consultation. We will discuss the basis of your traffic stop, the legality of any search, the nature and quality of the test results, and other issues and concerns you may have. We pride ourselves on only handling DUI cases. Our experience leads to great results. Contact us today.