Subscribe to LexTalk to stay on top of today’s legal issue and trends.
Catapult Your Career |
Industry Insights & Trends |
Product Training & Tips
One of the critical concerns shared by people who have been charged with a DUI offense is what effect a potential DUI arrest or conviction will have on future employment opportunities.
In today’s job market, employers increasingly rely on criminal background checks when making hiring decisions. In most cases, a driving under the influence conviction is a misdemeanor that would show up on a criminal background check. For many people, a DUI is the only conviction on their otherwise clean criminal record. For certain employers, a DUI conviction may serve as a red flag that could severely hurt an applicant’s job prospects. If the applicant is being evaluated along with other candidates who do not have criminal records, the DUI conviction could prove to be a serious disadvantage.
For certain employers, a DUI would be something that would prevent an applicant from being considered. Many national delivery services or other jobs that require driving do not hire people with DUI convictions for liability purposes. For commercial drivers, a DUI will result in a year-long suspension of commercial driving privileges for a first-time offense and a revocation of commercial driving privileges if there is any subsequent DUI violation. Employers who require a valid commercial driver’s license may be opposed to hiring applicants who have a DUI on their record.
In some cases, a DUI conviction can have an effect on professional licenses, which are required for a number of jobs. Those who are required to carry valid state license with the State of California, such as teachers, doctors, attorneys, nurses, dentists and many others, may face independent disciplinary action from the relevant state licensing board following a DUI incident.
The Board will pay special attention to the specific facts of the case and whether there was an allegation of a collision, a DUI refusal, use of narcotics, a high blood alcohol content or any other aggravating factors. The Board has investigators who will look into the court record and the facts of the case before taking actiion. While it is unusual for extensive disciplinary action to be imposed on a first-time offense, there may be situations where the Board determines that it is proper to suspend or revoke a professional license as the result of a particularly egregious DUI incident. Clearly, for jobs that require a professional license a suspension or revocation would also affect future employment opportunities.
In many cases, those who have been charged with a DUI offense may be able to resolve their case by pleading to a non-DUI reduced charged, such as exhibition of speed in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23109(c) or wet reckless under California Vehicle Code Section 23103/23103.5. While both of these charges are misdemeanors that would show up on a criminal background check, they are non-DUI offenses that may be more acceptable to future employers. These reduced charges are typically only available when there are serious problems of proof with the People’s case or where the defendant’s blood alcohol content was at or close to 0.08 percent.