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Will a DUI Stop Me From Getting a Job?

In Orange County and throughout the rest of California, most driving under the influence (DUI) charges are misdemeanors, with the exception of certain multiple DUIs and DUI involving injury or death. Even if you’re convicted of a simple misdemeanor DUI, it’s still highly likely that your job prospects are going to be narrowed.

As you apply for jobs, you’ll notice that a lot of employers are going to ask you if you’ve ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. Also, many employers run criminal background checks on job candidates, so they’ll find out about the DUI, even if you don’t bring it up. This is why we always advise clients to tell the truth on applications if they are asked about any misdemeanor or felony criminal convictions.

How will a DUI conviction affect your career? Honestly, it depends on your chosen field. Some fields frown upon DUIs more than others. If you’re not looking for work in a field that involves driving, a security clearance, or working with children, your employer may not be overly concerned about your DUI conviction.

Convictions are Different than Arrests

If you were just arrested for DUI, and not convicted, then that should NOT affect your job search. Generally, employers will ask about criminal convictions, but not “arrests.” However, some states allow employers to ask about specific types of arrests, such as drug arrests, including a drug-related DUI.

For example, here in California, if you apply for a position where you’ll have access to medication, you’re required to disclose any drug-related arrests, even if you were not convicted.

You should provide information about a DUI conviction, only if you’re specifically asked about it by the interviewer or on the application itself. You are under no obligation to volunteer information about any DUI arrests in your past if you’re not asked about it.

Are you applying for a sensitive job?

In certain fields, employers are more sensitive about DUIs than others. If you’re planning on applying for a position that involves driving, you’ll probably have difficulty finding a job with a DUI. We’re talking about school bus drivers, delivery truck drivers, tour bus drivers, and outside salespeople.

If you’re planning to work with children, for example, at a daycare or a private school, or as a coach, you might have trouble finding a job with a DUI on your record.

There are companies that deal with sensitive information and in effect, have a strict policy against hiring anyone with a criminal record. For instance, if you want to get a government job, or enlist in the military, you could have a hard time with a DUI conviction.

If you’re facing DUI charges and you’re concerned about how a DUI might affect your ability to get a job, contact the Law Office of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a hard-hitting defense!