If you just spent the night in Orange County Jail’s drunk tank, you may be thinking, “I don’t want to go back to jail, ever,” and that’s understandable! Before you consider pleading guilty or accepting a plea bargain, think long and hard about the consequences of a criminal conviction, even if it is for a first-time misdemeanor DUI. Here are some important things to think about in reference to your DUI case.
1. A DUI can affect your job.
Consider your current job. If this is your first DUI and there were no aggravating factors, you are facing up to 6 months in jail if you are found guilty. Now, think about it: California is an “at-will” employment state. That means that your employer can let you go for any reason, with the exception of discrimination. If you are sent to jail for a while, would your job still be there when you get back?
2. A DUI can affect non-U.S. citizens.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, understand that certain criminal convictions can affect immigration status. While most misdemeanor DUIs won’t lead to deportation, a felony DUI, or a drug-related DUI could negatively affect your stay in the U.S. or your application for citizenship.
3. A DUI affects employment opportunities.
Think about your career and future career opportunities. A criminal record can impact your ability to obtain certain professional licenses and it can affect career options, and not in a good way. Have a career as a delivery driver, taxi driver, or do you work in education or medicine?
A DUI on your record can cause potential employers to say, “Thanks, but no thanks” when you apply for a job. Even if your conviction was for a misdemeanor DUI, if you lie on your application and the employer later finds out about it, it could lead to an automatic dismissal and you’ll lose credibility in your community.
4. A felony DUI affects civil rights.
If you’re convicted of a felony DUI, that’s going to stop you from buying or possessing a firearm. Under California law, people who are convicted of felonies cannot possess firearms. While this doesn’t matter to some DUI defendants, to others this is a big deal.
5. A DUI can affect child custody.
Getting a divorce, or anticipate a child custody battle? With a recent DUI on your record, it’s going to make you look like a bad parent, or at least a parent who doesn’t make sound decisions. You can bet that your ex will use your DUI as ammunition in court.
Before you decide how to handle your DUI charges, speak to one of our Orange County DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. After reviewing the facts of your case, we can advise you on the best way to address your particular charges.