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Will a DUI Affect My Job Prospects?

Job searching these days isn’t like it used to be. There is seldom a paper application to fill out in person accompanied by on-the-spot interviews where managers can size you up and decide whether to take a chance on you. Most companies have moved their hiring process to online platforms where you have become a faceless number. These applicant programs weed out potential candidates based on pre-programmed key word searches.

It’s a time-consuming process for you as an applicant, especially when you consider almost every company also now requires you to fill out a profile on their website before applying for any of the positions they’re looking to fill. If you are one of the lucky candidates to be pre-screened for an actual interview, do you really want a DUI conviction to show up and ruin your chances of landing the job? That’s exactly what could happen given that more and more employers are conducting background checks.

With so much being done electronically today, chances are high that at some point you could be handling sensitive client or company data required to do business in almost any field of employment. Employers want to feel secure that the employees they bring on board are trustworthy and competent, and like it or not, even a first DUI can leave the wrong impression about your character. That’s certainly not the message you want to send a potential employer due to a mistake.

Being charged with DUI may affect you just the same as a conviction will because they both may appear on a criminal background check. Although Connecticut implemented the “Ban the Box” law in 2017, banning employers from asking about criminal history on job applications, that does not mean they won’t still discover a DUI during the hiring process.

Even if you are able to secure a job, if you receive a DUI during the course of your employment, unless you are able to have the charge dismissed or even reduced, you jeopardize losing your position if:

  • You sign an employment contract containing a “morality” clause addressing criminal charges and your employer finds out.
  • Your duties are conditioned upon holding a valid driver’s license, which you lose due to a DUI conviction.
  • A DUI poses a liability risk for the company requiring they terminate your employment.

If you have already been convicted, the worst thing that you can do is to omit the information from your job application. Just be straight forward about it, if asked, because the background check will uncover the conviction.

Even if you have already come out the other side of a DUI conviction, have your driver’s license back in hand, have disposed of all of your fines, any court-ordered community service and have wheels to get to work, just the fact that you have had a DUI may give pause to an employer. Depending upon the position you have applied for, it could also automatically bar you from being hired for any of the above-mentioned reasons.

Additionally, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reports that certain professions require you to disclose convictions, which can jeopardize maintaining an occupational license. If you are still going through the educational program and training required to enter a career that requires an occupational license, it’s important to understand that, per the NCSL, Connecticut is one of a handful of states that can’t take arrests into account for occupational licensing – only convictions. Hiring a criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the system and work to get your charges reduced or dismissed can be particularly important when your entire career rests on holding that license.

A DUI is nothing to take lightly. Even a first offense can pose serious consequences, holding you back for the long term. At Barry, Barrall & Spinella, LLC we want our clients to get ahead in life and stay there. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Hartford or Manchester, we want to fight for your rights. Contact us at 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form to learn more.