How a DUI Affects Employment

Those convicted or even just charged with driving under the influence in Virginia can face a number of long-term consequences related to employment. This can include difficulty finding a new job or even result in termination of an old job in some cases. With this in mind, those accused of a DUI in Fredericksburg should consult with an attorney immediately to begin building a defense and mitigating the damage of the offense as much as possible.

Prospective Employees

If a prospective employer sees a DUI arrest and/or conviction on a person’s record, that might affect a prospective employee’s chances. While DUIs are fairly common in Virginia and something that a lot of people unwillingly find themselves caught up in, it is something for which they can be judged harshly.

Regardless of whether it is fair or not, judgment is something that people have to keep in mind when they are confronted with a DUI.

A person is not always going to get a chance to explain their DUI record. If a prospective employer is looking at many resumes for people that are similarly qualified, a criminal record might allow them to differentiate a person from someone else.

Current Employment

A DUI conviction can get someone in trouble if that person is currently employed, but it depends on the employer. If the person is employed by the government, state or federal, or a contractor of the government, that person’s background is going to be checked routinely.

Additionally, because a DUI is something that might reflect poor judgment on someone’s part, it has the potential to greatly affect one’s employment. A person might have their employment reviewed and, in some cases, even have their employment terminated. If someone’s job requires them to drive either during work hours or because they are a professional driver, this can have a dramatic impact on them. Most employers who employ someone to drive are not going to continue to employ them if they have a DUI conviction.

Arrests vs. Convictions

There is a dramatic difference between having an arrest record and a conviction record. However, most employers understand that sometimes people are arrested for things although they may be innocent. Having the arrest without a subsequent conviction will likely not cause a great deal of harm, but a DUI conviction does have the potential to affect employment tremendously.

Background Checks

Because of the large presence of the federal government in Virginia and the whole D.C. area, it is not unusual for any person who either works for the federal government or for a government contractor to have their background checked regularly.

This is also the case for anyone who works for the state government, for example, as a teacher. These individuals could reasonably expect that should they be arrested or convicted, their employers may learn about it.

Several private sector organizations will periodically check the criminal record of an individual. Typically, however, this kind of check is only performed at the time a person is being hired.