A prior conviction can affect a person’s ability to obtain a job. On most job applications, candidates are asked if they have prior convictions of any kind. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, a DUI or DWI conviction can affect someone’s ability to get a job. For someone who is already employed, such a conviction can have serious repercussions as well.
Most people understand that they are required to be completely truthful while filling out a job application. Lying about a past DUI or DWI on an application can be grounds for termination later if the conviction or arrest comes to light. For someone who is already employed, though, disclosing such an arrest or conviction falls into a gray area. In general, unless an existing employment contract specifically states that such disclosures are required, an employee probably doesn’t need to tell his or her employer about a DUI or DWI. For example, someone who must drive in a professional capacity may be subject to routine background checks. Such background checks may include pulling the employee’s driving record. If a DUI or DWI arrest or conviction is brought to light, the employer may terminate the employee.
Even if an employer doesn’t perform routine background checks and no employment contract is in place, the majority of states are at-will employment states, which means employers can fire employees for virtually any reason as long as it’s not discriminatory in nature. The restrictions that are imposed on someone who is convicted of a DUI or DWI can affect their ability to hold onto their jobs. For instance, if jail time is required, the employer may opt to replace the employee while her or she is behind bars. Similarly, the terms of someone’s probation following conviction can affect their ability to be at work, and the employer may fire him or her for simply not showing up as required.
If you have been arrested or convicted or DUI or DWI and are concerned about holding onto your job, contact an experienced attorney to learn about your options.