If your career goals involve getting a teaching job, you may exactly what kind of qualities education leaders look for in potential teaching candidates. How much will your civil and criminal background factor into the interview and vetting process? How much will past mistakes come back to haunt you?
Unlike 20 years ago when electronic records were relatively uncommon and difficult to obtain, education recruiters can now easily and quickly access many of your personal records including those that detail any past criminal offenses of which you have been convicted. When your goal involves getting into teaching after a DUI has been placed on your record, it is important for you to research and learn the answer to the critical question of Can You Be a Teacher with a DUI.
Becoming a Teacher in Spite of a DUI
If you are serious about getting a teaching position, you must learn how each state views a past DUI conviction. Some states are relatively forgiving and can overlook a single DUI conviction especially if you were convicted longer than five years ago.
Other states require that you have a spotless criminal background and that you have no DUI on your record even one that took place years in the past. A single DUI can sink your chances of getting a teaching job and make you ineligible for any job in education in that state.
So if you do have a DUI on your record and you still want to become a teacher, how can you overcome a mistake that you now regret? Your best chances of achieving your dream of joining the teaching profession centers on hiring a skilled and confident DUI attorney to help you today.
Qualities to Look for in a DUI Attorney
What qualities should you look for in a DUI attorney who may be able to help you clean up your record or avoid a DUI conviction in the first place? You obviously want one who is confident and assertive as well as one who can advocate on your behalf in court. You do not want an attorney who is squeamish about conflict or would rather take the easy route when representing you on a DUI charge.
You also should look for an attorney who has experience practicing DUI law and dedicates most if not all of his or her practice to this legal specialty. A lawyer who practices bankruptcy law, for example, most likely would be of no service to you and may not even know the current DUI laws in the state in which you hope to hired as a teacher.
Finally, you want a DUI attorney who will dedicate himself or herself to your case and be ready to engage you every step of the way in your case. You do not want a lawyer who will hand the case off to assistants or paralegals. You want someone who will actively build your defense and also return phone calls, emails, and other communications with you.
Where you can you find a skilled DUI attorney who can help you fight and remove a DUI charge on your record? Your first step would be to ask people whom you know, such as friends and family members, if they know a DUI lawyer. As more people face this charge today, many people are familiar with and even personally know DUI attorneys in the area.
You also should look for a DUI lawyer with good online reviews. Highly rated attorneys may be worth your consideration if you are serious about becoming a teacher despite your DUI offense.
How a DUI Lawyer Can Help
How can a DUI lawyer help you deal with a DUI on your record? If you are newly charged with DUI, your attorney can review your arrest and find out if the police officer had due cause to pull you over. Were you weaving in and out of traffic? Were you drifting onto the shoulder? Your lawyer can discover the reason for why you were pulled over and determine if your rights were violated.
Likewise, your attorney can review any footage and notes of the field sobriety tests administered to you. Many police officers receive only the most basic of training about how to administer and judge these tests fairly. Your lawyer can determine if you genuinely failed the test or if you were wrongfully arrested.
Even if your arrest was lawful, you still have rights to which you are entitled. Your attorney can ensure that you were read your Miranda rights and that you were given the opportunity to hire counsel immediately. If your rights were violated, your lawyer may ask the judge to have the charges against you dropped or reduced.
If all of the details of your arrest and field sobriety tests hold up according to the law, you still may fight the DUI in court. You may have the charges dropped or reduced if you are a first-time offender, for example. If this would be your first DUI and you also did not harm anyone or any property during the commission of the offense, you could be eligible to have the charges dropped or reduced.
If the court convicts you of DUI, you may have the record expunged if you meet the right criteria for an expungement. An expungement essentially hides the conviction on your record from certain parties who may review it for any reason. It is hidden from people like:
- potential employers
- leasing agents
The record is not hidden from law enforcement or attorneys who may be able to use the information against you, however.
Even so, an expungement could be your best option if you want to get a teaching job without being turned down or unfairly eliminated from consideration because of a DUI conviction. Your attorney may be able to get the record expunged if you:
- were a juvenile when the offense took place
- paid your fine, served out your jail term, and finished your community service
- were wrongfully convicted
- were unfairly tested or convicted based on skewed field sobriety test results
An expungement can be a complex and lengthy legal process for which you are unsuited to take on alone. When you want the record to be invisible to people who could hire you for a teaching job, you should hire a DUI attorney to help you with this task today.
When to Hire a DUI Attorney
At what point should you hire a DUI attorney to help you fight or remove a DUI conviction on your record? You should obviously have one on retainer before you apply for a teaching position in any state. You want to present a clean and acceptable criminal background record along with a stellar resume that could get you hired for your ideal teaching position.
If you are not yet convicted of DUI, you should hire an attorney as soon as you are booked, processed, and arraigned by law enforcement. If you are released before you are arraigned, you should hire a lawyer before you appear for your arraignment hearing.
By getting a DUI lawyer on retainer as quickly as possible, you better your chances of beating a DUI charge and having that conviction removed from your record. You also improve the likelihood that you can join the teaching profession and enjoy a long and rewarding career in this field.
Many states will not hire teachers who have DUIs on their criminal records. Use this information to clean up your record and avoid this criminal conviction in court.