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How a DUI charge may affect your job search

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Employers often conduct background checks to look for any arrest or conviction, such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). If you had a DUI charge in the past, it is only normal to wonder if it will affect your career and other future endeavors. The simple answer is it will.

In Rhode Island, applicants must often submit state criminal history reports or BCIs. So, there is a chance that will show up in almost every government-related background check. A first-offense DUI charge that resulted in a conviction will stay on your record for at least five years, which could cause employment-related issues for you.

DUI conviction may affect your ability to earn a living

Finding a job is already hard enough, and a DUI conviction can make the search even harder because:

  • Some jobs require a clean driving record or a commercial driver’s license. So, if you are applying for a rideshare company or jobs that involve driving, a DUI charge could affect your application.
  • For jobs involving strict safety protocols, a DUI charge could put a cloud of concern over your judgment skills and reliability as a worker.
  • Employers may be hesitant to hire someone perceived as a potential risk liability.

Aside from job applications, a DUI charge can also appear in other places because it is a public record. You may also encounter issues when purchasing automotive insurance, taking out a home loan and applying for government assistance.

Employers cannot automatically disqualify you

The good news is that federal and state laws prevent employers from denying an applicant with a conviction unless they can prove that the alternative will negatively affect the business. This is a very complex process, though, so it will be difficult to know the actual reason a person is denied employment.

If eligible, consult an attorney about expunging (legally sealing or removing a criminal charge from one’s records) the DUI from your record. This can significantly reduce its impact on your job search.

A DUI charge does not define you

One of the best ways to approach your job search is to be truthful and upfront. As much as possible, aim to demonstrate your skills and knowledge beyond the DUI charge. Hopefully, the employers will see your value and hire you.