A defense attorney breaks down the consequences of DUI.
Drunk driving is a serious offense in Florida, and the legal consequences can also be serious. These can include license suspension, vehicle impoundment, substantial fines, alcohol education classes, community service, the use of an ignition interlock device, probation, and even jail time.
But there can also be other types of consequences. A DUI can affect your financial situation, your reputation, your relationships, and your mental health. And in many cases, it can also affect your employment.
Whether you lose your job can depend on many factors.
When it comes to employment, Florida is an “at-will” state. That basically means that you can be fired for just about any reason, including an arrest or conviction for DUI. But there are many factors that can play a role in whether or not you are fired. These include:
- Your relationship with your employer
- Your employer’s view on DUIs and arrests
- Company policy regarding arrests and convictions
- How long you’ve worked for the company or organization
- Clauses in your employment contract
- Your overall work record, performance, and conduct prior to the arrest.
The type of job you have is a significant factor.
People who have certain types of jobs or work in certain industries may be more likely than others to have their employment terminated following a DUI arrest or conviction. These include:
- Commercial drivers, including truck drivers, bus drivers, and delivery drivers, who often face strict regulations regarding DUI convictions.
- People in jobs that involve regular driving, such as sales representatives.
- Some government positions, especially those related to law enforcement or security, which may have strict requirements for criminal convictions.
- Healthcare workers, especially those in roles requiring a high level of responsibility.
- Teachers, especially those involved in transportation or extracurricular activities, and who often need to undergo background checks.
- Police officers, security personnel, and other jobs that require a high level of public trust.
- Members of the military.
- People with professional licenses, such as lawyers, doctors, or real estate agents.
A DUI can affect your ability to get a new job.
Many employers conduct background checks as part of the hiring process. A DUI conviction may appear on your criminal record, which potential employers can access. And some job applications specifically ask about criminal history, including DUIs.
Some companies and industries may have policies regarding the hiring of people with criminal records. A DUI might affect your ability to obtain or maintain a professional license for certain professions.
And if a job involves a significant amount of driving, an employer may choose not to hire someone with a DUI conviction.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Florida, it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced DUI defense attorney can review your situation and explain your potential legal options. A lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced or possibly dropped and minimize the impact on your job.
Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law fights for the rights of people charged with DUI. If you’ve been charged in Lakeland or anywhere in Polk County, learn more about how he can help. Contact us for a free consultation.