Impact of a Loudoun DUI on Employment
When someone is convicted of a DUI offense, it may impact their ability to maintain employment, secure future employment, get a promotion, or ascend in their current business environment. A DUI is often viewed negatively both by the public and the private sector because it is perceived as an indication that someone has made a poor decision or that they have a substance abuse issue that may need to be addressed. With this in mind, it is important to hire a Loudoun DUI lawyer to avoid a conviction and the various ensuing consequences. To learn more or discuss how a DUI charge could impact your employment, call and schedule a consultation today.
DUI Arrest vs. Conviction
A DUI arrest is simply being stopped by the police, and arrested for suspicion of committing a DUI. At that point, a person’s record will reflect only that they were charged with the criminal offense and not that they have been proven guilty. If an individual’s arrest is dismissed or the prosecution elects not to prosecute the case then they may be able to expunge the record of their arrest.
However, if they are convicted and found guilty of driving under the influence, that conviction can never be expunged. It is noteworthy, however, that the word expunge refers to the absolution of the arrest record and not dissolution of the record of conviction, should a conviction occur.
Effect of a DUI Conviction on Employment
A DUI conviction in Loudoun County can impact someone’s current employment. Generally, Virginia is an at-will employment state, which means that employment may be terminated for any reason and that someone may choose to leave their employer for any reason. One of the reasons that an employer may choose to terminate an employee is that the employee’s moral conduct does not fit the employer’s vision for the company. Having a DUI arrest or DUI conviction may put someone at odds with the values of the company. People can be suspended, terminated, or lose opportunities because of a DUI arrest or a DUI conviction.
Impact on Future Employment
If an employer in Loudoun County sees a DUI arrest or DUI conviction on someone’s arrest record, it is reasonable to think that it will adversely affect their ability to obtain employment because of the perception associated with DUI charges and convictions. The fairness of a DUI conviction impacting someone’s ability to get a job cannot be simply answered. For example, if someone is charged with a DUI offense that is ultimately dismissed and they were wrongfully charged in the first place, then certainly it would not be fair that a prospective employer would view that arrest negatively. With that said, often employers have the ability to use a person’s criminal history as relevant criteria in deciding whether or not their character fits with the character desired for the position or the company.
DUI Charges and Background Checks
Depending on the nature of a person’s employment, specifically whether it is within the private or public sector or what type of business they are in, background checks could be a frequent requirement. A person may be subjected to more frequent background checks when their business relies on government contracts, driving, and insurance. Depending on the nature of their employment, they may also have a security clearance, which can be impacted by a DUI conviction. Security clearances must be periodically updated and the frequency of their updating is determined by the level of clearance when obtained.
In addition, sometimes simply being charged with DUI offense may have adverse employment consequences. This is especially true if someone’s job requires regular or frequent driving. In other instances, a DUI arrest itself may be lead to job loss, dependent on their specific employment and/or their employer’s policies.
Explaining a DUI Record
Whether an individual will have the chance to explain their DUI record to potential employers depends on the employment opportunity and the company’s hiring process. Sometimes someone will have the opportunity to explain the arrest and/or conviction when completing an application for employment. Often it can come up in the interview process. If the person believes that the employer will have a background check that reflects the DUI arrest or DUI conviction, there is a possibility that the records will disclose other information to mitigate any consequences that it may have.