What are the Collateral Consequences of a DWI?
The penalties involved with a DWI are both severe and numerous. However, there are many consequences for a DWI conviction outside of the legal penalties. A DWI conviction can have a devastating effect on your personal reputation and professional life as well. Here are some of the most common consequences you will face from a DWI conviction if you don’t take your DWI seriously and hire a proven Houston DWI lawyer.
Losing Your Job & Future Job Opportunities
Many employers have zero-tolerance policies on DWI convictions. So while you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, your employer is free to let you go just for being arrested for DWI in the state of Texas. It doesn’t end there though, because most employers also run background checks on potential new hires and may have difficulty finding an employer who will look past such a careless and selfish act.
Having Difficulty Finding Housing
Employers aren’t the only people that run criminal background checks. In most cases. potential landlords will also check your record before agreeing to a lease. A landlord is under no obligation to rent to you if you have a criminal record. For those on public assistance, subsidized housing may be unavailable.
Losing Custodial Rights
If you are divorced and have children, your custody rights may be affected with a DWI conviction. A conviction suggests bad judgement at the very least and your ex will be able to use the conviction against you in any custody hearings.
Losing a Professional License
Many Texans rely on maintaining a professional license to make a living. Unfortunately, many licensing entities have rules prohibiting conduct like being convicted of a DWI. Depending on the license, you could face a potential disciplinary hearing and even the suspension or loss of your professional license. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Certified Nurse Practitioners
- Real Estate Agents or Real Estate Brokers
- Commercial Drivers
- Government Employees
Losing Security Clearances
Many jobs, especially jobs in the government sector, require security clearances. A security clearance requires an in-depth background check that will see and flag any criminal convictions whether a misdemeanor or felony. A DWI conviction can make any security clearance application process infinitely more difficult and in some instances, may disqualify your completely.
Being Unable to Get a Loan
A conviction for a DWI can make getting a loan more difficult. Whether a bank, credit union, payday lender or other financial institution – a criminal history serves as a red flag. Lending institutions look for qualities like stability and reliability in loan candidates, and a DWI works against both those characteristics. This includes both car and home loans, both of which are almost requirements for a normal and productive life in today’s society.
Lose Your Gun or Right To Vote
While this isn’t the case for misdemeanor DWI convictions, you can lose some of your fundamental rights upon a conviction for felony DWI. This can include the loss of your right to own a firearm or vote. Your only chance for regaining these rights is through a pardon from the Governor of Texas, and the process to obtain a pardon is long and costly.
Get a proven Houston DWI Lawyer who can represent you in a court of law to avoid the collateral consequences of a DWI. Call Clyde Burleson today 713-628-1503 to be sure you’re getting the best defense you can!