Will a DWI Conviction Hurt My Career?
The short answer is yes, a DWI conviction will hurt your career
DWI is a serious offense. It shows a lack of control, responsibility and reliability, all of which are what any employer wants in an employee. Is it the end of your career? Not in most cases. How you deal with the aftermath will help you gain the respect of your co-workers or any potential employers
It’s also important to remember that you are not alone. Many people get DWIs and feel the same trepidation you do about disclosing your mistake.
What can you do to lessen the impact of a DWI on your career?
1. Be Honest
This is easy to say, but is often hard to do. That said, people respect truth and accountability. Depending on your relationship with your boss or the size of your company, they may have expressed some concern or noticed your absence. It may be best to tell them what happened and explain your plan to both atone for your errors and make sure it doesn’t happen again. You may find that admitting to your DWI helps get your life back on track. Whatever your story, honesty, remorse and accountability are always a good recipe for success.
If you are looking for a job, you will be tempted to leave out your DWI on employment questionnaires. You might even get away with it at first, but if your employer does find out down the road, you can expect serious repercussions if not outright firing. Of course, if you’re not asked about it you have no reason to bring it up, but jobs without some type of questions about criminal history or a background check are few and far between.
2. Be Realistic
There are jobs that are not a good fit with a DWI conviction. Obviously, any job that requires a lot of driving will definitely receive a background check for driving history. Consequently, truck driver, cab driver or Uber/Lyft are out of the question. Teachers and school employees are almost always fired if they have DWI charges. Pilots, seamen, and military personnel can experience grave consequences if they do not report a DWI conviction. It’s best to avoid employment in these industries since a DWI will affect your ability to keep these jobs.
3. Prepare for Background Checks
Any employer can conduct a background check on both prospective and current employees for many reasons. A DWI conviction stays on your criminal record for life and your arrest for DWI is a matter of public record. If your conviction appears, it does not mean your career is over for most types of jobs. Don’t be defensive and be factual. State your side of the story and show your potential or current boss that you learned from it and that you have changed your behavior moving forward.
4. Avoid Conviction
Ideally, you never have to deal with any of this because you never drive after drinking. However, if that’s no longer an option, the next best thing is to contact a proven Houston DWI Attorney like Clyde Burleson to make sure you are not convicted.