Will a DWI Conviction Hurt My Career?
The short answer is yes, your career will be hurt by a DWI conviction.
DWI is a serious offense and one that is looked down upon in society. 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 but how you deal with the aftermath can help you gain back the respect and trust of your co-workers or impress 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. If you are currently employed, chances are you missed some time while being held after arrest. 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. Some clients we’ve worked with have admitted that their DWI may have been exactly what they needed to get their life back on a good path. Whatever your story, honesty, remorse and accountability are always a good recipe for success.
If you are looking for a new job, you might be tempted to leave out this information when filling out an employment questionnaire. 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 not 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 certain jobs that will not be 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, so 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. As such, it’s probably best to avoid employment in any of these industries knowing that a DWI will greatly affect your ability to get or keep these jobs.
3. Be Prepared for Background Checks
Any employer can conduct a background check on both prospective and current employees for any number of different reasons. In regard to a DWI conviction, all it takes is a simple search in the Motor Vehicles Department. Your arrest for DWI is a matter of public record, as will any conviction that your are given. If your conviction does come up, 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. Don’t Get Convicted
Ideally, you never have to deal with any of this because you never drive after drinking. 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.
A DWI conviction does not end all chances of getting employed in a good job but it can make it more challenging. However, with a proper defense and additional help from a DWI, you can get your life back on track.