Those arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) are bound to be surprised at the ways that charge can dog them. It's easy to take the right to drive legally for granted—until it disappears. Unfortunately, a DWI on your record does nothing to help you keep or get hired for a job. Read on to find out why a DWI could affect your employment chances and your career in many ways.
Driving for a Living
For those that make a living on the road, a DWI might cause problems before you are even convicted. The department of motor vehicles tends to snatch licenses in a flash after the information of the arrest hits the criminal justice system's database. Once released from jail (or bailed out), your troubles are just beginning. You no longer have a regular driver's license but now have a piece of thin paper in its place. This little piece of paper is all that is standing between you and breaking the law when you next get behind the wheel.
Take a very good look at the small print on that paper before you go anywhere because your driving privileges are a fleeting thing. That license is temporary and you may only have a few days before it expires. If you have to drive a vehicle at work, you will need to take action quickly or you'll be out of a job and back behind bars before you know it.
Most have heard about special licenses that allow those who need to drive to do so. What you may not know is that these licenses can be hard to secure. The exact procedure varies but you might have to deal with both the judge and the department of motor vehicles so that you can be issued a license that is extremely restricted. If you have a good criminal defense lawyer and are lucky, your workmates and your boss may never know about the DWI—at least yet.
Your Permanent Record
Criminal charges may as well be carved in stone because even if you are never convicted of DWI, the record of your arrest and the charges will hang around for an eternity. Ask your lawyer about having your DWI record expunged if you were acquitted. Unfortunately, you might have to endure a long waiting period before you are eligible for expungement. That means if you want a new job, the information may be visible not just to those conducting background checks but to dates, family members, employers, and others. The way a DWI affects your employment depends a lot on the nature of your work.
After an arrest, make the only smart move you can—talk to a DWI defense attorney about your charges, your driver's license, and clearing your record of the black mark of a DWI.