There are numerous things that you must consider after you have been charged with a DUI.
Besides potential jail time and the loss of your driver’s license, you must also be concerned about being able to keep your job. You are often faced with the decision about whether you need to tell your job after you have been arrested or convicted of a DUI. There are times when you must inform your job, but you do not always have to let them know.
When you contact Moffitt Law, LLC, our Carrollton, Georgia DUI lawyer can help you understand the consequences of your charges and fight for your livelihood.
Whether You Have to Tell an Employer About a DUI Depends on Your Situation
The law does not obligate you to tell your employer about a DUI conviction. Whether you have to inform them of what happens depends on your situation and the nature of your job. There are times when you can and should keep the knowledge of your DUI to yourself. However, you must understand your situation before you decide how to handle your circumstances.
When Your Job Must Know of Your DUI Charge
There are reasons why your job must know about a DUI arrest and conviction:
- Your job could require you to perform duties that would be impacted by a DUI conviction (such as losing your license to operate a commercial truck).
- The business could be at risk of liability when you are on the road in a company-owned vehicle — and they could face even more consequences when they knew about a DUI history and did nothing.
- Your job could depend on a security clearance that you could lose after a DUI conviction.
- Some industries do not allow you to be employed if you have a felony conviction (such as working in a skilled nursing facility).
There Are Special Considerations for Truck Drivers
Truck drivers are particularly at risk of a DUI conviction. Not only would you lose your right to drive, but you would also lose your CDL license for at least one year for a first-time DUI offense.
It would be illegal for you to continue driving a truck during this time. Here, you would have to tell your employer, even though it would likely mean losing your job. Even if you were eventually able to drive a truck again, your employer could be forced to pay very high insurance rates, meaning that they would not want to hire you, so long as the DUI is on your record.
How DUI Situations May Apply to Particular Employees
There are two types of employees:
An at-will employee has the right to leave a job when they want, but a company could also terminate them. Your company may view a DUI conviction as grounds for termination, depending on what it is you do for a living. Even if you do not drive, a conviction could damage a company’s reputation and speak negatively on your ability to do your job. For example, law firms have fired lawyers for DUI convictions, even though their job has nothing to do with driving.
A contractual employee has a written agreement with their employer. They can only be fired under certain circumstances when they have violated an employment agreement. Depending on the language of the contract, a DUI could be a violation that may result in termination.
Your Employer May Have Their Specific Policies
Your company could require you to report any type of criminal conviction, including a DUI. The company would then choose whether to take action against you, which can include losing your job.
If your company’s policies require termination, you have no choice but to follow them. Even if a DUI itself may not lead to termination, you could face significant discipline for not reporting a conviction if you are obligated to do so. It is not worth it to take the chance that your company will not find out about your DUI. Your employer could be proactive and do periodic searches on employees’ criminal records. You could have your professional license up for renewal, and a conviction would be discovered then.
You May Need Flexibility from Your Employer to Deal with Your Legal Situation
If you are not legally required to tell your employer about a DUI, you must consider your relationship with them before making any decisions. There may be consequences associated with a DUI conviction, such as community service or probation. You may have to miss work on occasion for a court date or other requirements related to your conviction. Your employer may have to give you time off from work to meet your obligations.
However, you should always be aware of the fact that your employer can use your DUI as grounds to fire you when you are an at-will employee.
Your DUI Lawyer Will Help You Think Through Your Situation
The requirement to inform your job, and the possibility that you may lose your job, are things that you would need to consider after you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI. Your attorney would review your specific case, and the potential consequences for you, as they advise you on the path forward.
Professional repercussions are reasons why you may have to fight the charges against you or negotiate intensely for a reduction in the offense level. Your lawyer will learn about your situation as part of their representation.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Georgia Today
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Georgia, Moffitt Law, LLC is in your corner.
We will explain the legal process and help you determine your best options to deal with the charges. We can help you defend the case, and we could negotiate on your behalf if you choose to seek a plea bargain.