How a DUI Affects Employment in Mecklenburg County
A DUI arrest can cause several short term and long-term repercussions. A defendant could be facing significant criminal penalties and may also face issues regarding their employment. An employer may not want to keep someone on the payroll who has a DUI conviction. Also, some companies may not want to hire someone who has been convicted of a DUI.
Read below for more information about how a DUI affects employment in Mecklenburg County. Reach out to an accomplished DUI lawyer today.
DUI Arrest vs. Conviction
How a DUI affects employment in Mecklenburg County may depend on whether the individual has just been charged or if they have been convicted. A DUI arrest could happen to anyone at any time, though law enforcement is supposed to follow a probable cause standard when making a DUI arrest. However, DUI cases are dismissed regularly, which indicates that there was not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A DUI arrest should not have nearly the significant impact on someone’s life that a DUI conviction would have because a conviction means that that person was proven to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol beyond all reasonable doubt.
Can a First-Offense DUI Impact a Person’s Employment Status?
Every case is specific, both in terms of the result in court and in terms of the employment issues that may or may not follow a DUI conviction. It is unsurprising for someone to face employment issues following a DUI, but it is not true that the person will lose their job in every case.
Many employers are willing to consider a first-offense DUI as an isolated mistake that anyone who consumes alcohol is subject to making at some point during their lives. However, multiple DUI convictions indicate an inability or unwillingness to learn from the first mistake and suggest a possible pattern of alcohol abuse that employers could see as too risky.
Many employers in Mecklenburg County run some level of background check before hiring a person. Some employers rely only on the potential employee to answer questions regarding their background, which may or may not be verified at a later date. That being said, applicants should assume that their employers are running a background check.
A DUI conviction indicates a reflection of an individual’s judgment, at least for one particular moment in time. Any type of criminal offense can have a negative impact on future employment.
Depending on the employer, the status of the person’s employment, the application process, and the individual, there may be some opportunities for a person to explain their DUI conviction. Some employers might end the employment upon just learning of the DUI conviction, while others might be curious about the timing, how recent the DUI conviction was, or what circumstances might have led to the DUI arrest.
At-Will Employment Law
At-will employment is the law in Virginia. This means that, at any time, an employer can decide to terminate employment with the exception of some unlawful reasons. A criminal conviction is not a protected basis for an individual to prevent them from losing their employment. Even if someone is already employed, they are still at risk of losing their job if they get a DUI conviction.
Long-Term Impacts of a DUI Conviction on a Person’s Career
A DUI conviction carries with it a certain stigma that can often become a barrier to employment. As to how long-term of an impact that will have, that would depend on each individual’s circumstances and how long it takes before a future employer is willing to consider the DUI a past mistake that is not reflective of the individual’s current judgment.
If you have any questions about how a DUI affects employment in Mecklenburg County, reach out to an attorney today.