How a DWI Can Hurt Your Job Prospects
The consequences of a driving while intoxicated conviction can extend beyond the punishments that a court issues you. Prison time, fines and restricted driving privileges can be the immediate outcomes of a conviction. However, people with DWI offenses on their criminal records can face societal limitations on their basic living needs, such as obtaining employment and credit. This is the first in a two-part series on the extended consequences of a DWI conviction. This first part focuses on how a DWI conviction can hurt your ability to obtain or keep a job.
Your first employment concern if you are convicted on a DWI charge is whether you can keep your job. Texas is an at-will employment state, meaning that many employers do not need a reason to terminate an employee. For employees protected by contracts, there may be language in the contract that allows an employee to be terminated if he or she is convicted of certain crimes. If your conviction results in significant prison time, you are highly unlikely to keep your job. If you avoid prison time, there are several factors that may determine whether your employer retains you, including:
- Your employer’s tolerance for keeping employees with criminal convictions:
- Whether a DWI conviction could be considered a safety or security concern for your job;
- Whether your conviction includes suspended or restricted driving privileges; and
- Whether your conviction prohibits your ability to retain a special license required for certain jobs.
Having a DWI conviction is an obstacle in finding an employer who will hire you. Most employers do a criminal background check on applicants. When employers see your DWI conviction, they may assume that you:
- Are unreliable and make poor decisions;
- Are at risk of repeating the offense; and
- Could be a danger to those around you.
A DWI conviction can be an immediate disqualifier for jobs that involve driving, using dangerous equipment or being responsible for the safety of others. With other jobs, the character concerns may be enough for an employer to pass on you when there are other qualified candidates.
Relief for First-Time Offenders
Texas enacted a law in 2017 that allows some first-time DWI offenders to seal their conviction. The process applies to convictions that do not involve striking another person or vehicle and in which the offender had a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.15. Only employers in sensitive industries are allowed to see the sealed record.
Your Job Prospects
Preventing a DWI conviction or limiting it to a minor offense can determine your employability after a DWI arrest. A San Antonio DWI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock can contest the DWI charge being brought against you. To schedule a free consultation, call 888-726-5625.