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Your job may depend on challenging DUI charges

A vehicle, flashing lights and a suspicion that you drove drunk are all it may take to put your job in jeopardy. When the officer pulled you over, your mind may have immediately begun replaying your night. Perhaps you had some drinks with your dinner, but you never thought that you weren't capable of safely driving home.

The officer had a different opinion, however. After field sobriety tests and breath tests, the officer believed he or she had enough probable cause to arrest you. Now you are in the unenviable position of defending yourself against a DUI charge. More than that, you may begin to wonder how this will affect your job.

How a DUI can affect your professional life

A conviction, or possibly even an arrest, can have the following ramifications on your professional life:

  • Prospective employers in particular will more than likely run a background check on you. If they see a DUI on your record, it could cost you the opportunity, especially if you apply for any type of job that requires licensing or a security clearance.
  • Your job opportunities could be seriously limited with a DUI on your record. In particular, jobs that require you to drive may be off the table. You could lose the opportunity to work in the medical field or an industry in which you would require the trust of clients such as investment banking.
  • A DUI arrest or conviction may make potential employers believe that you have a deeper problem. They may view you as an alcoholic. People with alcohol issues tend to have higher absentee rates, fail to perform well and suffer more injuries.
  • If you already have a job, dealing with the criminal justice system may require you to take time off work, which could put your job in jeopardy. If you end up convicted, you could end up spending time in jail, which means more time off work. Your employer may decide to terminate you for this.
  • If you lose your driver's license for an amount of time, you may have trouble getting back and forth to work. Even if you find alternative transportation, it may require you to request a schedule change to accommodate your travel difficulties. Your employer may not take kindly to doing so.

In some professions, even an arrest could mean termination from your current employment. Afterward, you will need to start looking for new work, which then presents you with a new set of issues.

Challenging the DUI charges

You may be able to avoid these employment ramifications if you challenge the charges instead of believing that pleading guilty will "make it all go away." With the right help, you may be able to avoid all of the negative consequences of what was most likely an unfortunate mistake. You have rights, and legal help is available to advise you of them and help you find the best resolution possible to your situation.

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