Will A North Carolina DWI Conviction Impact Your Employment?
Having any sort of criminal record can create a stain that impacts your job opportunities. A conviction for any kind of crime is serious, but a Driving While Impaired (DWI) conviction can impact your life in ways you may not expect.
Are you worried about your employment prospects after you were convicted of a DWI? Read on to learn more about your legal options.
Do You Have to Report DWI Convictions to Employers?
If you have a potential employer asking if you have been convicted of any crimes, you should answer honestly. According to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, an employer must provide a compelling business-related reason not to employ somebody based on a previous conviction.
Still, employers have the right to ask about prior criminal convictions, and it is likely they will learn the truth via public records unless your case was expunged or sealed.
Many employers will also conduct criminal background checks, which tell them offenses you committed, how serious they were, and how long ago they occurred. Using this information, employers can determine if you are suitable considering the nature of the job you applied for.
If you already work for a company and are unsure if you need to report your DWI, defer to your employer’s handbook.
Can You Be Fired for a DWI Conviction?
Certain types of employers are likely to fire you if you are convicted of a DWI. For example, you may face firing if you are a police officer, teacher, or government employee. Ultimately, private companies vary regarding their policies.
Keep in mind that a DWI conviction may impact professional licensing and certification. The North Carolina Medical Board may suspend or totally revoke your license to practice medicine, for instance. You could also lose a security clearance if you work for the government or military.
What If Your DWI Was in Another State?
A DWI you received in another state is likely reported to North Carolina. Most states have taken on the Driver License Compact, which report convictions across state lines. Even if your DWI is from a state like California, you could feel the impact in your home state as well.
Can You Still Drive to Work?
If your punishment for DWI conviction involves driver’s license revocation, the court may grant you limited driving privileges based on your need to drive. You will be limited to driving to specific locations and during certain hours.
North Carolina allows individuals with limited driving privileges to drive for employment, household maintenance, education, and court-ordered treatment. You may be eligible to drive to community service and religious worship as well.
Can You Still Drive for a Living?
If your job involves driving, a DWI will limit your options. For example, if you are a licensed commercial driver, you could lose your commercial license.
Many companies are not quick to hire somebody with a DWI conviction, especially because they realize they could be sued for your actions on the road. Some insurance companies will not insure employees with arrests for DWI.
Can You Do Anything to Improve Your Circumstances?
Preventing a criminal record from ever existing is your best bet to prevent these adverse consequences from happening. You can do this by securing a criminal defense attorney.
If you still have questions about disclosing your DWI status or possible expungement of your criminal record, discuss your options with your attorney. You may be able to remove a conviction from your record.
Carl L. Britt, Jr., Attorney at Law understands your situation. We work hard on DWI cases like yours. Call us today to set up a consultation with professional attorneys who care.