Many people remain dismissive of driving under the influence (DUI) charges. Especially when someone has never been convicted of a criminal offense before and is accused of a technical infraction that did not result in anyone getting hurt, they may consider pleading guilty just to avoid the perceived embarrassment and expense of a trial. What these people may have failed to consider is how a criminal conviction will affect their career.
Even a first-time DUI charge could result in someone losing their job and have a profound chilling effect on their career advancement. How can a DUI affect someone’s job?
By making them miss work
People often justify pleading guilty to a DUI by telling themselves they won’t have to miss as much work. They may have failed to consider the criminal penalties possible and how they could impact their career. A judge could send someone to serve time in state custody, which would force a leave of absence from work. They may also have to perform community service, participate in a yearlong probation program or otherwise fulfill court-ordered responsibilities that force them to miss time at work. The more days someone misses, the more likely their employer is to terminate them or at least have a declining opinion of their commitment to their profession.
By taking away their license
People in numerous different careers need to drive for work. Obviously, those with a commercial driver’s license have to consider how even a DUI in their own vehicle could leave them ineligible for a CDL. The loss of one’s driver’s license, which lasts for up to one year after a first offense, could leave someone unable to do their job, and a conviction for any criminal offense could potentially put them at risk of losing their professional license.
By creating a background check blemish
When a worker applies for a promotion or a new job at another company, it is common practice for human resources or management to have a shortlist of candidates that could all fill the role. Sometimes, it will be tiny details, like a single DUI on one candidate’s background check, that result in the company going in another direction. A Georgia DUI offense can haunt someone for years, turning up every time they apply for a new job or even a rental home. While the penalties are severe, a conviction is not automatic. Many individuals are able to avoid a DUI conviction by working with a legal professional to defend themselves.
Fighting back against DUI charges can help someone to potentially preserve not just their reputation but also the future of their career. Seeking legal guidance is usually a good place to start.