What do Charles Barkley, former president George W. Bush and Mel Gibson have in common? These people have all been charged with DUI, though they still went on to have a successful career.
Of course, it’s worth noting that these three people have very different lives than the rest of us. A DUI charge effects people in different ways, and the impact is highly dependent on a person’s circumstances. For example, if you are charged with DUI and have a good job with understanding employers, and no other criminal charges, you might find that the charge doesn’t impact your life as significantly as it would in other situations.
The DUI Will Be a Factor in the Job Application Process
Job-seekers, on the other hand, likely have more on the line than those with job security and a support system to help them through the process. A job search is almost always a difficult process, and it can be complicated even further when someone has DUI on their record.
Employers generally have the right to ask you about prior charges or convictions. They will also conduct background checks to learn more about an applicant. It’s difficult to say exactly how an employer will weigh a DUI charge in the hiring process. They will likely consider factors such as how long ago the charge occurred or whether there were other charges on an applicant’s record.
Having a DUI charge on your record will never help your job prospects, but it is not necessarily a deal-breaker for all employers. If the charge was an isolated incident and the job candidate is forthcoming about it, it is possible that a potential employer will not use that charge against the applicant.
The Other Ways DUI Can Hurt Job Seekers
In addition to the actual hiring process, a DUI charge can make life difficult for job seekers in many other ways. For example, if your license is suspended, it could impact your ability to get to job interviews. If driving is a central part of your job, it could limit your work capacity, further damaging job prospects. If you need to make court dates or go to counseling, you will have less time available for your job search.
In other words, there are both direct and indirect impacts of a DUI on a job seeker. The severity of the charge against you and the access you have to transportation will be factors. If you’ve been charged with DUI and you are job hunting, this might be discouraging, but…
All’s Not Lost
It is important to realize that a DUI charge is not necessarily a mark of shame that should prohibit you from applying for the job you want. Be straightforward with your potential employer and apply yourself as best as you can.
Everyone makes mistakes in life, including the people who will be considering you for a job. A DUI charge is a relatively common one, and many people have been charged with drunk driving and gone on to have successful lives and careers. There’s no reason that you can’t be one of them.
If you (or a loved one) have been arrested in Kentucky or in the Lexington area in particular, call my office at (859) 685-1055 for a free consultation. Our lawyers specialize in helping defendants fight back on assault charges, misdemeanors, domestic violence, property crimes, drug charges and more, call today.