Almost everyone knows that there are strict legal consequences to being charged with driving under the influence (DUI), regardless of where the arrest occurred. These penalties can include jail time, loss of license and fines reaching into the thousands of dollars. What many people don’t understand is that the arrest can also cause repercussions at their work place.
In most cases, a DUI shouldn’t affect a person’s employment status, but unfortunately, it often does. There are a few ways, however, of ensuring the fewest possible employment ramifications due to the arrest.
The Possibility of Missed Work
A DUI arrest will often end up causing a person to sit in jail for two days before seeing a judge about bail or sentencing. Many people choose to plead guilty or no contest to these charges just to get out of jail quickly, but our expert San Bernardino DUI lawyer warns that this is never a good idea. First time DUI offenders will likely be released on their own recognizance, but even these few days spent behind bars can cause a person to miss work, which will cause some employers to fire them.
The best way to avoid missing any work is to get bail as soon as possible. Counties within the United States have bail schedules, which are lists of crimes with preset bail amounts. A person can actually call a bail bond agency once they’ve been arrested and in most cases get out of jail within a few hours by only paying a fraction of the bail schedule amount to the bail bondsman. This is the quickest way of getting out of jail and will usually ensure that no work is missed.
Other Reasons DUI Can Affect Employment
A person’s employer may actually look down upon them if they know they’ve gotten a DUI. This can affect promotions and may even cause a person their job. In situations where a person’s job includes driving, they will likely have to inform their employer of their arrest. Most people’s licenses are suspended immediately upon a DUI arrest, so it would be unfair to the employer not to inform them of the arrest.
If a job doesn’t require driving, then there may be little need to inform the employer of the arrest, especially if no days of actual work were missed. The main thing that will still affect the employee is the fact that it may be a bit more difficult to get to work without a license. If a person is able to secure a ride to and from work every day, then it is likely they will be able to maintain their jobs with no ill effects. It is also possible to have a license suspension overturned.
Having a lawyer is a good idea if for no other reason than the fact that they can help a person get their license back. Most states offer people arrested for DUIs the option of filing an appeal, usually within five to ten days of their arrest. A good lawyer can use this appeal to show that a license suspension was unjustified.
State departments of motor vehicles often have to prove several facts to keep a person’s license suspended, and a lawyer usually only has to disprove one of those facts. This appeal process has nothing to do with the criminal case, so it is possible to be convicted of a DUI and still win the appeal. For this reason, it is imperative for a person to have an appeal filed as soon as possible.
Being convicted or even arrested for a DUI can cause repercussions at a person’s place of employment. Many times these repercussions are unjustified but unavoidable. There are a few ways, however, to avoid some of these repercussions. Hiring an attorney and handling the situation correctly from the start will give a person their best chance of keeping their job.
Shelby Warden is a legal researcher and contributing author for the law firm of Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP, in California. If you need a San Bernardino DUI lawyer to help you keep your driver’s license and fight to keep your criminal record clean, their DUI attorneys have the experience that can make a difference.