Can a DUI conviction impact your job search?

Can a DUI conviction impact your job search?

Many people wonder after a conviction if they’ll have trouble finding a job. Realistically, there are some challenges but it doesn’t mean finding employment is impossible. Statistics suggest 72 percent of employers invest in background checks to make certain there are no surprises after an employee is hired. One of the most common offenses that employers or job recruiters find are driving under the influence convictions.

If you’re seeking employment and are in the process of pleading your case, this is a good topic to bring up with your DUI attorney. This way he or she can help guide you through the process with your need for employment in mind. If you’ve already been convicted, here’s what you should know.

Can employers ask about my conviction?

According to California law, employers are allowed to ask about convictions (this doesn’t include arrests not leading to a conviction), although they cannot use convictions to discriminate as a reason not to hire. That being said, it doesn’t mean they won’t seek out other lawful reasons not to hire you in favor of another candidate.

What kind of job are you seeking?

Your options will be limited and/or completely restricted if a position requires employees to drive and you have a suspended license. Jobs that don’t require driving could still pose some challenges. For instance, if you hold a professional license in California to be allowed to work in your field, you do have to report this and, depending on the circumstances, a conviction could affect your licensure.

Tips for your job search

Applying for jobs after being convicted of a DUI can be tricky, even if the charge is an old one, it will still show up in your records. Nick Corcodilos, a professional recruiter and webmaster of the site “Ask The Headhunter”, offers some suggestions for how to go about your job search.

  • Find a strong referral – A resume or formal application can’t give your side of the story, however, if you can find a person willing to vouch for your professionalism and skills, this could help.
  • Be upfront about your DUI – Don’t avoid the white elephant in the room, be honest about your conviction, a lie will be uncovered.
  • Show employers why they should hire you – Steer the focus towards your successes and demonstrate reasons why you are worth taking a chance on.

Being convicted of DUI doesn’t mean you’ll never work again but it does mean you might have some obstacles to cross to land the job. Ideally, you shouldn’t drink and drive in the first place, but if you did make a mistake or used bad judgment, definitely consult with a DUI attorney. Your lawyer can advise you of your rights and guide you to the best possible outcome in your situation.


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