Finding work while managing alcohol or substance use disorders can be difficult. Many stigmas and stereotypes surround those in recovery, and, sadly, this might hinder your career opportunities. However, if you are clean and sober and have been for some time, you do not need to explain as much to your employer, unless your addiction interferes with your work.
Alternatively, some mistakes could hang around to hurt your chances at employment. One of the biggest detriments to your employment opportunities is your driving record–more specifically a DUI. If you are worried about a DUI affecting your chances at employment, there are ways to handle the situation to give yourself the best opportunities to get the position you want.
If arrested on a DUI charge, there is a chance that you will not be convicted, only accused. Unless you are convicted, you do not need to disclose any legal information to your employer or a future employer. If you are currently employed, you might be contractually required to disclose any arrest charges, DUI, or otherwise. If you are unsure, you should check your employee handbook. You can likely obtain a copy from Human Resources. If required, you should exercise accountability and talk with your employer to inform them about the offense. Taking these measures will help keep your employer from finding out through another source.
A conviction is when you are found guilty of an offense either by confessing or probable cause. If you are convicted, you need to mention this to your employer. Further, holding a position in government or an educational field is a definite cause to notify your employer.
During an interview, when your potential employer asks about your conviction, be truthful and inform them of the arrest and the offense, but provide only the necessary details. Avoid expressing any underlying or personal drama that surrounded the event. Further, show your employer that you have taken responsibility. Express how you have learned from your experience through seeking help for your drinking. Convey how these newfound opportunities have allowed you the freedom to move forward. Showing an employer that you can be proactive and take responsibility can go a long way when considering you for a position.
Can You Get A Job?
A DUI charge can be incredibly difficult if you are in between jobs. A DUI charge remains on your driving record for up to 12 years, and a conviction will stay on your record forever unless expunged by a judge. However, most background checks only look at the past seven years. That said, most employers will do a background check to search for previous arrests or violations, so if you are worried about your DUI on your record, you will want to be truthful on the application.
Your record may or may not influence your employer’s decision, but it is better to be honest. However, you may select ‘no’ to the question, “Have you ever been convicted?” if you haven’t been or if your case is ongoing. It will also depend on the position. If your potential job requires you to work with children or drive for a company, a DUI can hurt or eliminate your chances, so it is crucial to be prepared to handle such questions during an interview. Express that you are somebody who has learned from the mistake and are actively working not to repeat it.
Keeping a Job
If you are employed, keeping your job after a DUI depends on your employer. Some employers may recognize the offense and take mandatory action while some employers do not recognize the offense. Your employer might give you the benefit of the doubt if you are showing up to work and performing your job to standard. From an employer’s standpoint, they would sooner hold on to a good employee rather than find someone new.
It is sometimes hard to face the past. It may be harder to keep having to relive the past after you have moved on. In the case of a driving offense, it might be difficult for you to have to relive a mistake you might have made years ago. You understand that you are not this person today and that always being judged by others is unfair. Under the provisions of California Law, you might have the option to expunge your case.
Expunging means mitigating the offense so that a potential employer cannot hold it against you; however, your DUI will not vanish from your record. To qualify, you need to fulfill your probation requirements (finding treatment, paying fines, and community service). Under state law, there is a three-year minimum for the probation period. This is so as not to make light of the seriousness of your DUI. There is also a fee of $650.00, which includes all legal work and court appearances. Processing your request to expunge your case could take 3-4 months.
If you find yourself in a situation where your DUI is interfering with your life and career, you might want to take action and consult an attorney. True Recovery offers comprehensive and understanding Court Services Liasons. This division of True Recovery strives to find the best defense for you. In an ongoing case, the right attorney can contend whether the stop and arrest were valid or if the equipment used was faulty, as an attorney will think of things you might not. When it comes to your job and your future, you want somebody who understands your mistake and will put you and your recovery first.
With 24/7 availability, call True Recovery Court Services now at (866) 399-6528.