Being gainfully employed and making money to support your family is not something you should take for granted. If you are lucky enough to have an established career, you want to do everything you can to hold onto it. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, you may be facing the potential impact these charges can have on your ability to make a living.
DUI charges can affect more than your personal life, they can hurt your finances, your relationships, and your work.
Understanding DUI Charges
A DUI charge or DWI, driving while intoxicated, in some states, can result in severe legal consequences including hefty legal fines, the suspension of your drivers’ license, and imprisonment.
Someone charged with DUI without a previous criminal history may incur less severe consequences, especially if they did not harm anyone. However, if your drunk driving resulted in injury, fatalities, or property damage, you can face life-altering consequences, such as life in prison.
Can I Be Legally Fired for a DUI?
Maryland is an “at-will” employment state meaning that employers can fire their employees with little or no cause, so if your boss fears your charges may reflect badly on their company, they may choose to terminate you immediately.
Whether you need to report the DUI charge to your employer or whether your employer will fire you based on the charge will depend entirely on who you work for. Most company handbooks spell out company guidelines for employees both on and off the job.
Careers Most At-Risk
Anyone can be impacted by a DUI conviction, but some professions are far less forgiving than others. Those with public images as especially at risk of termination for a drunk driving charge.
Jobs in which a DUI could have an impact include:
- Lawyers, judges, and those in law enforcement
- Teachers and medical professionals
- Politicians and people who work in the government
- Military personnel
- Commercial drivers
Your DUI is On Public Record
Upon conviction, your DUI will become a matter of public record. Current employers, potential employers, and the general public can access your conviction records on the Maryland Judiciary Case Search by simply entering your name. A quick search can reveal the charges against you, the date of the charges, and the status of the case. A search can also reveal the details of the case, including whether you were convicted or pled guilty.
Even if you have steady work at the moment, a DUI can seriously impact your employability in the future. Potential employers may be hesitant to overlook a criminal record, especially if your job would require you to drive on company time or in a company vehicle.
Loss of Private or Commercial Driver’s License
In addition to fines and jail time, a DUI conviction can also lead to the suspension of your driver’s license. This can be problematic for anyone who must drive as part of their job or commute to work. It can especially be a problem for people who drive for a living.
Individuals with commercial driver’s licenses face even stiffer penalties as a CDL is subject to both state and federal suspension. In addition, even if you have not had your license suspended, your employer may not want to take the risk of you driving a company vehicle or traveling in the course of your employment.
Loss of Security Clearance
If you have a federal job with a security clearance, there is a potential that your clearance will be affected. While one DUI conviction will usually be forgiven, if you have multiple convictions the situation could change. The government takes the whole person into account when granting clearance so demonstrating a course of reckless conduct could impact you negatively.
Protect Your Career With Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you need an attorney who can provide you with the best possible outcome. Luckily, our firm is here to help you prevent DUI charges from ruining your life and career. Our team has ample experience fighting faulty breath and blood tests and we’re here to provide you with the zealous legal representation you need and deserve.
Contact the attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC or call us at (301) 494-9620 to schedule a free consultation.