Like a handful of other states, Alabama has no laws or regulations on the use of criminal records in hiring or other employment decisions by employers. Under Alabama law, an employer can turn you down for a job on the basis of your DUI criminal record.
Notably, DUI convictions in AL cannot be expunged, which means that the offense will remain on your record forever unless you can participate in a pre-trial diversion program. In case of a DUI arrest in AL, the best course of action is to retain an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can put up a solid defense to protect your interests and potentially avoid a conviction.
Specific job titles are associated with mandatory termination for DUI convictions or arrests. These professions include law enforcement, teachers, commercial drivers, and military personnel. Upon losing your job after a DUI arrest, it can be challenging to find employment in the same field, which negatively impacts your career prospects.
The Loss of Professional Tools
After a DUI conviction, the perpetrator may lose specific professional tools, such as professional licenses (for attorneys, doctors, and other professionals) and insurance coverage for those who operate a vehicle as a part of their job. In addition, you may find it harder to pursue higher education with a criminal record. Many educational institutions are hesitant to accept students with criminal records, preventing you from receiving financial aid.
Even if your employer is unbothered or oblivious to your DUI conviction, you can still lose your job if you take too many days off. Serving time behind bars is a real possibility if this isn’t your first offense. If you are able to avoid incarceration, you may still need to take time off work to undergo substance abuse treatment.
DUI Arrest versus Conviction
A DUI arrest and an actual conviction are not the same. A DUI charge implies that you have been accused of an offense, whereas a DUI conviction signifies an admission or determination of guilt.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer may use various legal strategies if you are arrested for a DUI:
- The law enforcement officer did not have probable cause to stop you or administer a sobriety test
- There was a violation of the discovery and evidence rule
- You provided law enforcement with a statement that was a violation of your Miranda rights
- The police officer did not appropriately administer the sobriety test
- The equipment used to administer the sobriety test was defective or not calibrated properly
Disclosing your DUI Conviction to Your Existing Employer
In certain employee agreements, it is necessary for the employee to inform their employer about an arrest, whether the arrest is for a DUI or another offense. It is perspicacious to inform your employer about your arrest or conviction if you are contractually obligated to do so. Following the terms of your employment contract is essential, failing which you may face dismissal.
Some professions require you to report DUI arrests, such as Uber or Lyft drivers, postal workers, childcare workers, military personnel, pilots, commercial truck drivers, and public service employees. You must disclose any DUI charges if your company’s handbook specifies that you need to do so.
Obtaining Employment with a DUI
Today, many employers undertake criminal and background checks if they want to hire you. During these checks, they will uncover any past convictions, including a DUI. Reviewing questions that are asked on the job application are vital. Upon being asked if you have a conviction to your name, you can answer “No” if you haven’t been convicted or the lawsuit is still pending.
Certain employers will be more tentative in hiring candidates with DUI convictions than others. For instance, a DUI conviction can make it hard to find employment if you plan to work with kids. Similarly, people working as bus or truck drivers, daycare providers, outside salespersons, or government employees may find it difficult to find a job in the same profession after a DUI conviction.
Also, getting into the military following a DUI conviction can be challenging and will necessitate a waiver. When you are seeking employment, you should reveal your DUI arrest if the employer asks for such information. If you choose to conceal this information and your employer finds out about it later, your employment could still be terminated for being dishonest.
Legal Help by Knowledgeable Alabama DUI Defense Lawyers
If you face DUI charges in AL, it is wise to speak to a skilled DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Zach Peagler Law Firm understand the long-term implications of a DUI arrest.
Our lawyers can guide you on the best options for dealing with the DUI charge in a manner that is least detrimental for your life and career. Based on your specific situation, we will guide you on whether you should inform your employer of your DUI conviction. For a free consultation, call today at (205) 871-9990.