The criminal penalties associated with being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Tennessee are potentially quite severe. You could be required to pay a hefty fine, perform community service, temporarily give up your driver’s license – even spend some time in jail. There is, however, another commonly overlooked penalty of having a DUI on your record and that is the effect it can have on your employment. And it’s a problem that could haunt you for a very long time as being convicted of a DUI in this state will remain on your criminal record for life.
The following is a brief look at how both your current job and your future employment prospects could be adversely impacted by a DUI conviction.
Depending on the nature of your current job and the language contained in an employment contract you might have signed, it’s possible you might be terminated if your employer finds out about your DUI conviction. Many companies have a policy mandating dismissal if an employee is convicted of a crime.
Dealing with a DUI charge and a subsequent conviction can be surprisingly time consuming. In addition to having to attend mandatory court appearances, you could be required to enroll in substance abuse counseling and contribute many hours to a community service project. As a result of all that, you may have to miss work and also face the possibility of losing your job if too much time is missed.
Driver’s License Suspension
Most people in the United States who are employed use a car to get to work. A DUI conviction likely will result in your driver’s license being suspended, making it hard, if not impossible, for you to travel to your job. You nevertheless could still be eligible for a “restricted license” depending on the facts of your case and prior criminal history, if any.
Loss of a Professional License
Many types of jobs require licenses or certifications as a way to ensure quality service and protect the public. Organizations that issue these licenses and regulate their respective professions routinely revoke them in response to a DUI conviction. You, too, face the prospect of losing a professional license after being convicted of a DUI or other crime.
Future Job Prospects
Having a DUI on your record can both hinder your ability to hold specific jobs and prevent you from building the satisfying career you otherwise might have had. Many employers order criminal background checks for job applicants before deciding to offer a position to them. Even a single DUI conviction could, for example, automatically disqualify you from getting a commercial driver’s license, becoming a law enforcement officer, earning a security clearance, or getting a student loan to attend college and further your education. It is important to note that you might be able to avoid disclosing a DUI conviction as most DUIs are classified as misdemeanors in Tennessee and many job applications inquire about felony convictions.
If you have been charged with a DUI in the Nashville area, then consider putting your case into the hands of an experienced criminal defense attorney from Raybin & Weissman, P.C. Let our law firm in Nashville help you avoid a conviction and move on with your life. We invite you to schedule a consultation by filling out this form or by calling 615-256-6666.