Indiana DUIs, Background Checks, and Employment

A question that is commonly asked in DUI cases is what impact a conviction may have. The immediate consequences of a DUI conviction pertain to the driver’s license.

But what about the DUI defendant’s employment? This is where a DUI suspect needs to know about background checks. Will a DUI show up? What are the employment consequences that will result from the DUI?

Rathburn Law Office P.C. is your trusted Indianapolis DUI defense attorney. Here we explain what you need to know about background checks, DUIs, and your job.

Will a DUI Show Up on Criminal Background Checks?

The answer is yes. Anyone, including an employer or potential employer, who conducts a criminal background check can see your DUI. That’s because a DUI is a criminal conviction and may show up for ten years after the fact.

Some drivers view DUIs as different from other criminal charges because they concern traffic and driving. But a DUI is a criminal offense, and if convicted, you should expect it to turn up during background checks.

Can a DUI Conviction Affect My Employment?

Yes, being convicted of a DUI, also known in Indiana as an OWI, can negatively impact your employment. If your employer or a potential employer pulls your criminal record, the DUI will show up.

And you could face termination or other job-related discipline. This is especially the case if your occupation requires driving. There is a good chance that being convicted of a DUI in this case will cost you your job.

The potential repercussions don’t end there. Your job may not primarily involve driving, but it might require you to operate heavy machinery. Any sort of alcohol impairment makes it dangerous and even deadly to use such equipment. Therefore, a DUI conviction may impact your job if you regularly operate heavy machinery.

There’s also the problem that can arise if you are jailed. DUI convictions are serious and can result in substantial prison time. During that time, you will probably be fired and not allowed to return to your previous job. Most employers won’t hold a position open and will instead fill it with someone else during your incarceration.

Simply put, employers are risk-averse. They’ll likely not want to have an employee with a DUI if driving or machines are part of the job. And jail time will probably mean the end of your job. So there is a good chance the conviction will impact your ability to earn a living.

Can My Employer Fire Me for a DUI?

Because Indiana is an at-will employment state, an employer can generally fire an employee for any reason. This includes a DUI conviction. Some exceptions exist for protected classes like race and gender. But driving while intoxicated, and being convicted of it, are not protected.

Furthermore, even if the firing could somehow be construed as discriminatory, proving it will be difficult. An employer need not give a reason for the termination. Nor does a potential employer have to explain why it declined to hire someone.

What Are My Options for Dealing With an Indiana DUI?

Nobody wants to have to explain criminal convictions that show up on background checks. However, you may be forced into this position. If you’ve been convicted already, you can try explaining your circumstances to your employer or a potential employer. Expungement of your record is also a possibility in some cases.

Meanwhile, if you are merely facing charges at this point, your options are even broader. Fighting the charges, having them dismissed, or working out a plea bargain are all possible. So are special driving privileges if your driver’s license is in jeopardy.

Don’t face a DUI charge, or handle the consequences of a conviction, on your own. Retain a skilled Indianapolis DUI defense attorney to advocate for you. Give Rathburn Law Office P.C. a call at 317.671.8965 to learn more.

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With over 25 years of experience, Rathburn Law is your ideal choice. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, Reach out to us today!