Being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) can leave you with a criminal record. And with an estimated 92 percent of all employers running a criminal background check, that can make it extra difficult to secure a job.
So what are your options? Is DUI expungement a viable option? Or will you simply have to explain your record to potential employers, possibly shutting you out of a job?
This guide will explore the ways in which a DUI can affect your job prospects, as well as how to get a DUI expunged. If you’re dealing with a DUI charge, these may be necessary questions.
Do I Have To Disclose A DUI?
There are plenty of people with DUI charges who go on to have long, successful careers. So, a DUI charge does not mean your life is over. But, your employers will definitely want to know more about your history.
In fact, most employers will ask you upfront if you’ve ever faced a criminal conviction. More and more frequently, they’re even asking if you’ve ever faced arrest.
This may seem tricky, and you may not wish to disclose your prior DUI conviction. However, criminal background checks are incredibly commonplace, so your potential employer is likely to find out about it anyway.
The fact is that you’re more likely not to be hired for lying to an employer’s face about your DUI than you are for simply having one.
Even if you do somehow get away with your lie, your employer is likely to find out somewhere down the line. At that point, you’ll likely face termination. So, it’s best to just be honest up front.
Does A DUI Charge Expire?
A DUI charge will fall off of your DMV record after 10 years. However, it will remain permanently on your criminal record. Because background checks review the criminal record, it will appear no matter when it happened.
Unless you’ve had your DUI expunged, there is no expiration date. If you have had your DUI expunged, however, you will no longer have to disclose it in job interviews or on job applications.
What Will Happen When I Disclose My DUI?
You might feel nervous about disclosing your DUI to a potential employer, unsure how they’ll react. Well, every employer views DUIs differently depending on the job requirements, industry, and company culture.
For some employers, a DUI is no big deal and can be easily overlooked. Some will turn you away immediately. Many, though, will fall somewhere in between.
Like any other quality, a DUI may serve as a detriment to you. But, if you’re still qualified in other ways, your potential employer may be able to ignore it. Because of this, having a DUI shouldn’t discourage you from the job hunt.
How Do I Explain My DUI?
It’s best if you can take the reigns of the DUI conversation. If you’re offered the chance to explain your conviction, take it! Downplay the DUI and highlight the subsequent community service you did as a result of the conviction instead.
Many employers likely just want to see some kind of growth. Explain the ways in which you’ve learned your lesson and grew from the experience. Highlight the ways you’ve changed for the better as a result of your DUI.
Like any other interview question, the DUI question is one you can prepare for ahead of time. Paint it out to be a mistake and something in the past you’ve learned from.
However, do not bring up your DUI in the interview unless specifically asked about it. You should view it as a mistake that you’ve moved on from, and therefore it doesn’t occupy your mind or define you.
Remember, if you’ve disclosed your DUI on an application and are still invited to interview, your potential employer likely doesn’t view it as a big deal.
Can I Get A DUI Expunged In Texas?
Texas has tricky DUI/DWI laws. If you have been convicted of either crime, you cannot get it cleared from your record. However, if you’ve only been arrested, expungement is possible.
A DWI Austin attorney can help you get your charge and sentence reduced, but once a conviction has occurred, you cannot clear the crime from your record.
However, if your case meets certain criteria, there is potential for expungement. These include:
- Your case was dismissed
- You were a minor at the time of the arrest
- You received probation or deferral
- You appealed your conviction and won
If you meet any of these conditions, a DUI lawyer in Austin may be able to help you clear your record.
How To Get DUI Expunged?
The first step to getting an expungement is to work with a DUI attorney in Austin. They will then help you draft and file a petition for expungement.
The petition must comply with certain requirements set out by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 55.02. These include:
- Personal information of the petitioner
- Information about the case to expunge
- Physical and email addresses of every entity associated with the case
- The petitioner’s right to expunction
- A verification page signed in front of a public notary
- Any other relevant documents
Then, you’ll have to file the petition in the proper court. The correct court is the district where the arrest or offense allegedly occurred.
From here, you will have a hearing. If the judge agrees with your petition, you’ll then have to file the order for expunction. After this, the expungement process is over and the DUI is stricken from the record
In Texas, you can also file a petition for DUI non-disclosure. Your DUI attorney can help you identify if you qualify for this measure. If you do, they will help you file.
While a non-disclosure does not strike the DUI from your record, it does seal the case. This means the charges will not be visible to certain parties.
Get Your DUI Expungement Today
Getting a DUI arrest expunged can help you with your job search. If you’re interested in DUI expungement, you need the right attorney.
Contact James Fletcher, attorney at law, today to help get your DUI expunged in Austin. With the right lawyer, you can get your life back on track.