Following an arrest for DWI, your first concern is surviving the booking and arraignment process. Immediately, an issue with your driver’s license comes up. At time of arrest, your drivers’ license and driving privileges get suspended. You have 15 days from the date of the arrest to seek a hearing on the license suspension or your right to challenge the civil action will be forever lost. This hearing only determines driving privileges while the criminal action is pending. At best, a conditional license may be awarded allowing you to travel to and from work, doctors, and school.
Upon conviction, after plea or trial, a mandatory period of suspension or revocation may be applied depending on the severity of the criminal charges against you. Again, you may be able to seek a conditional license to drive depending on the facts and circumstances of your particular case. An often overlooked consequence of a drunk driving arrest is what it can do to your career. Many times it is derailed and can be destroyed.
No. 1: Suspended Driver’s License
A suspended driver’s license means you will need to rely on public transportation, friends, or other family members in order to get to work. What if public transportation is unreliable or not accessible where you live? Or what if your work schedule conflicts with the friend or family member you’re relying on for rides? This will make getting to work much more difficult. If driving is a condition of your employment, then you will be fired. Keep in mind that if you possess a commercial drivers’ license, the DWI will show up on your driving record for 55 years, which means your chances of getting hired could be impacted for years to come.
No. 2: Mandatory Firing Policies
Some companies list in their employment handbook that if you are convicted of a crime, it is immediate grounds for termination. Review your company policy surrounding criminal convictions before accepting a plea. Even if you don’t work for a company with this policy, having a DWI on your criminal record could potentially make it much harder to keep your job, or find another one. This is especially true if you hold or are looking for a job in a more sensitive line of work, such as teaching or working with children.
No. 3: Insurance Loss
Many insurance companies will not insure people with DWI convictions. If you are able to keep your car insurance, the insurance premium will most likely be increased. The insurance loss is not limited to automobiles, may also include trucks and operation of heavy equipment like cranes, tractors, and tow trucks. Even if you don’t lose your car insurance, the higher premium you are likely to have to pay has the potential to add financial stress, especially if you’re already out of a job as a result of your conviction.
No. 4: Missed Work
You will be required to attend court regularly, or court-mandated courses that will require you to take time off. Mandatory alcohol or drug treatment and a period of incarceration will also affect your ability to hold on to your job. Termination is possible because of excessive absenteeism. Even if all of this missed time off doesn’t cost you your job, it could still impact how you are perceived in the work place. It’s difficult to be considered a reliable employee if you are consistently having to miss work. This could reflect on performance reviews, and cost you that promotion or raise you may have been hoping for.
No. 5: Job Applications
DWI appears in public records and on your driving records. When asked on a job application if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you will need to answer yes. Failure to disclose prior conviction may be grounds for termination post-employment. In other words, there will be no way to hide the fact that you were convicted with a DWI, and the consequences will be even worse if you choose to lie about it to a potential employer.
No. 6: Education
Many colleges and universities require students to disclose arrest and conviction during application or admission process. Students already enrolled in the school may be prevented from seeking and receiving financial aid after a conviction. A degree can help open many career doors, but it may become harder to earn that degree if your chosen college or grad school denies you entry, or attend school at all if you aren’t able to afford it without financial aid.
Are you or a family member facing a DWI charge? If you need a lawyer who can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your DWI case, the DWI GUYs are here to help. Contact us today.
DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Statewide Defense with Corporate offices Central located for The DWI GUYS at 231 Walton Street, Syracuse, NY 13202; Telephone No.: 1-800-394-8326. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.