After getting arrested for a drug DUI offense, you may be wondering if you will be able to keep your job after an arrest. While there is always the possibility that you could lose your job, it is also dependent upon what kind of job you have and the work policies that are in place.
After being arrested for a DUI, it is important to hire an experienced DUI attorney who can help you each step of the way from representing you at your preliminary hearing to helping you protect your employment rights. Let’s take a look at what you need to know in regard to updating your employer about a drug DUI offense.
What is a drug DUI offense?
DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” Most people associate a DUI with alcohol intoxication, but driving under the influence can also apply to other drugs such as prescription medications, as well as any other illegal drugs. Mixing drugs such as medical marijuana with legally prescribed muscle relaxers can also lead to you being charged with a DUI. It doesn’t matter if you have a prescription from a doctor to take the drugs. Driving under the influence of a substance that impairs your ability to drive is illegal.
Do I have to tell my employer about my DUI?
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you do not necessarily have to tell your employer that you have been arrested for a DUI unless there are certain work-related policies in place that require that you disclose that information.
It is important to understand that a DUI arrest is not a conviction. The fact is that anyone can be arrested and charged with a crime, but it does not necessarily mean that they will be convicted of a crime. If you wish to keep your DUI arrest private, then that is your prerogative.
Of course, there are some exceptions. Some employers may outline specific instructions regarding arrests in the employee handbook, which may include reporting the arrest to the employer immediately.
Are there some occupations that require you to notify the employer of an arrest?
Yes, there are some occupations that require employees to disclose arrests. As an example, an employee with government clearance may have a contractual obligation to disclose a DUI arrest to his employer. Here are a few occupations that require an employee to notify their employer of a DUI arrest:
- Military personnel
- Postal workers
- Uber and Lyft drivers
- Childcare workers
- Commercial truck drivers
The success of some careers are dependent upon your reputation within the community, such as:
Mending your reputation after a DUI charge can be difficult. It may take hiring a PR firm or seeking treatment to continue with your career successfully.
What if my employer asks me about my DUI arrest?
If an employer flat out asks you if you’ve been arrested for a DUI, it is important to tell the truth. If you lie, you are painting yourself as a dishonest person. This could be the tipping point for an employer to terminate you.
Let your employer know your court timeline and what is expected of you so you can resolve the case as soon as possible. You may find that your employer is willing to work with you. Most employers do their best to keep their employees, so it is fairly common for an employer to wait for the conviction before they take any sort of adverse action.
Seeking the help of an experienced attorney can help you understand how to best approach the subject with your employer.
Effects of a DUI Conviction
A DUI conviction will impact your life in the present, but it can also have an effect on your life in the future. If you are convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania, you will have to pay an expensive fine. First time DUI offenses have a maximum fine of $5,000, and any additional offenses after that have a a maximum fine of $10,000. Having a DUI conviction may put you at risk for termination from your job, or worse, prevent you from finding another job. If your license is suspended, you will have to find another mode of transportation to get to work.
Can my employer find out about my DUI arrest and will I get fired?
Can your employer find out if you’ve been arrested for a DUI? The short and simple answer is, yes. Can you get fired? Yes. Will you get fired? It depends on the employer. In Pennsylvania, criminal records are public. Any person can look up your record and get the full history on you. Once there has been a charge filed with the court, then your case number will also be an official entry assigned to your record and is readily accessible online.
What are common defenses against a DUI arrest?
A DUI arrest only means that you have been charged with a crime; it doesn’t mean that you are actually guilty. A conviction is when you are found guilty, and it has to be proven first. An experienced DUI attorney may be able to use one of the following strategies in your defense:
- There was no probable cause for law enforcement to pull you over and give you a sobriety test
- The sobriety test was not properly administered to you at the time.
- Your statement to police was in violation of your Miranda rights.
- Your Miranda rights were never read to you at the time of your arrest.
- The equipment used to administer the sobriety test was faulty.
- The prosecution violated the discovery and evidence rule.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI it is best to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. With an experienced attorney fighting for your rights, you may be able to beat the conviction. Remember, that you are innocent until proven guilty.
The attorneys at DiCindio Law, LLC, can help you with your DUI case and maintaining employment. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your case with one of our attorneys, please fill out the contact form today.