Do you need to disclose your DUI or DWI when applying for a job?
A DUI arrest and conviction is not only embarrassing, it can also be detrimental to your future job search. Unfortunately, many drivers simply plead guilty to DUI and never consider the ramifications and whether or not they will have to disclose the arrest and conviction on future job applications.
DUI convictions and job application disclosures
If you have been convicted of DUI, which means you admitted guilt, pled guilty, pled no contest and received a plea bargain, or you went to trial and were found guilty, you will have to disclose this on a job application, assuming if the application asks if you were ever convicted of a crime.
If the application asks only about felony convictions you may not be legally required to disclose your misdemeanor DUI charge, but if they are going to perform a background check you may want to consider whether or not to tell your employer.
In some cases, it’s best to be open and up-front about the conviction and not give the employer any reason to suspect you are hiding something or you do not have personal integrity.
What if I lie about my DUI conviction on my application?
Employers often run background checks to determine whether the information you have included on your job application is correct. Information verified generally includes your educational background, your past work experience, and your criminal record. Credit reports and your driving record may also be reviewed for specific jobs.
If you do decide to lie on your job application your employer is likely to find out that you lied and either not hired you, or if you have already been hired, fire you.
You are also committing fraud, although it’s unlikely the company will file fraud charges against you unless your omission caused them reputational or financial harm.
Do I have to disclose my DUI arrest?
If you were arrested for DUI but you were not charged for the crime, whether to disclose the arrest is a more difficult decision. If the application specifically asks about criminal convictions you are not legally required to disclose the arrest.
If the employer is going to perform a criminal background check, however, they are likely to find out about the arrest and may have questions or simply decide not to hire you.
Expunging your DUI before applying for a job
Some criminal convictions can be expunged; others cannot. Generally, a DUI conviction cannot be expunged, but it is a good idea to review your state’s laws to determine your options.
DUI arrests which did not result in a conviction, however, generally can (at some point) be expunged from your criminal record.
With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to review whether or not the DUI arrest can be expunged prior to applying for a job. If you successfully expunge the DUI arrest from your record, you are well within your rights to omit this information from a job application.
If you have been convicted of a DUI and the application asks about criminal convictions failing to disclose your conviction is considered fraud. If your employer decides to run a background check and discovers the fraud, you could be immediately terminated. Termination for cause could also make it more difficult to find future employment.
DUI arrests, however, do not have to be disclosed if the application does not specifically ask for this information, but they are likely to be discovered through a background check.
Finally, expunge all criminal arrests and convictions as soon as possible from your criminal record.
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