Can a DUI Affect Employment? 

On behalf of Patrick McLain Law | June 19, 2024
Gavel with a beverage and car keys next to it

Being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida can have many negative life effects. One of the significant potential impacts involves employment. If possible, avoiding a DUI conviction is essential because you could find it challenging to enjoy the career you did before the incident. With a DUI offense, you could have difficulty with a job application, maintaining your job responsibilities, and a future career. 

At Patrick McLain Law, our outstanding DUI defense lawyers have the skills and experience to mitigate the impact of a drunk driving charge on your employment. Patrick McLain and his fellow attorneys have been rated five stars on Avvo and enjoy a Preeminent Rating on Martindale-Hubbell. Learn more about DUI convictions and employment in this article. Then, speak to one of our Fort Myers DUI lawyers at Patrick McLain Law today for more information about minimizing the impact of this criminal offense. 

Can A DUI Impact Job Prospects? 

So, you were recently pulled over in Florida and charged with driving under the influence. You probably know you could receive jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record if convicted. But how does a DUI affect employment? 

In Florida, DUI charges may significantly impact your ability to obtain and keep a job. A drunk driving conviction can affect a job offer, the ability to get a job, keep a job, and progress in a job. 

In the state of Florida, a DUI charge has the potential to impact your employment opportunities significantly. The consequences of such a conviction go beyond legal penalties. It can follow you into every area of your life, affecting your ability to secure work, retain employment, and progress in your career. 

These are several of the ways that a DUI charge and criminal record can impact your career prospects in Florida: 

  • Background checks: Many employers perform background checks before hiring someone. A DUI conviction in Florida will show up on your criminal record. Unfortunately, a Florida DUI conviction will stay on your record for 75 years, according to Florida Statute 943.053
  • Employment opportunities in specific fields: Some jobs, such as those requiring a good driving record, may not be available to someone with a DUI conviction. For example, someone with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may lose it if convicted of a DUI, even if it was in their personal vehicle. Other jobs requiring a license that may be inaccessible to those with a DUI conviction are in the healthcare, education, and law enforcement fields. 
  • License suspension: A drunk driving conviction may lead to a driver’s license suspension. If you need to drive extensively for your job, you may be unable to keep working in the same profession. 
  • Reputation: A drunk driving conviction in Florida can mar your professional reputation and prevent career progression. Securing promotions could be challenging, and networking for new work opportunities could be affected. 

Avoiding a DUI record is essential for your career, so speak to a DUI attorney today. 

How To Mitigate The Impact Of A DUI On Employment

The best way to mitigate the impact of a DUI on your employment is to avoid a DUI conviction. A DUI defense attorney will review your case and fight for the best case result. Some of the most common DUI defenses that could lead to a dismissal or reduced charge are: 

Illegal Search 

After the DUI stop, the police officer will search your body and car. If they seize any evidence, such as an empty beer bottle, the evidence could be suppressed in court if the stop and search were improper. Your attorney may be able to prove that the police didn’t have the right to stop and search your vehicle, which would lead to the suppression of substantial evidence. 

Driver opening an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle

Miranda Warning Problems

If the police did not Mirandize you correctly or at the right time, it’s possible that any statements you made could be suppressed in court. For example, if the police take you to another location to do field sobriety tests and do not read you your rights, that could be a Miranda violation. 

Why You Need A DUI Defense Attorney Now 

You must retain an experienced defense attorney when you are arrested for DUI. To secure your future employment prospects, you should have a skilled lawyer advising you for the following reasons: 

Avoid DUI Costs

A drunk driving charge and conviction will cost you. The DUI fees and expenses for a first-time charge and conviction in Florida will be between $500 and $2,000. The fees can rise depending on other facts of the case, such as if there was an injury or death. The fees and costs could be above $5,000 in such a case. You must also pay to reinstate your driver’s license and pay for DUI school. 

DUI Sentencing

You may or may not be sentenced to jail for your first-time DUI conviction. But your lawyer’s job is to present the case optimally so you receive a lesser sentence. You could receive up to nine months in jail for a first offense if you had a blood alcohol level of 0.15% or higher or if a minor was in the car. You will also forfeit your license for at least six months, regardless of your BAC, and will be put on probation. 

Impacts On A Professional License

As noted above, your professional license could be at risk after a DUI, so you should have an attorney representing you. You usually need to disclose any criminal convictions to the professional licensing board. Below is a list of licenses that could be impacted, thereby affecting your employment: 

  • Dentist 
  • Doctor
  • Lawyer
  • Cosmetologist
  • Real estate agent
  • Truck driver
  • Police officer or firefighter
  • Interior designer 
  • Pharmacy technician 

Potential impacts to your professional license could include: 

  • Significant fines 
  • License revocation
  • Probation
  • Loss of job
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • Mandatory substance abuse counseling
  • Letter of concern put in your professional work file 

Driver License DUI Consequences

Your driver’s license will be revoked for at least six months after a DUI conviction. The conviction will be on your driving record for at least seven years and on your criminal record, which may affect criminal background checks. 

If you cause a bodily injury, you will lose your license for at least three years. If someone is killed, you lose your driver’s license permanently.

FAQs About DUI And Employment

Below are some common questions and answers about DUIs and employment in Florida. If you have detailed questions about your case, speak to one of our drunk driving defense attorneys immediately. 

Can I Find A Job In Florida If I Have A Drunk Driving Conviction? 

A Florida DUI conviction will complicate your job search but it doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot get a job. It depends on the particular employer, the nature of the work, and the company’s policies. Also, the recency of the DUI case is a significant factor. 

For example, some large companies in Florida may conduct a background check during your application process. A criminal conviction may be enough to remove you from consideration, regardless of the case details. It’s best to avoid a conviction on your record by retaining an experienced DUI defense lawyer immediately after your arrest. The sooner you have an excellent criminal defense attorney defending your rights, the more likely the worst consequences can be avoided. 

Photo of Statue of Justice

Can I Have My Drunk Driving Conviction Expunged? 

It’s possible to have  DUI convictions in Florida expunged in specific circumstances. However, you must complete probation and have no other pending criminal charges. Talk to a criminal defense attorney about your case to learn if expungement of your DUI convictions is possible. 

How Does A Florida DUI Conviction After A Job With A Security Clearance Requirement? 

Being convicted of DUI could affect your ability to get or keep a job with a security clearance requirement. A DUI conviction on your record may reflect poor judgment or problems with substances, which could cause problems with the hiring process or keeping a job with a security clearance. 

Can I Lose My Job After A DUI Conviction In Florida? 

It depends on the company and the nature of the position. It is legal for an employer in Florida to terminate you for the conviction. Some companies may see the drunk driving conviction as a violation of the trust and responsibility you were given. This is often the case if the job involves driving a commercial or company vehicle. 

Can A Drunk Driving Conviction Affect My Professional License In Florida? 

Yes. A DUI criminal record can affect obtaining or keeping a professional license in Florida. If you have a medical license, CDL, or other professional license, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

Contact A DUI Defense Attorney Today 

DUI arrests and DUI convictions can affect your job so it’s vital to retain an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately. You could get a criminal conviction and receive jail time and fines, be saddled with a permanent criminal record, and your ability to get or keep a job could be affected. Patrick McLain Law has the experience and skills to obtain the best case result for your DUI charge. Contact our experienced DUI attorneys at Patrick McLain Law to protect your rights immediately. Call (239) 579-9445 for a complimentary consultation today. DUI convictions are severe, and you want to avoid them so they don’t affect your current or future employment.

Category: DUI