Getting arrested after an officer suspects that a motorist is driving under the influence (DUI) is quite embarrassing and stressful, as people often spend at least one night in state custody and may have entered police custody in a very public setting.
Naturally, those with successful careers want to put the whole mess behind them and prevent their arrest from becoming public knowledge. Although they may think that pleading guilty is the best way to achieve that goal, they may set themselves up for future hardship by doing so. A DUI conviction can be a very serious concern for those aspiring to professional success in Pennsylvania.
How does a DUI affect someone’s job?
1. Through direct criminal consequences
The two most obvious ways in which a DUI conviction might affect someone’s employment are the risk of jail time and a driver’s license suspension. Someone who spends time in state custody will potentially miss multiple days of work, which could put their career in jeopardy. Even if someone avoids jail time or can serve their sentence without missing too much work, losing their license might make them habitually late for work or possibly unable to fulfill their job responsibilities.
2. Through secondary consequences
Professionals in highly-educated and skilled careers, including heavy machinery operators and medical professionals, have to maintain a professional license. The state board that issues such licenses may take punitive action against professionals convicted of criminal offenses, including DUI charges.
Even if someone doesn’t need a license to do their job, a criminal record can have a chilling effect on someone’s professional ambitions. Every time they apply for a new job, the record of their DUI will affect an employer’s decision. As if that weren’t bad enough, even the company that currently employs them could very well penalize them for their criminal record, as it may turn up in a background check performed when evaluating someone for a raise or a promotion.
For many professionals, fighting back against pending DUI charges is the only reliable means of avoiding potentially devastating career penalties for something that happened on their personal time. Seeking legal guidance and learning more about the possible consequences of a Pennsylvania DUI charge can give someone the motivation they need to fight back in criminal court.