If you have been arrested for Operating Under the Influence, also known as an OUI, it is important to know how being convicted of the offense can affect your future. Not only will you be punished in the form of fines, suspensions, and imprisonment, you may also be punished for your mistake outside of the courtroom and inside of your office. More and more employers are buckling down and thinking twice before they recruit a candidate who has a OUI charge and conviction on their record. Read on, and learn about some of the many ways being charged with operating a vehicle under the influence can affect your career.
An OUI Charge Can Affect Your Chances of Landing an Interview
Many employers actually require candidates to fill out a detailed job application before they will even receive a call for an interview. One of the many questions, aside from questions about your employment experience and educational background, is whether or not you have been charged and convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in the past 5 to 7 years.
The amount of time that the employer can go back when ordering your criminal records will depend on the state you are in. Some states are also only concerned with felony or drug-related offenses, but many will consider an OUI charge and conviction when making a hiring decision. An OUI, also called a DUI is a misdemeanor or even a felony, if you have had an OUI charge and conviction before, it must be listed on your application. Failing to list the charge and/or conviction may land you an interview, but if the employer orders your background, you may lose the opportunity because you omitted the truth.
It is best to be honest and upfront from the start and explain what you are doing to avoid driving under the influence now. The blemish may not be a positive decoration on your application, but some employers will overlook charges and convictions if the applicant has maintained a clean record for an extended period of time following the OUI.
An OUI May Affect Your Ability to Be Issued a Professional License
If you are pursuing a career where you must apply for a professional license through a state or national licensing board, your OUI charge could impact the board’s decision to accept your application. Insurance agents, financial consultants, nurses, physicians, contractors, and other professionals who must have a license to offer their professional services are held to a high standard.
The licensing boards expect professionals to be responsible and moralistic individuals who make good choices in their profession and in their lives. This is why not only criminal history but also credit history is reviewed. While having an OUI charge filed against you does not completely eliminate your chances of getting a license, you may have to go through more hoops to have your license issued. Many boards will ask that you write a personal statement.
OUI Convictions Can Lead to Termination in Some Cases
If you are already licensed or employed, you may think that you are in the clear. That is not always the case. A criminal conviction can affect your ability to renew your professional license or maintain your current CDL if you are a professional driver. If you work for the Federal government, a conviction could violate employment terms and lead to termination. Whether or not you lose your license or are terminated will depend on several factors including your profession, employer, and the nature of the conviction.
The impacts of an OUI go beyond just court costs and penalties. They can be long-term and affect your employment and your future career opportunities. Make sure you research how an OUI charge and conviction can affect you, and prepare so that you are not surprised.