A DUI and Employment

Kevin GallagherNews

Tampa Bay DUI ATTYWhen an arrest is made for DUI, the offender often concerns himself or herself with fines and potential criminal penalties before panic sets in regarding continued and future employment. Termination of employment depends on an array of factors, including duties associated with the job and company policy pertaining to DUI and criminal offense records.

Employment Contract

No matter your record in your position, your employer may choose to terminate you at any time, but that does not mean they have the legal basis to do as such. For instance, if your employer includes a mandatory firing policy for a DUI arrest, Florida law only permits firing upon conviction.

Florida Law

Termination of existing employment does require conviction, but the state makes all future employment prospects challenging by forbidding the expungement or sealing of a DUI charge. In addition, Florida law will not allow you to enter plea of guilty, with the hope you will be able say they were not convicted of the DUI charge. The charge must always be adjudicated in court. This means that even if you are found to be not guilty in a court trial, or a charge is dismissed, it can never be removed. While a dismissal or a verdict of not guilty are not insurmountable, it needs to be noted that the DUI charge will remain accessible to anyone conducting a background check.

Sample Response to a DUI Conviction

Professional License:
If you hold a nursing license, a DUI conviction will result in a review and potential suspension of your professional license. If you do not lose your job, your employer may make you complete additional steps toward rehabilitation.

Commercial Drivers:
A first Florida DUI conviction includes a one year driver’s license suspension. The license suspension does not allow a commercial driver to attain a hardship license, meaning it is impossible to remain in the position until a license is attainable. It should be noted that many companies that employ drivers will choose not to hire you until you prove substance abuse counseling, even if you were not found guilty of the DUI charge.

Tell Me All Hope is not Lost

An arrest for a DUI in Florida does not mean you are automatically guilty, nor does it mean you will not be able to walk away without a conviction. When you are arrested, arresting officers are required to follow strict guidelines, and a missed step in the process can often lead to a dismissal. Time is a crucial factor; before you enter a plea of guilty, you owe it to yourself to talk to an attorney.