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Driving while under the influence is not only extremely dangerous for you and everyone around you, but can carry consequences that follow you for the rest of your life. If you are charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) in Texas, you could face a fine of up to $2,000 and have your license suspended for up to one year. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, you could spend up to 6 months in jail.
Something that you might not consider is that in addition to the obvious consequences of a DUI, having this conviction on your record can affect your future employment. Since Texas is an “employment-at-will” state, your employer has the right to fire you for any reason. Unless your contract states that you can’t be fired for a specific cause, you are not guaranteed to maintain employment after a charge. Because of these laws, your current work and future job opportunities may be at risk if you’re arrested or convicted for driving under the influence.
Here are three ways a DUI or DWI can affect your career.
You could be fired from your existing job
Even if you’re arrested but found not guilty, you can still be fired from your job after a DUI. As we mentioned, Texas law gives employers the right to terminate employment at any time unless it is written into your contract that you will be protected against termination for specific reasons. Depending on your job, employers will consider a DUI charge differently. Another thing to consider is the amount of time you may need to take off of work due to court appearances and possible jail time. That in itself may be enough cause for an employer to fire you.
You may be denied employment
If you are fired from your job or unemployed at the time of the arrest, having a DUI charge on your record could affect potential employment in different ways. While it is possible to find work after a DUI, applying for a job when you have a criminal record can limit your options significantly. Potential employers may see you as a risk or call in to question your character if you are applying for a public-facing role.
You could lose professional licensure
Depending on your current career, the implications of a DUI might be much more significant than just losing your job. If you are in a profession that requires professional licenses, your license could be at risk if you are not in what your community considers “good ethical standing.” A few careers that can be affected by a DUI are medical professionals, lawyers, professional drivers, including truck drivers, people who work closely with children, or public servants.
It’s important not to rely on advice from the internet when trying to understand the charges you’re facing. If you’re facing DUI charges, it’s time to contact an experienced Houston defense attorney. It might feel like you have no options after a DUI charge, but try not to lose hope. Working with an experienced and qualified defense attorney can help you navigate your charges to put you in a more favorable position when it comes to your future.
Contact defense attorney Christopher T. Gore to learn more about how he can help represent you in court after a DWI or DUI charge and help you reclaim your future.