If you’ve been arrested for drinking and driving, your mind might be racing as you think of all of the ways your life will be affected. One question that commonly comes up is, “Will a DUI conviction affect my job in Mississippi?” While there is no clear-cut answer to that, there are many cases in which a DUI could very well put your job in jeopardy.
Talking to a DUI attorney should be your top priority after an arrest. Let us help you explore your options and make a plan. Call Holcomb & Russell at 228-432-6652.
When Your Job Involves Driving
If your job involves driving—school bus driver, commercial truck driver, delivery person, or process server, for example—you can expect a DUI conviction to have a huge negative impact on your career.
When you’re driving for work, you are covered by your employer’s insurance. Their insurance may not allow them to employ anyone with a history of DUI. Even if their insurance doesn’t forbid it, many employers have a policy of terminating or reassigning drivers who get convicted of driving under the influence. It exposes them to serious legal and financial risks.
Additionally, you will be unable to drive for some time after a DUI. Even if you’re able to get a hardship license, it’s unlikely your employer will allow you to continue driving for them.
Government jobs can also be hard to keep if you have a history of DUIs. In some cases, your first DUI won’t be an issue. While a DUI can have serious consequences, it is also a fairly common conviction, and so many government agencies don’t come down too hard on employees for their first time.
This may not be true if your work requires a security clearance. If you need a security clearance for work, any type of criminal conviction could put your work at risk.
Your DUI could also impact the trajectory of your government career. Appearance and reputation are big components of working in any public-serving job. Even if a DUI doesn’t lead to you losing your current job, it could cause you to get passed over for promotions. If an employer can choose between two equally qualified people, the one with a DUI conviction may not make the cut.
Highly Regulated Career Paths
Some careers require licensure, require certification, or are otherwise regulated. These types of jobs are often strict about DUI convictions or other criminal activity. For example, healthcare jobs have strict ethical and safety requirements, and a DUI may violate those.
On a similar note, those who work with at-risk populations may find their career in jeopardy if they get convicted of driving under the influence. Even if your field doesn’t involve driving, some employers or licensing boards may worry that a DUI shows a lack of good judgment. This is especially true for those who have had multiple DUIs in their recent past.
If you work in a field where you must have certification or licensure, it’s important to take a proactive approach to your conviction. Waiting to see if the licensing board happens to find out about your conviction may raise suspicion and make it look like you’re trying to hide what happened. While it can be stressful to come clean with what happened, doing so may show your intent to take responsibility and make things right.
Don’t Forget About the Demands on Your Time That Come With a DUI
What if your employer has no policy against employees with DUI convictions and doesn’t involve driving? While your job may be safe, you’ll need to manage your time carefully.
Between substance abuse classes, court and probation dates, and other obligations that come with a DUI, it can be hard to keep up with a demanding work schedule. If you have to take a lot of time off for your DUI classes and hearings or frequently miss shifts, you could find that your job isn’t quite as safe as you thought.
Talk to Holcomb & Russell About Your DUI Case
The best way to keep a DUI conviction from affecting your job is to avoid a conviction altogether. Talking to a criminal justice attorney as soon as possible after your arrest gives you time to explore your options. Call Holcomb & Russell at 228-432-6652 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free case evaluation.