How a DUI Can Affect Your Job
When most people think of the consequences associated with a DUI, they tend to think about issues like fines, loss of driver’s license, an ignition interlock device, and jail time. While these are serious consequences, it is important to be aware that a DUI conviction also can have serious professional consequences. For these reasons, if you’ve been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, it is essential that you protect your legal rights by retaining legal counsel as soon as you can.
Employers Can Terminate Employees for Any Reason – Including Drunk Driving
Connecticut is an at-will employment state. That means that an employer can terminate an employee for any reason except those that are prohibited by law, such as discrimination based on race or gender. If you are arrested for DUI, your employer has the right to terminate you. Many employers hesitate to employ people who have trouble with alcohol, and a first-time DUI arrest may be interpreted as a sign of an issue with alcohol.
Even in cases where your arrest is not a sign of a drinking problem, many employers do not want to employ someone who has legal issues, especially if she holds a high-profile position that could make the matter newsworthy and bring negative publicity to the organization.
In Some Cases, the Collateral Consequences of a DUI Are Worse than Those Imposed by the Court
Your case is over once you complete the court’s sentence. For example, if you are given two years of probation, you can move on with your life once those two years are over. The court cannot impose additional sentences unless you violate the law again.
Yet private parties may be free to make decisions based on the existence of a criminal record after you have completed your court sentence. For example, if a DUI appears on your criminal records, any employer that runs a background check will learn that you have been convicted of drunk driving. As a result, a DUI conviction can have a significant impact on your professional life long after any court-imposed sanctions have ended.
Fortunately, There Are Ways That a Lawyer Can Help
A DUI arrest does not always result in serious long-term professional consequences. In many instances, there are legal defenses that an attorney can raise that may result in your case being dropped by the prosecution or an acquittal at trial. Some of the most common include the following:
- Arguing that the police violated your rights during the stop and any evidence gathered should be suppressed
- Establishing that you have a medical condition that can cause unreliable high breathalyzer results
- Introducing evidence that calls the officer’s version of the events into question
- Showing that you have a medical condition that can cause symptoms similar to the signs of alcohol intoxication
If there are no defenses available in your case, a lawyer may be able to get you into Connecticut’s Pre-Trial Alcohol Education Program, which, if completed successfully, will result in the case against you being dropped without a conviction on your record.
Call the Duffy Law Firm Today to Discuss Your Case with a New Haven DUI Defense Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with drunk driving in the state of Connecticut, you should do everything you can to ensure that your case doesn’t affect your professional life. The New Haven criminal defense attorneys at Duffy Law understand how to defend against allegations of drunk driving and to explore every potential defense. To schedule a consultation with a member of our team, call Duffy Law today at 203-946-2000 or send us an email through our online contact form.