dui employment

The Impact of a DUI on Employment and Professional Licenses in Virginia

A Virginia DUI charge can affect your employment and your professional licensure. Professionals face regulatory action that may suspend or terminate their professional licenses in certain fields, affect their ability to drive commercial vehicles, and much more. This collateral consequence of your charge can have a massive impact on your life, so it is critical that you discuss it with a DUI defense attorney about how it will affect you.

Our Manassas DUI lawyers help you understand what impact a DUI charge might have on your professional license and employment. A proper defense may limit or eliminate many of these complications, so it is important to speak with your lawyer right away. 

Limitations on Employment After a DUI

A driving under the influence charge can affect you in many ways. There are significant criminal penalties, such as high fines and potential jail time. You could lose your ability to drive, have to attend alcohol safety classes, and more. The issue few consider is what impact a DUI conviction could have on their future employment.

Many employers perform background checks for available job openings. A background check will reveal a past DUI, especially because these charges can never be sealed or expunged. An employer is not permitted to have a blanket policy that refuses to hire anyone with a criminal record, but that is often the actual policy behind the scenes. 

In other situations, an employer may have questions about a person’s DUI history if it might affect their job. This is especially true for jobs that require driving a commercial vehicle, or even obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Some employers may even assume you have a substance abuse problem.

How a DUI Affects Professional Licenses in Virginia

Virginia’s state licensing boards for several professions will consider a DUI conviction when making decisions. They may be concerned about substance abuse issues that could affect your job performance. They may also be concerned about the impact on the public trust if the board allows a person with a criminal conviction to practice in that profession.

Many professions may be impacted by a DUI conviction, such as:

  • Any profession that dispenses medication, such as nurses, pharmacists, or doctors
  • Professions that require high levels of client trust, such as daycare owners, counselors, or psychologists
  • Professions that involve driving or driving commercial vehicles
  • Attorneys, accountants, and financial consultants with confidentiality requirements

What Could Trigger Problems With My Professional License?

DUI convictions are public record, so it is not difficult for a board to find the information in the public space. However, there are also several other things that could trigger the professional licensure board’s attention on your DUI case:

  • Law enforcement reporting to your state licensure board
  • Self-reporting requirements by your licensing board
  • During a criminal background check by your licensing board
  • A coworker, colleague, or other person learns of the conviction and files a complaint against you

Self-reporting is a big issue in many cases. Professionals should carefully review their self-reporting requirements and comply with them, or the impact on their license could be even more significant.

How To Protect My Employment and Professional Opportunities from a DUI

The best way to protect your professional license and employment future is with the help of a DUI defense attorney. You want to defend your case to the fullest extent possible. You may be able to dismiss or reduce the charges you face under certain circumstances. If acquitted of the charges, there is no criminal history. Reduced charges may have a less serious impact on your future as well.

Developing the right defense strategy can occur after you and your attorney review the specific circumstances of your case.

Contact a Virginia DUI Defense Attorney To Protect Your Future Employment

The Virginia criminal defense lawyers from Battlefield Law Group PLLC understand how important your employment and professional licensure is. We provide skilled legal representation to protect your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.