How Will a DWI Affect Your Employment?

by Karla Somers on July 6, 2012

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Missing Work(US Law) While some Buffalo, New York residents may think that a DWI conviction simply means paying a fine in addition to losing driving privileges for a brief time period, this notion could not be further from the truth. If you are convicted of DWI in Western New York, you may be faced with a lifetime of hardship as a result, including issues that directly impact your professional life. In fact, the connection between employment and DWI criminal charges is serious, and many people find this out the hard way. Here are just a few of the ways that a DWI can affect your employment status:

1. Lack of Transportation

One of the first consequences of a DWI (driving while intoxicated) conviction is the loss of driving privileges. “Depending on the severity of your charge,” notes the Trbovich law firm, “your license may be suspended or revoked anywhere from 90 days to 18 months.” Since you are no longer able to drive yourself where you need to go, you may find it difficult to get to and from your job.

In many cases, people in these circumstances are forced to find alternate transportation by enlisting the help of friends, family members, or public transportation. This can quickly create a problem, as friends and family grow weary of having to drive you to and from work each day. Additionally, public transportation can be unreliable, causing you to be late, or worse, miss work altogether.

2. Professional Reputation

Within the professional climate of some companies, a DWI conviction may result in labeling you with a negative reputation. In many cases, after a DWI charge, an otherwise law abiding, hardworking professional may be seen in an adverse light by his or her coworkers. In addition, some employers may even demote or terminate employees who have been convicted of a DWI, as such a conviction may hinder the company’s public reputation. Furthermore, some employee contracts may have specific clauses against criminal activity, so you may not even need to be convicted in order to lose your job or be punished by your employer.

3. Future Job Opportunities

One of the biggest disadvantages of receiving a drunk driving charge in the state of New York, however, is that it could affect future job opportunities. Many industries, such as law enforcement, corporate security, financial and medical professions can prevent potential employees from receiving a potential job offer if the applicant has been convicted or arrested for DWI.

In short, this means that a DWI charge or conviction could keep you from achieving your dreams, even if you’ve spent a lifetime preparing to enter a certain field or industry. Since every case is different, a Buffalo criminal defense attorney will be able to examine the evidence in your specific circumstances, offer sound legal advice, and represent you in court if necessary.

4. Time Off from Work

Finally, a DWI charge usually means that you will need to be present for at least one court date, if not multiple court appearances. Additionally, depending on the nature of your case, you may have to stay in jail while awaiting a hearing. After the court proceedings, you might also need to take more time off from work to complete required alcohol education classes, driving classes, or meetings with law enforcement. This means that you will need to make special requests from your employer, ultimately resulting in possible unpaid time off from work, and a greater chance of losing your job.

If you or a loved one find yourself in this type of challenging situation in Western New York, it behooves you to find the best DWI lawyer Buffalo has to offer. An experienced attorney will be able to examine the evidence in your case, offer sound legal advice, and represent you in court. Many times, partnering with a qualified attorney means the difference between being found guilty and being set free. If you’ve been charged with a DWI in the state of New York, or anywhere else in the country, don’t wait until you are convicted – find an experienced criminal attorney who can help you salvage your reputation, your record, and your peace of mind.

Karla M. Somers is a former mediator for the state of New York and a regular contributing author for the Tribovich criminal law firm in Western New York. The Tribovich defense team specializes in all forms of alcohol and drug related cases, including motion practice, trials and appellate court.

Karla Somers

Karla Somers

Karla Somers

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  • John S.

    A DWI conviction does indeed make it more difficult to gain employment and may cause damage to your personal reputation. These are great things to keep in mind if you are charged with a DWI and serve as a reminder that a qualified, experienced attorney is a great resource to help you minimize any possible disruption to your life.

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