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HOW A DUI CAN AFFECT YOUR EMPLOYMENT

 

In California most simple DUIs without aggravating circumstances are charged as misdemeanors. For certain professions, even one misdemeanor DUI can threaten a person’s employment.  A DUI conviction can result in the loss of a job or suspension of a professional license.

The most obvious risk of job loss following a DUI conviction is for those whose job requires driving, such as a delivery truck driver, a bus driver, or a ride-share driver (to name just a few). Some of these jobs require a commercial license. For these employees, a DUI conviction will almost certainly result in the loss or suspension of their employment (unless the employer can offer alternative work that does not require driving). Why? California law requires a minimum one-year suspension of a commercial license—even if the convicted driver was not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest. It is important to note that the suspension of a commercial license is a consequence of a conviction, not the arrest.  If you drive a commercial vehicle for a living, it is of utmost importance to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest on any DUI charge as you face not only the DUI penalties but the real possibility that you will lose your job. A skilled Orange County DUI defense attorney may be able to get the DUI charge dismissed or negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser charge, most commonly a “dry reckless”, that will not result in the suspension of your commercial license.

For others who drive for a living but do not need a commercial license to do so—couriers, taxi drivers and similar jobs— a DUI conviction may, and likely will, result in job loss. Under California law, taxi, limo, and ride-share companies are prohibited from hiring a driver who has had a DUI within seven years. That is any DUI… no requirement that the driver was on the clock at the time or had passengers for hire in the vehicle at the time of arrest. It is important to know that if the driver is carrying passengers, the legal blood alcohol content threshold for a DUI is 0.04%.  Any driver who works as a driver for hire must be immediately let go, under the law, once he or she is convicted of DUI.  Just like those who drive commercial vehicles for a living, these drivers face not only the normal DUI penalties, but the loss of their livelihood, making it imperative that the individual contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon after the arrest as possible.

People whose employment requires professional licensing, such as those in the medical professions, pilots, and even real estate agents may face the suspension—or even revocation under some circumstances—of their professional license. A person who holds a professional license and who finds themself convicted of even a first time DUI will almost certainly hear from their licensing board. The various licensing boards mete out professional license discipline for those convicted of DUI. On a first-time DUI, the discipline may be sanctions that do not go so far as license suspension, but quite often the professional is put on some type of professional license probation. If the circumstances of the DUI are aggravated, or if the professional has exhibited a pattern of drug or alcohol abuse, the various professional boards usually take stronger action, including license suspension and in rare cases, license revocation. The first line of defense is to hire a DUI attorney who can assess whether there are any viable defenses to the DUI or if there is an opportunity to negotiate with the district attorney for a lesser charge. These outcomes may keep the professional board at bay. If the professional is convicted of a DUI, he or she is entitled to legal representation at any board hearings.

For over 25 years, drivers arrested for DUI have called on Orange County DUI defense attorney William Weinberg. He is committed to obtaining the best outcome in your DUI defense. He also represents professionals who face board disciplinary action after being convicted of DUI. He offers a complimentary consultation regarding your options. You may contact him at his Irvine office by calling 949-474- 8008 or by emailing him at bill@williamweinberg.com.

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