California’s DUI laws can be complex and confusing. In this section, our attorneys break down the rules and explain the process.
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You were found guilty of drunk driving and now have to face penalties like a driver’s license suspension, probation, fines, and community service. Given all of this, will a DUI conviction also negatively impact your job search?
It could. A DUI arrest and subsequent conviction could negatively impact your pursuit of employment. For example, the following are some jobs that you may not qualify for because of a past DUI charge:
It might. A DUI conviction could result in your inability to secure a job that involves driving.
For example, both Uber and Lyft prohibit you from driving for their companies if you were convicted of a DUI within the last seven years of your job application.1
Further, most state laws say that you are disqualified from receiving a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for a certain period of time after getting convicted of DUI/DWI. This means you might not get a job as a truck driver or bus driver.2
Note that a DUI generally has a negative impact on your driving record. As a result, a drunk driving conviction could even prevent you from working as a delivery driver.
Maybe, depending on the facts of your case and the license you are applying for.
Many state licensing boards say that they can deny you from receiving a professional license if you have a past conviction for a criminal offense (including a DUI offense). This is usually true provided that the conviction:
This means that a DUI could prevent you from getting a job as a:
Note that there is no general rule that says you cannot enter the military or become a police officer because of a DUI record.
However, DUI offenders may have difficulty serving in the military or in a law enforcement capacity depending on the specific role they wish to serve.
For example, many military and law enforcement-related jobs require you to obtain a security clearance. If the facts of your DUI case prevent you from getting one, then an agency or the government could deny your job application.4
Most jurisdictions say that a DUI conviction will remain on your criminal history for the rest of your life.
One result is that a potential employer may learn of your DUI during your application process if the employer conducts a background check.
This means an employer might take a DUI offense into consideration before extending a job prospect an offer of employment.5
Yes. If successful, the expungement process typically results in a court order that says your record involving a conviction must get destroyed.6
Some states offer record seals in lieu of expungements.
The main difference between the two is that a record seal does not result in the destruction of your record. Rather, the record gets hidden from most people and entities.7
Note that if a record is expunged or sealed, you do not have to disclose it:
Yes. A DUI attorney or criminal defense law office can assist if you have a past DUI and are looking for a job.
In particular, a DUI defense lawyer can help by:
In our experience, job applicants with a DUI conviction are usually more confident in their job search after speaking with a defense attorney.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.