Having a DWI on your record can interfere with your ability to get a job. Any drunk driving conviction goes on your permanent record and remains visible for anyone who runs a background check on you. If you have a drunk driving conviction, you can expect a few complications and uncomfortable questions. Fortunately, you have options for overcoming the potential objections of prospective employers.
Here is a lawyer’s advice for getting a job with a DWI on your record.
Why Having a DWI May Interfere With Your Ability to Get a Good Job
First, let us discuss why having a DWI can complicate matters. Employers inquire into your background because it may create liability for them if they hire someone “risky.”
Having a DWI on your record presents a problem for any role that involves driving as a part of your job duties, such as a delivery company, messenger service, contractor, etc. Other employment roles that generally exclude applicants with prior drunk driving convictions include:
- Forklift or equipment operators
- Real estate agents
- Outside sales
- Teaching and daycare
- Military or government contractors
In many cases, the employer’s insurance company will refuse to cover anyone with a DWI. For companies who contract with the military or the government, hiring someone with a prior drunk driving offense could violate their contract agreements.
Other job roles that may become problematic if you have a DWI include the medical field, financial services, banking, insurance, securities, and any role involving sensitive information or financial data. In these cases, the potential employer’s objection is likely to be less about drunk driving and more about the fact that you have any type of criminal conviction in your past.
Do Your Homework Before Applying for a Job
Before expressing interest in or applying for a position, take time to research the company and the job role. If the job falls into any of the categories described above, you could run into trouble.
If possible, review the company’s policy regarding substance abuse and hiring applicants with a criminal record. If it is a deal-breaker for the employer, you likely will not make much headway.
Finally, check into whether any professional license is necessary for the position. In Texas, getting a DWI precludes you from holding or obtaining most types of professional licensure. You can look into the guidelines here.
Answering Job Interview Questions About a DWI Conviction
Although you may not want to volunteer the information, you should not avoid answering questions if asked. And you definitely should never lie about a criminal record.
Most employers require you to complete a job application that will likely ask whether you have any criminal convictions on your record. Failing to answer truthfully sets you up for a variety of potential problems.
If you do get an interview, you can expect to face a series of uncomfortable questions about your past mistake. Being prepared for those questions will help you get through this difficult situation. Strategies to consider include:
- Acknowledging your mistake but not dwelling on it
- Explaining the lessons you learned and life changes you made
- Shifting the narrative to highlight your strengths and experience
- Mentioning those roles in which you subsequently redeemed yourself
- Highlighting your strengths and the benefits you offer as an employee
Although not all potential employers will (or can) overlook your mistake, they will appreciate honest and forthright answers to their difficult questions.
How a DWI Lawyer Can Help You
You have options for dealing with a Texas DWI, and an attorney can help you explore them.
Fighting a DWI Charge
Arguably the best option is to avoid a drunk driving conviction in any way possible. A criminal defense lawyer can devise legal defense strategies and negotiate to get your DWI charges reduced or dismissed. Your legal team can help you explore viable alternatives such as deferred adjudication or diversion programs that you may qualify for. Or your lawyer can mount a strong defense in court, if necessary.
Even if you believe the police and prosecutor have convincing evidence against you, it does not assure a conviction. A DWI lawyer understands what it takes to identify potential problems with the evidence and leverage those to achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
Sealing or Expunging a DWI From Your Record
Although having your record sealed or getting a DWI arrest expunged was typically not possible in years past, recent changes to the Texas statutes now make it possible to clear your record of certain drunk driving offenses. And, after the court issues an expunction or non-disclosure order, you can legally deny that you ever had an arrest or conviction – even under oath.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg offers a free legal consultation. This no-cost, no-obligation case review can help you identify your options and make the best decision to protect your future. Although is not your only option for getting a good job after a DWI, it can provide you with the fresh start you deserve.
Call 214-696-9253 today to get started.