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The Impact of a Maryland DUI on Your Employment

In the context of our modern lives, job security is perhaps even more important than it’s been in the last few decades. With so much uncertainty in the world at large, the last thing anybody wants is to experience uncertainty when it comes to their employment. Even those with well established careers naturally want to avoid the chance of unsettling their professional lives. 

Unfortunately, destabilization and uncertainty are natural consequences of being charged with a DUI. If you or someone close to you has been charged with a DUI, understanding the ramifications that charge can have on your career is of the utmost importance. The purpose of this article is to walk you through those ramifications, and help you to understand how a DUI or DWI charge can affect your employment, both current and future. 

How Visible Is a DUI?

Once a person has been arrested on a DUI charge their case enters onto the public record and can be easily found by anyone doing a search for on the  Maryland Judiciary Case Search. The search will provide all the basic information of a case from the date of the charges to the details of the case, including whether it ended with a conviction or a guilty plea, or if the case ended up being dismissed. 

Ultimately, any kind of criminal conviction (including DUIs) goes on your permanent record, and can be accessed without too much trouble by a potential employer, although it’s common practice for many jobs to only seriously consider charges from within the last seven years. 

Which Jobs Are Most Impacted by a DUI?

As you might imagine, a DUI charge or arrest can have more of an impact on some kinds of job than it will on others. Broadly speaking, there are certain kinds of white collar jobs that are more likely to care about a potential employee’s DUI – these are the kinds of jobs most likely to require a background check as part of the hiring process. For example, a DUI will be an especially serious problem for anyone trying to find work as a teacher, doctor, lawyer, military personnel, or as any kind of professional driver.

In Maryland in particular (given the location of our nation’s capital within the state) DUIs pose a serious hurdle for anyone seeking employment with the federal government. Not only are background checks more common for these kinds of jobs, a criminal record is potentially even more likely to disqualify a candidate. 

Potential Consequences of a DUI

Just as some jobs are more likely than others to care about a potential employee’s previous DUIs, the consequences of having a DUI on your record can vary substantially from case to case. 

It’s especially important to remember that Maryland is an “at-will employment” state, meaning that an employee can be fired at any time for any reason, or even no reason at all. There are exceptions – for example, it’s always illegal to fire someone based on discriminiation, or to fire someone who refuses to do something illegal for their job. Some employers however will offer contracts that specifically protect employees from at-will termination. 

Generally though, employees serve “at the will” of their employers, and if your boss or company decides that an employee with a DUI reflects poorly on their business, they’re fully within their rights to fire you. 

Consequences for Future Employment

Generally, a DUI on your record has the most potential to disrupt your career when you’re actively looking for a new job, since this is the stage where employers will usually run background checks or do basic internet searches about a candidate. 

As we mentioned earlier, some employers will be more hesitant to hire someone with a DUI than others. A white collar job at an office or call center might not care as much about a conviction, but the same can’t be said for any job involving caring for others, serving in a public office, upholding the law in any way, or jobs in the field of professional transportation. 

Ultimately though, a DUI can potentially sway the opinion of any employer since the charge is often associated with recklessness and poor judgment, or seen as a sign of alcoholism or substance abuse. 

Consequences for a Current Job

The implications of a DUI charge regarding your current employment are mostly the same as someone looking for a new job. However, some employers will specifically require that any current employee who is charged with a DUI report the incident when it occurs. Naturally this can influence a business’s decision to retain you as an employee. 

Still Have Questions? – Call the Professionals

DUI charges are something that a large number of Americans will experience in their lives (driving under the influence is the second most common type of arrest in the US), and if there’s one fact we know from our years of experience, it’s that you should never face a complex legal situation by yourself. 

Trust Jeremy Widder Law to help.

With years of trial experience covering major and minor offenses (including DUI), we at Widder Law approach every client’s case with compassion, understanding, and transparency. In addition, we strive to make our services accessible to everyone with a flat-fee structure and flexible payments. 

We’re ready to help. Let’s talk.


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