Even a misdemeanor charge for driving under the influence (DUI) in Cook County can cost you your current job or a potential one. This is because most employers ask if you have any misdemeanor or felony convictions on your record.
If they don't ask, they might still run a background check which will show them any criminal history. If your job does not involve driving on company time or in a company vehicle, working with children or handling sensitive data, your boss might be willing to ignore the DUI.
While an arrest by itself may not affect your job prospects, a subsequent conviction might wreak havoc on your career path if your potential employer asks specifically about any criminal activity in your past. In other words, if the application or interviewer does not specifically ask about any arrests or convictions, you should not volunteer the information. Here are some of the ways a DUI can affect employment.
In industries where employees must handle sensitive information, drive or work with children, employers can be stricter when it comes to criminal records and DUIs. Every job from making deliveries to driving a bus or working in a daycare could be closed to you with a DUI on your record.
Furthermore, if you are applying for a job that requires you to handle confidential materials, such as with the government, a DUI could keep you from being a potential candidate.
In addition to putting a putting a mark on your criminal record, a DUI can have other negative consequences when it comes to a job search. For instance, you could lose your driver's license temporarily which will make getting to and from interviews or a job very difficult. Also, the lack of a valid driver's license may cause management to start looking closer at your criminal background.
If you are not applying for a job that requires you to work with children, drive on a regular basis or handle confidential information, you should prepare yourself to do damage control during the interview process. Before you go to an interview, take the time to prepare some responses that will help you counterbalance the DUI conviction.
Also, if the interviewer or application directly asks about your conviction, do not lie about your past activities but do not disclose more than what is absolutely necessary.
Remember to keep your explanation for the DUI concise but also be sure to sound apologetic and contrite about the lapse in judgment. Provide your potential employer with examples of what you have done to rebuild your character and the positive changes you have made in your life.
A DUI conviction can seriously damage your job prospects, which is why it is important to exercise your right to defend yourself. With a strong defense, you might be able to successfully fight back against a DUI charge and avoid the employment problems that come with a criminal conviction.