When you’re applying for a new job, your criminal background check may be the deciding factor in getting a job offer or not. Every employer looks for different things when reading a background check, and different industries and positions have different standards. DUIs are an especially interesting charge that may or may not affect your background check.
Fighting the charges from the beginning is the best way to ensure they won’t affect your job application. Part of the job of a criminal defense attorney is to help defendants beat charges and avoid a criminal record. If you are facing criminal charges in Utah, it is important to talk to a Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer. Darwin Overson of Overson Law fights for the accused and helps to get charges dropped or dismissed.
What Charges do Employee Background Checks Include?
As stated above, every industry and every employer is different. Some industries and businesses use their own HR people to run background checks. Others outsource these kinds of tasks to private investigators or background check firms. Still others rely on software and public databases to check for crimes.
Depending on the process an employer uses for background checks, your criminal charges may or may not appear. First, the lowest level of offense in Utah is called an “infraction.” These include many local ordinance violations, traffic offenses, and some disorderly conduct charges. Infractions carry a fine with no jail time. The next level of crime is a “misdemeanor,” which can carry up to one year in jail, plus fines. The highest level of crime is a “felony,” which carries more than a year in prison and very high fines.
Most employers will not accept applicants with felonies on their criminal record, and may not accept misdemeanors, either. Many employers ignore infractions, but there is absolutely no guarantee of this. Most employers do not care if you have traffic offenses, and will not look for these in their searches. However, they may look for more serious infractions. If employers outsource background checks, they may not even ask for a list of infraction violations, and may not see these offenses. Though many employers will see a misdemeanor as something very bad, others may be more accepting. If you were convicted of a crime, it may not reflect on your ability to perform a job, and may not automatically disqualify you for a job.
Many of these background checks will include all misdemeanor and felony charges. Even non-violent crimes may appear on your background check. Because driving under the influence is a misdemeanor in Utah, it is likely to appear on any background check. If your crime has been “expunged” and removed from your record, it may help you have a clean background check.
Do Background Checks for Employment Look for DUIs?
If you are applying to any job that requires operating heavy machinery or driving for a living, a Utah DUI charge might severely hurt your chances. A DUI is a misdemeanor, and is likely to appear on any background check. Some industries pay special attention to DUI charges, while others may not.
Truck drivers, taxi or rideshare drivers, delivery drivers, and other transportation workers can be rejected for a history of DUI charges. Some federal and state regulations automatically disqualify some of these workers with a history of DUI. Construction firms and other businesses who hire people to work heavy machinery like cranes and bulldozers run a huge risk of injuring others if they put someone with a history of DUI behind the controls. These businesses may not hire people with a DUI record or other history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Similarly, jobs in law, law enforcement, the military, medicine, teaching (especially teaching children), and security prefer clean criminal background checks. These industries may only admit those who have no criminal background. Especially because a DUI charge might be a sign of deeper alcohol or drug problems, these industries might block applicants with a history of DUI.
Other industries may concentrate on other charges related to their fields. For instance, jobs in accounting, banking, and even retail involve handling finances and private, personal information. This could include physical cash, bank account numbers, social security numbers, and other private information. These industries may focus their criminal backgrounds on theft, embezzlement, identity theft, or other crimes dealing with lies or breaking trust. DUI charges may not be as relevant to these fields or other industries. In that case, you may still be able to find employment with a DUI record.
Salt Lake City DUI Defense Attorney
Salt Lake City DUI defense lawyer Darwin Overson takes every DUI case seriously. Our attorneys at Overson Law understand how a criminal conviction, even for something like DUI, could affect your future job prospects and other areas of your life. For a strong defense on your DUI case, talk to an attorney right away. To schedule a free, confidential consultation on your DUI charges, call Darwin and Overson today at (801) 758-2287.