Drunk driving charges in Utah can be a serious interruption in your life. Driving under the influence (DUI) charges can also affect your reputation and potentially cause problems with employers who need to know you are a safe driver. You may not want your current or future employer to find out about DUI charges, but if you are going to have to miss work for court or to spend time in jail – or if a driver’s license suspension is going to keep you from getting to work – they might found out anyway. Our Salt Lake City DUI defense attorneys at Overson Law explain when you need to tell your boss about a DUI and what steps you can take to avoid having a record of DUI hurt your employment.
Do I Need to Tell My Boss About a DUI in Utah?
Usually, you do not need to share anything about what happens outside of work with your employer, but current and future employers might have rules about background checks and crimes committed by their employees. Many companies have policies that require background checks before an employee will be hired or trusted with sensitive information, or they might have ongoing policies that require their employees to tell them if they are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense. Sometimes, these rules only apply if there is a conviction, meaning that if you have just been charged and didn’t go to court yet, you might not have to say anything to your employer.
Some industries have more stringent rules, particularly about DUI. Commercial truck drivers, transportation workers, and other people who drive or operate heavy machinery for a living might be required to submit driving records and authorize background checks. In most of these industries, it is illegal for an employer to hire someone with a recent DUI, and you are legally required to inform your employer if you are charged with certain traffic offenses or drunk driving.
Because this information can hurt your reputation – whether professional or personal – you might not want to tell anyone about your charges. Sometimes the information will come out through rumors or if you have to miss work because of a court summons or jail time related to the offense. This could potentially mean losing your job.
It is vital to work with a lawyer throughout this process. A Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer can advise you about whether you need to disclose anything to your employer about your conviction, and we can help request bail hearings and court dates that will help you avoid having to miss work because you are in jail or have a suspended driver’s license.
Can My Employer Find Out About a DUI with a Background Check?
If you have a prior conviction or pending charges for a Utah DUI case and your employer runs a background check, they might see these charges. Some employers limit the scope of their background checks to only look for felony convictions. That means the background check will not return any results for pending charges that have not led to a conviction, and they will not return results for any misdemeanor charges. An employer also typically needs to run a court records search to find arrests or pending charges that sometimes aren’t reported on a criminal record, so they might miss these record entries if they do not perform the extra check.
Typically, your driving record is not part of a background check. Usually, the only people with access to your driving record are you, the police, and state agencies responsible for drivers’ licenses, registration, etc. This means that if your employer wants a driving record, they need to ask your permission to get it or have you send it to them. However, a DUI in Utah is not just a driving offense; it is also a criminal offense and will usually appear on both your driving record and your criminal record. This means employers who don’t run a check of your driving record might still find a DUI on your criminal record.
Getting DUI Records Expunged in Utah
The best way to avoid having an employer find a record of a DUI is to avoid the record in the first place. If you were recently charged with a DUI in Utah, our West Jordan drunk driving defense attorneys might be able to fight the case against you and help you avoid a conviction in the first place by challenging the evidence, blood tests, and arrests. If you were already convicted and have a DUI on your record, there are also other chances to stop employers or potential employers from finding that record.
Sometimes, the only option for stopping an employer from seeing a record of a past crime is to literally erase the records. Expungement in Utah allows you to do that legally by requesting that old crimes be wiped from your record. Our Salt Lake City expungement attorneys might be able to request that the court seal your record or erase entries for driving under the influence convictions older than 10 years. If your employer specifically asks you if you were ever arrested or convicted of DUI or another crime, you might be required to tell them about it, but getting the record expunged usually prevents employers from finding the record on their own.
Call Our Salt Lake City DUI and Expungement Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you were charged with DUI, it might affect your job, especially if you drive for a living. Our Utah DUI defense lawyers can help you fight drunk driving charges, keep your license, and avoid going to jail. If you have an old DUI conviction on your record, we can help fight to get it expunged and cleared from your criminal record. For help with your case, call the Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyers at Overson Law today at (801) 758-2287.