No one has a spotless driving record. You may be older and wiser, but a DUI from twenty years ago can still be a stain on an otherwise perfect background check. Most people would hope that employers are understanding of an old DUI and that they won’t judge someone based on ancient history. However, this isn’t always the case.
If you have a DUI arrest or conviction on your record from a previous decade, you may be worried about how it can affect your current employability. The answer is that it might. Not all employers will hold an old DUI against you, but it can still present a legal liability for some companies. It’s better to be honest and upfront about your record from the start, especially in today’s tight job market.
Contact The Ticket Lawyers today to see how your DUI might affect your job prospects. We may be able to get that pesky arrest record expunged and protect you from future background checks. Our firm offers a free consultation where we’ll go over our fee structure and how one of our lawyers can help you.
Call The Ticket Lawyers today at (855)-323-8488.
Can a DUI Cause You to Fail a Background Check?
A DUI conviction can cause you to fail a background check by private employers or other entities. While it may not disqualify you from being hired, a DUI might be perceived as a character flaw. In certain industries, such as childcare or eldercare, this may cause you to fail the job application process.
DUI arrests can show up on background checks as well, even if you were not convicted of the charges. Although arrests look better than convictions, they can still cause concern for employers. If you have been arrested multiple times without conviction, employers can legally deny your application.
Records of a DUI may be especially problematic for holders of a CDL (commercial driver’s license). One DUI conviction will suspend your CDL for one year. A second will revoke your CDL for life. This can still affect your job prospects even if a background check shows your DUI conviction to have occurred twenty years ago. If the charges against you were dropped, employers still have access to records of a DUI arrest for 7 years.
Employers that require employees to drive, with or without a CDL, can see a DUI as a potential legal problem. A company can be held legally responsible for an employee’s actions that cause harm. If the employee was convicted of a DUI and the company chose to hire them anyway, the company can be sued for “negligent hiring” if that employee injures someone.
According to Florida Statute 768.096, employers have an obligation to avoid the potential for harm to be caused by their employees. This responsibility is met through the use of background checks on the criminal record of their employee.
Contact The Ticket Lawyers today to see if your criminal record can negatively impact your employability.
How Does a DUI Show on a Background Check?
Background checks investigate multiple categories of someone’s personal history. DUI convictions will show up as part of the criminal background check. DUI arrests are subject to investigation for up to 7 years after the date of the arrest.
DUI convictions are available on any criminal background check indefinitely. This means that an employer will be able to see a DUI conviction even if it occurred twenty years ago. Employers may overlook this if it is your first and only conviction, although this is not guaranteed. Multiple convictions, even those occurring a long time ago, will necessitate further investigation. You may be asked questions regarding the nature of the charges and how you have moved on from them.
If you are currently facing DUI charges, your case will show up in a criminal background check as pending. The employer conducting the background check will most likely ask you about the charges and where you are in the process of the court case. No one knows exactly what goes on in the background of a job interview, so this may have an impact on whether the company chooses to hire you.
Always be honest in your answers during a background check. If an employer catches you in a lie, especially about your criminal record, you may be passed for the position.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Record for a Background Check?
According to the State of Florida, DUI convictions are part of the public record for 75 years. Essentially, this means that a DUI conviction is part of your criminal history for life. There is no way to have a conviction expunged.
An employer conducting a criminal background check has a complete record of past criminal convictions in most cases. If you have been convicted of a DUI, it will show up on a background check.
However, DUI arrests without conviction are only available for 7 years. An arrest record will not be shown if you have it expunged. This is only possible if you were not convicted or the charges were dropped.
How Far Back Can a Background Check Legally Go?
All background checks are subject to federal and state laws and regulations governing how a background check is conducted and how far back one might reach.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, arrests may only be the subject of a criminal background check for 7 years. However, criminal convictions are available indefinitely. This includes DUI arrests and subsequent convictions. An employer must inform an individual in writing if they intend to conduct a criminal background check.
The FRCA applies to background checks for outside companies, such as during the job interview process. It does not apply to in-house investigations into misconduct or criminal records. Also, it is important to note that FRCA protections do not apply to jobs with a yearly salary of $75,000 or more.
The State of Florida has different laws pertaining to background checks as well. An individual’s criminal history, especially concerning DUI convictions, cannot be used to prevent an individual from attaining a permit, license, or certificate to pursue a specific job or career path. This mostly pertains to licensing agencies or organizations that provide accreditation.
Can I Have a DUI Expunged From My Criminal History?
According to Florida Statute 943.0585, most criminal charges that did not meet the requirements for indictment or resulted in an acquittal can be expunged from an individual’s criminal record. A DUI arrest can be expunged if you were not convicted of the charges. If you meet the requirements for getting a DUI arrest expunged, the arrest record will be sealed and will not show up on any background checks.
However, DUI charges resulting in a conviction cannot be expunged. A background check will show that you were convicted, and there is, unfortunately, nothing you can do about that.
You must make an application with the Department of Florida Law Enforcement to have a DUI arrest record expunged. The DLE will give you a certificate of eligibility for expungement, which must be presented to a county clerk at the court that processed your original charges. You will need to complete more paperwork to be notarized and present it back to the clerk as well as the State Attorney’s office.
After this has all been completed, there will be a hearing for your expungement with your case presented before a judge. The expungement of your criminal record is at the discretion of the judge. It is important to present yourself well and to have good reasons for having your arrest struck from your driving record. An attorney can help you with these proceedings.
Call The Ticket Lawyers Today!
Are you worried about a DUI from your younger days? Have you been to job interview after job interview, only to be turned away because of a misdemeanor arrest?
Call The Ticket Lawyers today. We can help get that arrest record expunged and get your background checks looking perfect. Even if you were convicted, we might be able to coach you through the background check process. A DUI may look bad to some, but you shouldn’t let one from twenty years ago hold you back from your dream job.
Schedule your free consultation with The Ticket Lawyers today. Call us now at (855)-323-8488.
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