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Do You Have to Disclose DUI Arrests, Convictions on Job Applications?

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Getting a DUI is an embarrassing experience, but maybe not as embarrassing as having to relive your drunken driving arrest on a job application.

Not all drunken driving incidents are created equal, however, and it may be possible for you to legally avoid the topic of DUI without committing fraud.

Sharpen your pencils for these tips on whether you have to disclose DUI arrests or convictions on job applications:

DUI Arrests

Whether it's DUI, DWI, OVI, or a handful of other abbreviations, you should be painfully aware of whether you've had a drunken driving arrest. Erasing that night from your shame bank is one issue, but whether you have to tell a future employer is quite another.

The general rule for DUI arrests is this: You only need to include that information on a job application if you are specifically asked about "arrests." An arrest for a DUI may come up if your employer chooses to run a background check, but the information may not be legal to use unless you offer it up.

Do not feel compelled to include arrest information if a job application only asks for criminal "convictions."

DUI Convictions

Employers are far more likely to use job applications which ask applicants about criminal or felony convictions, rather than arrests. A conviction for DUI often occurs in the following ways:

  • You went to trial and were found guilty by a jury; or
  • You pleaded guilty or "no contest" to DUI as part of a plea bargain.

All of these situations most likely mean you have a DUI conviction for the purposes of any job application. If you check "no" or omit a DUI conviction when a job application asks if you have any, you are technically committing fraud. If caught, you can not only be fired, but also charged with a crime for lying or misleading your employer about this information. However, this may not apply if your conviction has been expunged.

What About Misdemeanor Convictions?

DUIs offenses can be charged as misdemeanors, so you may be able to avoid mentioning your DUI conviction if a job application only calls for "felony convictions." However, if the application asks whether you were ever "convicted of a crime" or had "criminal convictions," you must include any misdemeanor convictions.

If you are worried about the terms of your probation or DUI diversion program and an upcoming job application, consult with a DUI attorney about your options.

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