If you get convicted of a DUI in California, a background check can reveal the conviction for up to ten years. Your background check can also reveal any charges related to a DUI, such as convictions for refusing a chemical test after a DUI arrest or other impaired driving offenses.
While California offers many protections for individuals, passing a background check with a DUI on your record can be difficult. However, whether you already have a DUI on your record or you are facing a possible conviction, a DUI lawyer may be able to help you.
How Bad Is a DUI on My Record?
A DUI on your record can be very bad, especially if you have to submit to a background check. The consequences may be less severe depending on how much time has passed since your conviction and the severity of your DUI. Still, the very fact of having a DUI isn’t going to do you any good.
It’s not impossible to pass a criminal background check with a DUI, but the chances are very slim. Most employers, universities, and other institutions consider DUI convictions as risky and may decide against hiring you or accepting you.
Many people view a DUI conviction as a sign of irresponsibility, untrustworthiness, and a lack of integrity. Even if this was your first DUI and it was a mistake that you haven’t repeated since others may still look down on you and prevent you from making meaningful advancements in your life or career.
A DUI Conviction Can Impact Your Life for Years to Come
DUI convictions come with immediate penalties from the state and can have lingering consequences. When you’ve served your jail sentence and paid all the fees associated with your conviction, the state will keep a record of it for ten years.
While the state will use this record to determine future penalties for drunk driving charges, background checks will show the conviction for this amount of time as well. Specifically, criminal background checks may be performed by:
- Colleges or universities
- Professional licensing associations
Your criminal conviction is not a protected class in California. Unfortunately, that means you may not get accepted to a college, be able to receive a job, rent a new apartment, or even get a new certification for your job.
How California’s “Ban the Box” Law Affects Employment Opportunities
The California Fair Chance Act became effective at the beginning of 2018 and impacts how employers may consider convictions during the hiring process. As a “Ban the Box” law, the Fair Chance Act bars many public and private employers with more than five employees from considering a person’s criminal conviction history before making a job offer.
Before a conditional job offer has been issued, employers may not consider convictions, arrests that did not lead to a conviction or any sealed or expunged conviction. However, the Fair Chance Act doesn’t mean a DUI conviction can’t affect your ability to get a job. After you’ve been given a conditional job offer, employers can ask about your criminal history and perform a criminal background check.
Likewise, certain employers don’t fall under the law and may bar individuals with criminal convictions. Under the Fair Chance Act, an employer who wishes to rescind a conditional job offer must explain the reasoning behind the decision and give you a chance to respond. You can challenge the conviction history and show how you’ve received rehabilitation.
Expunging Your DUI Record
A DUI conviction can be hidden from your criminal record under certain conditions. Known as an expungement, the conviction can be effectively sealed from your record if you:
- Have completed all penalties given for your DUI conviction
- Did not have to spend time in state prison for the conviction
- Are not currently facing the possibility of other criminal convictions
While an expunged DUI conviction generally does not show up on a criminal background check, some will report the conviction as having been expunged from your record.
Expunging your DUI conviction can help you get a job or an apartment. It does not completely remove your conviction from your record. Future DUI charges, insurance rates, and some jobs can continue to use the DUI conviction against you.
Avoid a DUI Conviction at All Costs
One mistake shouldn’t cost you your entire future. You shouldn’t have to spend a decade or more with the repercussions of a DUI conviction. Instead of trying to expunge your DUI after the fact, the best way to prevent facing these consequences is by avoiding a DUI conviction altogether.
To do that, you’ll need a lawyer that can:
- Help you gather evidence and testimony that supports your innocence
- Question the results of chemical tests
- See if your rights were violated when you were arrested for a DUI
- Talk to witnesses and experts that can help prove your innocence
- Use various tried and proven defenses to fight against your charges, such as mouth alcohol, rising BAC, and drinking after driving
- Ensuring any plea bargains offered to you are fair
Don’t overlook how important it is to have a strong lawyer by your side. Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys have years of experience to help you win your DUI case and leave you with a clean record for your background check.
Have a DUI Lawyer Help You Pass Your Background Check
While avoiding a DUI conviction is the best bet for passing a background check, you do still have options if you already have one. Expunging your record can be complicated, but a DUI lawyer can help simplify the process for you. They can examine your history to determine your eligibility, as well as help you file the necessary paperwork to have your DUI conviction expunged.
Get Help with Passing Your Background Check Today
Whether you need to fight against your DUI charges or want to expunge your DUI conviction to pass a background check, our Los Angeles DUI lawyers are here to help. Don’t waste any time getting started with your defense. Let us help you get the results you need.
You can schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or over the phone. We are available 24/7.