Arrested for DUI in California: Am I Going to Lose My Job?

The truth of the matter is that while this is a valid question and one that you will absolutely need to know the answer to: it really all depends. It depends on: who your employer is, the terms of your employment, how long you have been employed, what number offense this is, if you have prior arrests or convictions on record, with whom you work (e.g. are you a school teacher or healthcare worker?) and a host of other issues.

First things first: It is up to your employer, including those serving in governmental positions, to determine whether or not you should be terminated for having a DUI arrest on record. Because a DUI is not considered a violent crime—and is a rather common occurrence in the State of California—there is indeed a chance that you will be able to maintain your employment. However, your employer still reserves the right, no matter what agency you work for, to make that decision, one way or another.

Something important to understand is that a DUI arrest is not, on its own, grounds for termination or dismissal. If you are convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other mind- altering substances however, the rules of the game are likely to change.

Your employer cannot fire you if you have been arrested under suspicion of DUI. He or she may terminate you after a conviction has been secured, though they may be less- forgiving about negative behaviors they would like to see stopped if you have only been arrested. Employers most certainly do not want to be sued for wrongfully terminating an employee, which is ultimately good news for the arrested employee.

Dismissal of employment

As mentioned previously, the nature of your job and the populations with whom you work may have significant influence on your employer’s final decision. If, for example, you are a commercial truck driver, even an arrest can be career- ending. Truck drivers must demonstrate that they are safe behind the wheel and that others on the road are equally safe when they are. Driving while under the influence flagrantly violates these requirements so much so, that it does not matter if you were driving a personal vehicle at the time of the arrest, or your commercial truck. In addition, you may have to seriously consider changing fields, as it is likely that no commercial trucking company, or any company that requires its employees to drive, will feel safe with you driving one of their vehicles while representing their company.

Up for consideration, beyond your current employment, is professional licensure. Nurses and other healthcare professionals’ licenses are subject to revocation, again, based on the nature of their jobs and the poor judgement they displayed when being arrested for being under the influence. In California, a DUI arrest can make it impossible to become a Medicare or MediCal (Medicaid) provider. In short, you could lose your job, your ability to get paid, and the license that would have enabled you to seek employment in your field.

Will I lose my job if I…
… was convicted but not arrested? NO Consult with your employer
… am a healthcare worker? POSSIBLY You may lose your professional license
… drive for a living? YES You may need to consider field
… am convicted? PROBABLY This is up to your employer to decide

The silver lining to DUI cases in California, if you will, is that in the absence of black and white laws, there remains the possibility that you will be able to keep your job. Regardless of what happens after your arrest and even if it results in a conviction, the very first thing you must do is contact an DUI attorney that understands the laws and will help you through this entire process. Sometimes people get nervous and at other times, they simply do not know what to do, whom to call, and how to proceed.

The first person you need to call if you get arrested for a DUI in the Los Angeles area is an attorney. The Hurwitz Law Group, Inc focuses on DUI defense in Los Angeles. The Hurwitz Law Group, Inc has an excellent track record in defending DUI and related cases and should most definitively be the first call you make post-arrest.

Call Hurwitz Law Group, Inc today for a free consultation on your DUI charge.

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