When you are arrested for DUI, you are probably feeling overwhelmed, scared and wondering what comes next.
In the chaos and confusion that follows an arrest, you might not immediately think about the long-term consequences, such as the impact a DUI conviction could have on your career. You are likely more concerned with whether you will go to jail, pay fines that you cannot afford or have your driver’s license taken away.
These are valid concerns, since DUI penalties in Georgia are serious. A first-offense DUI conviction could result in a fine of up to $1,000, 10 days in jail and a one-year driver’s license suspension.
Losing your job or professional license
A DUI conviction can also have a major impact on your career. A DUI could affect your current job. Your employer might fire you if you must miss work due to being in jail.
Even if you are not ultimately convicted of the DUI charge, your employer might fire you simply because you were arrested. They may worry about their reputation or not want to deal with the potential hassle that comes with employing someone who was arrested for DUI.
If you hold a professional license, a DUI conviction could cause you to lose it. Getting a professional license back after a suspension or loss is usually challenging. Without your professional license, you will likely lose your primary source of income, which can make paying any costs associated with your DUI even more difficult.
Problems with future employment
You may also have trouble finding employment in the future. Most employers run background checks on potential new employees and a DUI conviction will show up on your record.
Many employers pass over potential employees when they see a DUI conviction on a record. They might believe that you have a drinking problem and will therefore be an irresponsible or unreliable employee. With a DUI conviction, you might find yourself being denied job offers you would have otherwise received.
Harm to your business and reputation
If you own your own business, you might think this protects you from any professional damage caused by a DUI conviction, but this is not necessarily true. A DUI can harm your professional reputation with clients, customers or others in your business community.
This is particularly true if you work in a field where you are trusted with the safety of others, such as healthcare, security or transportation.
Defending yourself against a DUI charge
It is easy to see how a DUI conviction could end up affecting the rest of your life. There are many potential defenses to a DUI charge that you should explore.
After your arrest, do not talk to the cops, and ask for an attorney. The situation that resulted in your DUI arrest can be thoroughly investigated to determine if any of your rights were violated. You have too much to lose to not put on the strongest possible defense.