While a 2nd DUI in Texas comes with immediate concerns of jail time, a suspended license, and hefty fines, the most troubling impacts of a 2nd DUI conviction may actually be on your employment.
Disregarding the stigma surrounding a 2nd DUI charge- which is often enough to jeopardize employment- a 2nd DUI conviction will remain on your record forever, barring you from certain careers and crippling even the most qualified of applicants.
Here’s what to expect when job hunting with a 2nd DUI charge or conviction in Texas and how you can increase your job prospects.
What To Expect:
Looking for Employment:
Those looking for employment following a 2nd DUI conviction will find their options limited. After a 2nd DUI in Texas automatically suspends a driver’s license for two years and a commercial license for life, disqualifying individuals from any job that requires a license.
This includes many high paying careers with worthwhile benefits such as trucking, equipment operations, and outside sales. Having multiple DUI convictions will also exclude you from many prestigious careers in the real estate, financial, and healthcare industries.
Many employers consider a 2nd DUI as a sign of addiction, which can, unfortunately, carry a stigma of being unreliable and a risk to hire.
While probation for a 2nd DUI in Texas will require maintaining employment, this can be difficult with a conviction. With Texas being an at-will working state, you can definitely expect a 2nd DUI to endanger your employment, especially if you have a job that requires a commercial license.
Even if your employment is protected by a contract, many companies include a morality clause that covers criminal charges and convictions. If you’re dealing with 2nd time DUI charges and a potential conviction, remaining honest with your current employer is the best way forward.
How to Increase Your Job Hunting Odds:
Although easier said than done, the best way to avoid the implications of a criminal record is to avoid a conviction altogether. When charged with a DUI it’s best to contact a lawyer immediately to determine potential defense strategies or grounds for dismissing your case. A common way to avoid a conviction For a 2nd DUI charge in Texas is to have your case tried in DUI court.
Many counties offer DUI court for 2nd time DUI offenders showing signs of addiction. By trying a case in DUI court, a defendant agrees to complete an intensive rehab program that includes various forms of counseling combined with community supervision and routine court appearances.
Upon completion of a DUI court program, your case will be dismissed and the charges against you will be dropped. deferred judgment is still visible on a criminal record, but shows that you’ve put effort towards rehabilitation and is not as detrimental as a 2nd DUI on a job application.
If your case is ineligible for DUI court, the best thing you can do for your well-being and employment prospects is to prioritize rehabilitation. An employer is more likely to take a chance on you if you’ve put effort toward rehabilitation.
By attending a twelve-step program and making big lifestyle changes, you can show your employer or prospective employer that you recognize your mistakes and are dedicated to improving.
Group therapy is also a great place to make connections that can potentially lead to a job or provide you with a stellar letter of recommendation.
Wait to Disclose:
In general, when applying or interviewing for a position you should not mention your criminal history unless asked. For many entry-level positions, employers will not inquire about a criminal record at all.
If your case went through DUI court, you can tell employers that you have not been convicted of a crime as your charges are considered dismissed.
While you should never lie to an employer about your criminal history it is often best if you wait to disclose towards the end of an interview process when you know that an employer is interested in hiring you.
Compared to the start of an interview process, an employer with an interest in your candidacy is likely to be more sympathetic toward your story and rehabilitation.