Will I lose my job if I get arrested for DUI? Always a question on the lips of those arrested for an alcohol violation. The short answer is probably not! In our over 20 years experience I can count (probably on less than one hand) the number of times a person has lost their job for a first or second time DUI arrest. Obviously there are many factors that play into how one’s employer may feel about such and arrest and therefore, one of the threshold questions may be ‘will the employer find out about the arrest?’
The regular employer who is not a government entity does not typically sit around checking Maryland’s government websites to determine if one of their people has been arrested and therefore the decision is left to the employee to determine if and when this private situation should be made public.
At a minimum, unless you are under some form of legal obligation to disclose a DUI arrest, it seems best to disclose this information (if at all) after you have been to court. The reason for this is that there are many possible outcomes from the arrest, including a NOT guilty. Therefore, putting yourself in a negative light before going to court may not be the best idea. For example, telling your boss what happened two days later, you retain Bruce Robinson & Associates to defend you and you win your case in court. Now what? The employer has been stewing over the situation for months and now the arrest has gone away. You still look bad in the employers eyes, you could be passed over for promotions or any number of things.
Another possible outcome is going to court and receiving a probation before judgment (PBJ); this is not a conviction on your record and you do not receive the 12 points you would otherwise receive for a DUI conviction in Maryland. So now what do you tell your employer? You were arrested? You were not convicted? They are already pissed to hear you got a DUI and if you drive their cars during work, there could be an issue.
The other situation where this plays out is if you have some form of secret clearance with the government. In that situation you may be under an obligation to disclose any form of arrest. If you are under such an obligation then you may have no choice regarding disclosing the arrest. However, how this information is delivered to the boss remains important and thus speaking with an experienced DUI lawyer first is a good idea in order to determine how your case may be resolved in the months to follow.
So, are you going to lose your job because you were arrested for DUI? Well, most likely not. There are those rare circumstances but the bulk of the time you won’t. In most cases you may be able to keep your job following a first or second DUI arrest; however things will certainly be getting more serious for a second or third offense. You need to seek legal counsel as quickly as possible. Should you even tell your employer? Unless you are under a legal obligation to do so, you may want to keep that information to yourself until after your court date in order to see how things turn out.