If you are convicted of a felony DUI, it is imperative that you get the help of a good felony DUI attorney. This is because the charge can impact your insurance rates, employment prospects, and driving privileges.
When you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), you have to face a whole range of penalties. The severity of these penalties depends on a number of factors. For a first DUI offense, the penalties are lighter but these get harsher for subsequent DUI offenses.
Similarly, you have to face stiffer penalties for DUI involving higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. Another factor that can impact the penalties you face is whether or not you caused a crash and injury while driving under the influence.
Among other things, a DUI conviction can have a direct impact on your employment prospects. Here is a look at how this may affect your ability to find a new job or retain an existing one.
Felony DUI and Employment Background Checks
When you are convicted of a DUI offense, it goes onto your criminal record and stays there for good. Employers typically perform background checks on their employees before hiring them. If you have a DUI offense on your record, the employer can see this during the background check. This may induce the employer to pass over you and hire other applicants who have a cleaner record.
Idaho and At-Will Employment
Idaho is an at-will employment state. This means that your employer can fire you for no reason whatsoever at any time. Likewise, you can leave your employer at any time you want. This applies unless a written contract exists that says otherwise.
Using this rule, your employer may use any disorderly conduct on your behalf as a pretext to terminate your employment. A Felony DUI arrest or conviction is the kind of offense that many employers will use as an excuse to let you go. The problem may not be with the fact that a criminal offense exists on your record. It can also be that the offense has resulted in lost driving privileges which may turn you into a liability for the employer.
Felony DUI and Driving Privileges
One of the greatest hurdles that a DUI conviction creates for your personal and work life is the loss of driving privileges. Your license may be suspended for a few months to a year or more depending on the nature of the DUI charge. This means that you can no longer drive to work, or if your work involves driving around, you can’t be behind the wheel any more.
This can create real problems for your job. You may no longer be able to reach the workplace in time, or using other modes of transportation may cause delays and additional expenses. Similarly, your employer may not look favorably at your license suspension and reassess your value to the company.
In some cases, it is possible to have your driving privileges restored during work hours even after a DUI conviction. However, you will still be stuck with insurance problems. Your auto insurer may cancel your policy or significantly increase the rates following your DUI conviction. If your employer’s insurance is covering you, the employer may not be willing to afford exceptionally high policy rates for an employee who has been convicted for DUI.
In addition to the employment hurdles listed above that you may face after a DUI charge, there is the issue of mandatory company policies. Many larger employers have mandatory policies in place which govern the company’s response to an employee conviction. In most cases, the company will have a policy of terminating the employee if he or she is criminally charged, which includes a DUI conviction. You may also be required to report a DUI arrest and charge when it occurs.
Best Legal Defense for a Felony DUI in Boise, Idaho
As noted above, a DUI arrest and conviction can wreak havoc with your employment. However, it may be possible for you to mitigate the fallout from a DUI charge with the help of a good DUI lawyer. You can explore options like community service, enrollment in a rehabilitation program, and temporary and limited licensing. These will help you get reduced penalties and also enable you to continue driving, at least during work hours. Depending on the circumstances, your felony DUI charge may even be eliminated and expunged from the record.
Here at Hooper Law Office, our lawyers are experts in shoring up a solid defense in a felony DUI case. Call us today to discuss your case in a free consultation.