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How a DUI can derail your employment prospects

The holidays mean lots of cheer, shopping and traffic on the streets. It also means social events and drinking. Whether or not you plan to indulge in libations, you might want to keep in mind how a DUI can impact your future, especially employment.

Even an arrest can have far-reaching employment consequences. Once you have paid the fines and completed all other sentencing requirements, you still have to deal with the impact a conviction can have on your job opportunities. Consider the following information on DUIs, employment and expungements.

Employers can see DUI arrests and convictions

Though employers routinely screen potential employees to ensure they select the best candidates to fill their vacant positions, there are laws and regulations that specify the kind of information they can use in their hiring and employment practices. However, New Hampshire is one of several states that can exclude candidates based on information in their criminal backgrounds, even if it is erroneous. A DUI implies a negative character trait that can disqualify highly desirable and qualified job candidates from employment.

It may seem as if DUI offenders have no recourse when seeking employment. Many employers include questions about arrests and convictions on their applications. Some even inquire during the interview process. Fortunately, the law makes it clear that people who have DUI convictions and have had their records expunged or sealed do not have to disclose that information to on their applications and to potential employers.

If you are facing a DUI charge and have no other criminal record or meet specific requirements, you might want to apply for expungement. It essentially gives you a clean slate, although the criminal charges and convictions do not disappear; expungements keep your criminal record from becoming a matter of public information and potential employers. However, if you are arrested and charged with a criminal offense in the future, authorities will use your previous criminal history to determine the appropriate charges for subsequent DUIs and could lead to a stricter sentence.

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