A Rhode Island DUI conviction can cause serious negative consequences when seeking employment. Typically, a part of each and every job application will involve answering questions about your criminal history. Depending on the type of job you are seeking, the questions may also request information about your driving record and violation history.
When applying for a job, the application can frame the issue differently based on exactly what is being asked by the prospective employer. The majority of employers will ask the generic question “Have you been convicted of a felony?” Most DUI convictions will not rise to the level of a felony offense, and therefore you could accurately and lawfully answer this question “No”.
The second most frequently asked question by employers is “Have you been convicted of a criminal offense?” In this case, if you plead guilty, nolo contendere, or were found guilty of a DUI after trial you would be required to answer this question “Yes”. If your DUI charge was dismissed you could still lawfully answer this question “No”.
Lastly, much more intensive questionnaires are required for some job applications. These involve individuals working with children, in the military or national security jobs, police officers, or for professional licensing (lawyers, doctors, CPA's). In these questionnaires, you may encounter questions that ask you if you have ever been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, regardless of the outcome of the case and regardless of whether the case has been subsequently expunged from your record.
In addition to facing potential problems answering questions involving your DUI arrest, many employers in Rhode Island require a BCI to be submitted as part of your job application. A BCI is the official criminal record of an individual maintained by the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General's Office. The BCI will indicate each and every arrest, conviction, and sentence that an individual may have received in Rhode Island.
From the day you are arrested, processed, and released from the Police Station, a criminal DUI charge will appear on your Rhode Island BCI. It will remain there until you take affirmative steps to have the charge removed from your record. If the charge was dropped, you may be eligible to have it removed by filing a Motion to Seal Records almost immediately. If the charge resulted in a criminal conviction, you may be eligible to have the case expunged from your record 5 years after the date of the completion of your sentence.
A Rhode Island DUI arrest and potential conviction can have severe negative consequences when it comes to a job search. Many employers may pass over qualified candidates who are legally required to disclose DUI arrests and convictions as part of the job application process. Moreover, many jobs require submission of a criminal BCI which, unless properly cleared, would disclose to the employer a prior DUI arrest and potentially conviction.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Rhode Island, contact Attorney Matthew Marin for experienced legal advice and representation through the process. Failure to properly address a DUI charge can result in lifelong consequences and a diminished earning capacity due to a black mark on your criminal record. We are available 24/7 at 401-228-8271 or by email at [email protected].