Can a DUI keep you from a job?


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Can a DUI keep you from a job?

One of the questions that our Orange County DUI Attorney gets asked most often is, “can a DUI keep you from a job?” That is, can a DUI conviction actually prohibit you from being hired for employment?  Usually, the answer is complicated, as it depends on what type of job and how relevant the DUI is.  However, there is some good news as of September 2017, for DUI convictions.
During September of 2017, the California state legislature passed a bill making it unlawful in most cases to ask about a job applicant’s criminal history.  The measure now sits with Governor Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign it later this month.
The new law would stop businesses with five or more employees from inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal history in writing, verbally, or otherwise until after extending a conditional offer of employment.
If a criminal background check then yields any result that concerns the employer, it must consider whether prior offenses have a direct, actual relationship to the employment position that is being offered.

Businesses that subsequently decide not to move forward with an applicant after a criminal history check must provide him or her with its decision in writing.  Persons rejected for a job would then have the right to file an appeal with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which would investigate further. Having the decision in writing makes it easier to win a labor or employment case where there was a decision that was made in bad faith or against the law.

When the new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018, California will become the tenth state to ban criminal history inquiries for private employers.


(City and state data compiled by The National Employment Law Program.)


These are known as “ban the box” state laws (referring to the “have you ever been convicted of a crime?” checkbox on job applications) and have enjoyed bipartisan support at the state and local level. Last spring, a bipartisan group of Congressional lawmakers went as a far as to propose a nationwide ban.

In just 2016, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin have all enacted policies applying to either private or public employers. In total, 26 states and over 150 cities and counties have laws and ordinances limiting employers’ access to criminal history—meaning that over 211 million people (or two-thirds of the U.S population) now live in ban-the-box jurisdictions.

Can an expungement of my DUI help?

An expungement of your DUI may still help you.  But since a DUI leaves not only a criminal record but a driving record, certain driving related jobs might be difficult to obtain.  An expungement will also not help you with certain federal or state employment opportunities, or with any specialized licenses.

Contact us for Questions

Contact our law firm today

Our team of Orange County DUI Lawyers will continue to monitor

the status of the California bill and similar measures nationwide. We can help fight your DUI case to meet your long-term goals, wherever possible, to protect your career ambitions in the future, and not let a DUI derail your plans. Contact us anytime.


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