It’s normal to be worried about a Florida DUI, as it will affect your future. Many people ask our Florida DUI attorneys the same questions; “Will I get fired?” and “what are the consequences?”. In this blog, we’ll try to make it clear so you can understand what’s to come and what we can do to help.
Will I Get Fired?
Florida is an ‘at-will’ state for employment. That means your employer can fire you at any point, for any reason (except for discrimination).
So if your employer is not happy with you having a DUI in Florida, arrest or other conviction, you could be fired.
The usual factors that will determine if you lose your job include:
- Your occupation;
- The industry;
- Your relationship with your boss;
- Your boss’ view on DUIs and arrests;
- How long you’ve worked at the business;
- Jail time;
- Potentially ruining the business’ reputation.
Typical Jobs Affected by DUIs in Florida
In most cases, the industry you’re working in will be a significant determining factor. For example, a retail worker usually has a much better chance of keeping their job than a school teacher.
The following industries tend to look down upon DUIs in Florida:
- Teaching or school employee
- Real Estate
- Politics or Government jobs
- Any driving-related job
If you don’t work in these industries, you’ll have to hope your boss has some leniency. The best thing to do at this point is to contact a Florida DUI defense attorney who can work to have your case dropped or penalties reduced.
Our attorneys welcome you to call us for a free consultation today.
Will My DUI Appear on Background Checks?
DUIs appear on your criminal record and driving record. This is a big problem when it comes to background checks.
Background checks are performed when applying for jobs. For many jobs, a potential employee will not be interested in hiring someone with a criminal record.
The good news is that you may be able to get your driving record expunged in the future, so long as you haven’t committed other offenses.
Your criminal record can only be expunged if you’re a first-time offender and can prove:
- The DUI charge was dropped
- There was a withholding of adjudication on a lesser charge
- You were arrested, but charges were not filed
- You were found not guilty at trial.
- You can strike a pre-trial plea bargain.
You may also be able to have your criminal record ‘sealed’. This means it exists but is hidden from the public. Only certain parties, such as the government, police or military, can search a sealed record.
To get your record expunged or sealed, you must speak to a Florida DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Do not delay.
DUIs and the Military
A person in the U.S. military charged with a DUI off-base will require the support and assessment of a civilian lawyer immediately.
If your charges are not dismissed or reduced, your career or future opportunities to enroll in the military may suffer. The military holds its personnel to very high standards. Your rank could be reduced, or you may be deemed unfit for duty.
Even a first-time offense conviction could be enough to end your career in the military. The general reasoning is that it suggests a person is unable to handle the leadership or deployment responsibilities they’ll face in the future.
You must contact a Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Higher Insurance Rates
Those convicted for a DUI in Florida will also see higher insurance rates in the future. Your car insurance policy will either be canceled or skyrocket immediately. If your insurance company cancels your policy, you’ll be forced to buy a different policy for ‘high-risk’ drivers, with significantly higher rates.
In the past, we’ve seen DUI drivers face high-risk premiums of around $10,000 a year. These can last for years after the DUI conviction.
Insurance companies will also usually refuse to cover the money and damages paid out to victims of a DUI car accident if a civil suit arises.
Will I Still Be Able to Travel After a DUI?
It often surprises people convicted of a DUI in Florida that they struggle to travel as freely as before the arrest.
If you have a criminal history, you may struggle to enter countries like Canada or be red-flagged at immigration. Many countries restrict individuals with criminal records from entry.
If you’re concerned about losing your freedom to travel, you should immediately contact a Florida DUI defense lawyer.
Our attorneys will fight to have your charges dropped or win a plea bargain to have your charges lowered.
What Should I Do Next After a DUI in Florida?
Contact a Florida criminal defense attorney immediately. Our attorneys help people just like you all the time; our phone lines are open for a free consultation.
You only have 10 days after the arrest to sign up for DUI school and get your hardship license (so you can still drive to important arrangements). If you delay or make mistakes, you will lose your chance to drive.
Our attorneys will work to have your charges dropped, potentially through some of the following methods:
- Challenging the lawfulness of your stop and arrest.
- Challenging the field sobriety test legitimacy.
- Challenging the breathalyzer results.
- Challenging any claims that you refused the test.
Read our guide on how to fight a DUI charge in Florida.
You may also be eligible for Pinellas County’s DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program (D.R.O.P).
This program gives you the chance to reduce or drop your charges and get your life back on track as soon as possible.
Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Florida
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Florida. We can fight on your behalf to help you avoid jail time and avoid a criminal record, so your future is protected.
Ranger Jackson is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County. He is a partner at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms with the reputation and connections to make things happen.
With decades of experience helping people like you, we believe there is no better place to help you fight criminal charges in Florida.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300