As opposed to 20 years ago, information from our court system is widely available. If you really want to, you can learn quite a bit about somebody by running both civil and criminal background checks. In the context of criminal background checks, the State of Washington makes it quite simple to learn whether an individual has any prior criminal convictions. Just make a written request to the Washington State Patrol on a form provided by it, pay the relatively inexpensive fee, and you’ll have an answer to your inquiry in two weeks or less.
Reasons for checks
For a potential employer, a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be a sensitive issue. They don’t want their employees coming to work drunk, still high or with a hangover. They don’t want an employee with addiction issues either. Those are valid reasons for screening applicants, especially when a job involves security considerations.
A DUI charge isn’t just a ticket
Regardless of the fact that most drunk or impaired driving cases are charged with one or more traffic tickets, you’re not just getting some traffic tickets. You’re being charged with a gross misdemeanor that’s punishable by 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Some of these types of cases are even charged as felonies. Even if charges are dismissed, or you’re found not guilty of the offense, the arrest is likely to still show in court records. If it does come up, you’ll probably want that arrest to be expunged as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Washington law doesn’t allow a DUI conviction to be expunged. They stay on a person’s criminal record for life.
Always tell the truth if you’re asked about a DUI conviction. You don’t want to be holding down a position three years from now, and have it come up as a surprise to your employer. If you failed to disclose that conviction on your job application, it can be cause for immediate dismissal. Only tell the employer what it needs to know. Don’t go into detail about the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Advise that you’ve taken responsibility for your actions, and that you’re not going to let it happen again.
Contact a Spokane DUI Lawyer Today
You don’t want a DUI following you around for the rest of your life. For quality and dedicated DUI defense, contact our offices right away after any DUI arrest. After evaluating all of the evidence in a case, an experienced Spokane DUI lawyer will go over all of your options with you.