Employers, institutions for higher education, and professional associations may all perform background checks before accepting new members. Sometimes, these organizations turn down applicants if they have criminal convictions on their records.
If you were convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), you may be wondering if the conviction will show up on a background check. Find out how California reports DUI charges with the Simmrin Law Group. You can also review your options for clearing up a DUI conviction to move forward with your life.
DUI Convictions and Your Criminal Record
Driving under the influence is considered a criminal act in the state of California. Both misdemeanor and felony DUI charges are prosecuted in court. A conviction for any DUI will be reported on your criminal record. This means that DUI convictions will show up on your background check.
Note that all of the following individuals may run a background check to assess your criminal record
- Your current employer
- Potential future employers
- Admissions departments at universities and colleges
- Licensing boards for professional associations
Disclosing DUI Convictions on Applications
Note that, even without a background check, you are expected to provide truthful answers regarding your criminal history when filling out a job application. Generally, there will be a section that allows you to list any convictions on your record.
Lying about your record on this portion of your application is not recommended. Many organizations will run a background check and discover whether or not you were telling the truth. In other situations, the human resources department may just Google your name to discover information about you.
In either case, organizations are unlikely to hire an employee who lied on their application.
Resolving DUI Charges in the State of California
You have options if you are arrested for a misdemeanor or felony DUI. Handling these charges right away can improve your odds of resolving them successfully. A DUI conviction will not show up on your record if a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can:
- Get your charges reduced to an acceptable level
- Get your charges dismissed
- Secure you a not-guilty verdict in court
Note that, if you accept a plea bargain to reduce your charges, the lower charge you agreed to accept will be reported on your record. However, charges like reckless driving are often not treated as harshly by potential employers and other individuals in California.
Your lawyer can assess your unique situation if you are charged with a DUI to determine the best way to handle your case. Getting your charges dismissed or bringing you a not-guilty verdict means that no conviction will appear on your record.
Prior DUI Convictions and Expungement in California
Let’s say you were already convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in the state of California. Does this mean that you just have to live with the conviction on your record? The short answer is: not always. Depending upon your situation, you may be able to get your DUI conviction expunged.
The court seals expunged convictions. Once a conviction is sealed, members of the public can no longer view it in most cases. Expunged convictions cannot be used against you during the hiring process. In fact, employers:
- Can’t make hiring decisions based off of arrests that don’t lead to convictions
- Can’t discriminate during hiring due to expunged convictions
- Can’t ask you questions about convictions that were expunged
You can speak to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles now to consider the benefits of expungement in your situation. A lawyer can check your eligibility, handle your request for expungement, and stand up to prosecutors during the expungement process.
Additional Notes on Expungement in California
You should be aware that expungement does not erase all the effects of a misdemeanor DUI conviction in California. The conviction will still be treated as a priorable offense if you are arrested for a subsequent DUI, increasing the penalties you face for another conviction.
Additionally, you will still have points left on your driver’s license from your DUI conviction. An expungement will not restore your driving privileges if they were suspended or revoked as a condition of your conviction.
Get Help Handling DUI Charges on Your Background Check
A misdemeanor DUI conviction can show up on your background check in California. This criminal charge can make it difficult to get into college or to secure the job you want. Focus on handling this issue legally by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group for a FREE initial case evaluation.
Speak to our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles by completing our online contact form or calling