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Is My Boss Going to Find Out I Got a DUI?

Daniel J. Larin, P.C. April 24, 2023

If you have recently been charged with a DUI, you are probably unsure of what happens next. One of the biggest concerns that people have after being charged with DUI is how it will affect their employment. While it is challenging to predict the outcome of any given situation, you need to understand your options and take the necessary steps to protect your job. 

Concerned about whether your employer is going to find out that you were charged with or convicted of DUI? You can always discuss your situation with an attorney in your area. At Daniel J. Larin, P.C., our criminal defense attorney represents clients facing DUI and other charges in Birmingham, Michigan, and Rochester Hills as well as throughout Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne Counties. Give us a call today to schedule a free appointment

Am I Obligated to Tell My Boss About a DUI?

The simple answer: It depends. If your employment contract or job requirements state that you must disclose any criminal convictions or legal issues, then you will need to inform your employer about your DUI. Examples of occupations that typically require workers to tell their employer about arrests and criminal charges include drivers, people who work with children, and military personnel. Conversely, if there is no such requirement, you do not need to disclose it.  

It is critical that you carefully read your employment contract to understand your obligations. The contract may contain complex legal terms, which is why you might want to get the help of a skilled attorney to help you understand the terms of the contract and ensure that you fulfill your contractual obligations regarding the disclosure of DUIs.  

Can I Get Fired for Getting a DUI?  

Again, the answer is not straightforward. If your job responsibilities involve driving or operating machinery, receiving a DUI could make you a high risk to your employer. In this case, they may have the right to terminate your employment. The same can be said about jobs with high responsibilities, including occupations that involve working with children.  

Additionally, if your employment contract or job requirements state that any criminal convictions can lead to termination, then getting a DUI could put you at risk of losing your job. However, some employers may choose to provide their employees with second chances, especially if they have a good track record with the company. 

What About At-Will Employment?

Michigan is considered an at-will employment state. If you are employed under at-will employment, your employer can terminate your employment for no reason or any reason at any time, according to the official website of the State of Michigan.  

This means that even if your job responsibilities do not involve driving or operating machinery, your employer still has the right to terminate your employment after finding out that you were charged with or convicted of a DUI. Furthermore, your employer can still choose to keep you as an employee if they feel that your DUI has not affected your ability to perform your job.  

Will My Employer Find Out That I Got a DUI, Even if I Don’t Tell?

This depends on a few factors. If your DUI is reported in the news or is a public record, it is possible that your employer may find out about it. Additionally, if you have to take time off work to attend court proceedings or probation appointments, your employer may become suspicious.  

With that being said, if your employment contract does not require you to disclose your DUI, you may choose to keep it to yourself. However, if it does become a topic of conversation between you and your employer, it is important that you are honest and forthcoming with your employer to avoid any negative consequences. 

What to Do & What Not to Do After a DUI Charge

Getting a DUI charge is always a stressful event, but it is important to know what you should and should not do when facing charges. There are some critical things to remember to help protect your job in the aftermath of a DUI charge:  

  • Read about employment contracts to learn if you are required to disclose your DUI to your employer. 

  • Avoid discussing the incident with colleagues or oversharing it on social media, as it could find its way back to your employer. 

  • Comply with any court-mandated requirements, such as attending court hearings and completing a DUI education course. 

  • Try and get your driving privileges reinstated promptly to maintain your ability to get to work. 

  • Consider hiring a DUI defense attorney to help you fight the charges.  

An experienced attorney will help you navigate the legal process and explain your rights and obligations when facing DUI charges.  

Tips for Talking About a DUI With Your Employer

If you have been charged with DUI and are concerned about the impact it may have on your job, communicating with your employer is key. Here are several tips for talking to your employer about your DUI charge:  

  • Be honest and upfront about the situation. 

  • Focus on your future plans, such as attending DUI education courses or seeking help for alcohol dependency. 

  • Reassure your employer that this is not reflective of your character or work ethic. 

  • Consider offering to make up lost work time or work additional hours. 

  • Know your company’s alcohol policies and how they relate to your situation. 

  • Have a plan in place to avoid similar incidents in the future. 

  • Be prepared to answer any questions your employer may have. 

Although getting a DUI charge can be a distressing and uncertain experience, you could minimize the damage to your employment by following the steps.  

Why You Should Meet With an Attorney  

You should definitely consider hiring legal representation if you have been charged with DUI. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand your legal options and navigate the law, ensuring you do not incriminate yourself when facing charges.  

Your attorney will also help you fight your DUI charge, which could mean that you can avoid hefty fines, license suspension, probation, and even jail time. Thus, hiring an attorney can also improve your chances of keeping your job, as you will have someone advocating for your best possible outcome in court. 

Fight for Your Rights 

If you have been charged with a DUI, you may be wondering if your boss is going to find out about it and whether you are obligated to disclose your DUI charges to your employer. Each case is unique, which is why you might want to get the assistance of our skilled DUI attorney at Daniel J. Larin, P.C. We can help you fight for your rights and do what is necessary to protect your job.