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Reporting a DUI to Employer
One of the greatest concerns for many people facing a drunk driving charge is its potential impact on their career. Even if you are found not guilty, simply being arrested, and charged can affect your reputation in the workplace and, in some instances, lead to repercussions.Is Reporting Necessary?
This is one of the first questions many people ask after being arrested for drunk driving, and the answer will depend on the type of work you do. For example, if you are a commercial driver's license (CDL) holder or otherwise drive for a living, a drunk driving arrest will almost certainly impact your career. Reporting an OWI charge to your employer is generally required in these situations.
Other employers may stipulate in their contract, employee handbook, or policy manual that employees must disclose any criminal charges, including drunk driving. For example, military personnel must report arrests to their chain of command.
Other situations in which you may be required to report a drunk driving arrest include:
- If you drive a company car
- If you hold a security clearance
- If you work in a position that requires insurance, such as air traffic control or postal work
- If you hold a license from a professional board, such as a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, realtor, etc.
- No Reporting Requirement
Those with professional licenses are particularly at risk. A failure to advise the licensing board, usually LARA (Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs), can result in license suspension or even revocation. It is important for licensed professionals to seek the assistance of a lawyer familiar with these processes and how the reporting requirements work.
If your job does not require you to report an arrest, then it will be your decision whether to inform your employer of a drunk driving charge or not. In some cases, telling your boss may result in undue hostility or an otherwise negative working environment, which would be especially unfortunate if you were later found not guilty of the charge.
On the other hand, being honest and upfront with your employer could instill a sense of trust and ultimately strengthen your working relationship. If your coworkers or superiors found out about the arrest by other means, it could look like you were trying to hide or cover up the charge, which could have detrimental effects.How to Avoid the Reporting Requirement
In most instances it is a conviction not an arrest that triggers the reporting requirement. This means that the best way to avoid the requirement is to avoid the conviction. This of course requires an aggressive and successful defense. Another way to avoid the reporting requirement is to have your lawyer successfully engage in plea negotiations to a reduced charge that may not carry the same reporting requirement. Short of avoiding the conviction, or surrendering the license or employment, there may be no other way to successfully avoid having to report your conviction.How a Lawyer can Help
Formal reporting requirements are usually set forth in contracts of employee handbooks that were prepared by lawyers. Unfortunately, this means it is necessary to have these documents reviewed by a lawyer. People who do not have legal training may miss important conditions that may alter the reporting requirement. For example, is DUI a crime of moral turpitude? If the reporting requirement only applies to such crimes, it will be necessary to resolve this issue first. This may require your lawyer to review case law or other legal precedent to see how this term is defined in Michigan in whether the crime of DUI fits this definition.
Of course, a skilled Michigan DUI lawyer will be able to help you avoid the conviction altogether and this is often the best way of way for dealing with this reporting requirement, provided one exists.