You may have failed so many exams in your life and lived fine with the consequences, but a DUI can change all that. Once you fail a sobriety test, life as you know it may have just ended.
If you’ve never heard about the term “collateral consequences,” here’s a short definition to keep you in the loop: Collateral consequences are extra penalties that come with a criminal conviction. They’re not part of the main punishment but can still impact other aspects of your life, including your job, housing, or immigration status.
You might need a skilled DUI defense lawyer if you’ve been charged with a DUI. This lawyer will help you fight this case from going on your record, because once it does, there’s no way to get it off.
5 Collateral Consequences That Come with a DUI Charge
Here are some of the unofficial side effects of a DUI charge:
We live in the age of online information, where anyone with internet access can read publicly available criminal records. There’s nothing you can do to hide these records from potential employees, landlords, partners, or anyone else who may be interested.
Some nosy acquaintances may also take it upon themselves to dig up a conviction from many years ago. They’ll do this to tarnish your reputation, which you’ve worked so hard to build.
Driver license suspension
In some regions, a DUI is grounds for a license suspension. These suspensions can last from a few months to years, depending on the severity of the DUI offense and prior convictions.
The individuals will face different disruptions in their daily lives that will impact their ability to commute, attend work or school, and manage personal affairs for as long as the suspension lasts.
In some cases, the driver may get limited driving privileges. But they often have to undergo alcohol education programs and attend court-ordered meetings to cut the suspensions short.
Many employers conduct background checks and may terminate or decline to hire individuals with a DUI on their record. Moreover, certain industries and job roles, such as commercial driving, law enforcement, or child care, may have explicit policies against hiring individuals with DUI convictions.
It also goes beyond employment. You may not be eligible for promotions in the long run as well.
A DUI is the quickest way to get on ICE’s radar, and if you do not have your papers, there’s a huge chance you’ll be sent back home. Even if you do have a green card, you risk getting it revoked. Immigration authorities may view DUIs as crimes of moral turpitude or aggravated felonies, depending on the circumstances and local laws.
Professional license cancellation
If the individual belongs to a field that has strict codes of conduct, a DUI can lead to disciplinary actions, which typically include license suspension or revocation. These consequences can have lasting effects on their career, potentially ending professional practice and jeopardizing livelihoods.
The impact of collateral damage is not talked about enough. After you go through the rigorous legal process, you now have to face the aftermath. It’s worse when you begin to encounter losses after the process.
You must do all you can to avoid a DUI charge, and if it comes despite all your efforts, ensure you hire the most competent lawyer you can find. They’re your best bet at getting off the hook.