Despite the significant impact a DWI can have on one’s future, it is the top criminal offense committed in the U.S. In Louisiana, over 7,800 were arrested for drunk driving in 2015. There are many immediate consequences of a DUI conviction in the state, such as losing your driver’s license and spending a mandatory minimum of 2 days in jail, which may be extended to a term of up to 6 months. You will likely also be required to pay fines and court fees. Once the ordeal is over, a DWI conviction can impact your life in ways you may not have considered.
Future Background Checks
The majority of employers conduct criminal background checks prior to hiring. Many application forms include a checkbox and a question asking applicants whether they have ever been convicted of a criminal offense. Whether you have a misdemeanor or felony DUI conviction, it will appear on your background check and can block your attempts to secure a job. This is also true of acquiring a place to live, as landlords typically run background checks prior to renting out property. Likewise, if you hope to enroll in higher education and gain financial aid, you may face obstacles with a criminal record.
If you are already employed, a DWI may jeopardize your current position. Not only will a DWI pull you away from your job for court appearances and serving time in jail or completing hours of community service, it may affect the status of your job. If your employer or coworkers find out about your DWI, your work relationships may suffer. If your job involves driving a company vehicle or has specific policies against employing those with criminal convictions, you may even be terminated.
A DUI conviction will make it difficult and costly to acquire adequate car insurance. Those with a DWI conviction are considered “high risk” drivers by insurance companies nationwide. You may be required to seek SR-22 auto insurance, which can double or triple your rates for several years. Your current insurance provider may terminate your coverage following your DUI.
As with job hunting, college applications may involve running a background check. Some schools around the country refuse to accept prospective students who have a DUI or criminal record. You may face rejections from your shortlist of schools and you may also miss out on scholarship opportunities. If you are already in school, you may have your scholarship revoked.
A DUI conviction may affect your ability to travel outside of the country. It is important to check the immigration and visitation laws of any country to which you wish to travel well in advance. DWI is a criminal offense in most countries and there may be restrictions on when or if you can travel to your country of choice.
As you can see, there are enormous costs that come with a DWI/ DUI conviction in Louisiana. Attorney Eric Johnson is an experienced criminal defense attorney who is dedicated to defending DWI charges throughout the state. Eric Johnson has practiced criminal law for over 25 years and can help protect your rights throughout the legal process. Call John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm at (318) 479-0562 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.