DUI charges come with a wide range of consequences, some more evident than others. One area a conviction could affect is your ability to earn money.
There are several ways this can happen:
- You cannot work if you are in prison: While you can work remotely from many places, prison is not one of them.
- You might not be able to get to work: New Jersey has better public transport than many areas, yet if you work out of town, you may still rely on a vehicle to get there in a reasonable time.
- You might lose your job: The Opportunity to Compete Act prohibits employers from discriminating against you because of a criminal record if the crime bears little relevance to the job you do. So, if you work as a cook in a cafe, your employer cannot sack you because of a DUI. If, however, you work as a delivery driver for the cafe, they might be able to. Note that the law does not apply to all employers.
- You might not be able to get a job: State law prevents employers from asking if you have a criminal record until after they have interviewed you. Yet, they may still turn you down because of your DUI, even if they tell you it is for another reason.
Contesting a DUI is the best way to preserve your employment prospects
Accepting a plea deal may seem attractive if it reduces the immediate penalties. Yet, when you consider the long-term consequences, such as the effect on your ability to earn a living, the deal may not seem so good. To make an informed choice, you need to understand the full range of consequences and defense options.