It can be difficult to explain a DWI on a job application, but we have a few tips. It is best to be honest. The worst thing you can do on your application is omit or lie about a DWI in a situation where you are required to disclose it. In most cases, your DWI will show up on a background check anyway. That said, not all DWI arrests and convictions have to be disclosed on a job application.
If your DWI has been expunged or sealed, then in the eyes of the court it never happened and hence does not need to be listed. Never assume, though, that you don’t have to list your DWI without knowing for sure; it is in your best interests to speak with a lawyer before deciding when and where to reveal your DWI record.
What Employers May Ask About Criminal Records on a Job Application
Unlike some states, Texas has few laws restricting what employers may and may not ask on a job application. No laws exist preventing an employer from asking about criminal convictions and using your answer to disqualify you from a job. Employers do have to be more careful, however, when asking about arrests not leading to convictions, as they could find themselves on the receiving end of an EEOC lawsuit.
A job application might also ask if you have ever pled no contest to a criminal charge. In this scenario, even if you received deferred adjudication and a conviction never got entered in the court record, you may have to disclose it. A DWI lawyer can go over your specific situation with you.
Getting Your DWI Removed From Your Criminal Record in Texas
You may be able to preempt the issue of explaining a DWI on a job application by getting it removed from your record. You can do so through nondisclosure and expungement.
A new Texas state law allows for nondisclosure of certain DWI convictions. If you meet the requirements, you can get your DWI conviction sealed. It does not completely disappear from your record, but employers and third-party screening agencies will not be able to see it when conducting a background check. Only certain government agencies will be able to see your record. Your lawyer can let you know if you qualify and can help you through the process.
If you were merely arrested but not convicted of DWI, you may be able to get the charge fully expunged. With an expungement, the charge gets wiped from your criminal history as if it never happened. Our team can determine if you are eligible for this option.
When You Do and Do Not Have to Disclose Your DWI
Just because a job application asks about your criminal history does not always mean you must disclose everything in your background. To give an example, Texas allows for the expungement of criminal records in certain situations. If you have a criminal record expunged, it is like it never happened and thus it will not appear on any background check.
You generally do not have to disclose it in this situation, but you should speak with a lawyer about your specific case to be sure.
If you have a DWI conviction that has not been expunged, it will show up in a background investigation, so you should therefore disclose it with fully honesty. But it is also worth your time to speak with a lawyer about ways to have the conviction removed from your record.
How to Explain Your DWI If You Have to Disclose It
In a situation where you have to disclose a DWI, do so with honesty. Explain what happened and be contrite. If it is the only mark on your criminal record, emphasize this and stress that it was a one-time lapse in judgment from which you have learned and grown. If you are nervous that your DWI conviction will impact your chances of getting hired, speak with a lawyer first about specific ways to answer this question.
Call 855-600-6695 Today for a Free Consultation With the Texas DWI Defense Team at Eddington Worley
The DWI defense lawyers at Eddington Worley want to prevent your DWI from holding you back personally or professionally. If you are applying or interviewing for a job and have a DWI in your past, we can review your situation and make sure you understand your rights. We can help you with ways to get your DWI arrest or conviction removed from your record, and if you are currently facing DWI charges, we will defend you aggressively. Call 855-600-6695 for a free consultation.