Will a DUI Conviction Show Up in a Background Check?

Many people ask if a DUI conviction will appear on a back ground check.  The answer is probably Yes.  Different types of information may be included in an official background check from various sources; these may include driving records, criminal records, court records, etc.

When applying for any job, it is usually best to tell the truth on employment applications.  While employers may overlook the admittance of a DUI conviction, being caught in a lie may likely remove the applicant from consideration for the job.

A person convicted of a DUI in California may apply for an expungement (Penal Code 1203.4) which is a type of rehabilitation for employment purposes.  A person is eligible for an expungement if they have completed all of the terms of their probation and the probationary period has expired.  If the expungement is granted by the Court, the guilty plea or conviction is withdrawn, a not guilty plea is entered in its place, and the case is dismissed.   Although an expungement does not seal the case, it will show that the case was dismissed.

In addition, California Labor Code 432.7 states that employers cannot ask about an arrest that did not result in a conviction.

Most states require background checks for certain types of jobs, including anyone who works with children, the elderly or the disabled. This doesn’t necessarily mean a DUI record will preclude such an applicant from consideration, but it could factor into an employer’s hiring decision as a perceived character flaw. Also, many state and federal jobs require a background check; but this may depend on the kind of job, such as those requiring a security clearance.

A person with a commercial driver license who are convicted of a DUI, are prohibited from driving in a professional capacity for a minimum of one year and in some cases for life.

Because of the potential for affecting future employment opportunities, a person arrested for a DUI should strongly consider fighting the charges.

Remember, getting arrested does not necessarily mean you are Guilty of a crime.

The fact that you got arrested for a DUI cannot be changed; however, the goal now should be to do whatever you can to not get convicted of a DUI.

Cops write tickets and arrest reports; they then send them to the District Attorney.  The District Attorney is the one that files charges in Court accusing you of a crime.  The District Attorney is the one that must prove the charges against you, with reliable and accurate evidence, beyond reasonable doubt.  And that is not always so easy.

If you are arrested for a DUI, you have two options:

Option #1:  Do nothing. By doing nothing, you are giving in to the cop, the prosecutor, the Court, and the DMV.   By doing nothing you are choosing not to contest the alleged evidence against you.  By doing nothing, your license will likely be suspended, and you will be convicted in Court of a DUI.

Option #2:  Do something.   Do something means that you contest the charges against you.  In other words, you question evidence.  You question the alleged observations of the arresting officer and his DUI investigation; you question the legality of why the cop stopped you; you question the legality of the draw of the blood sample or the breath test; you question the reliability and accuracy of the alleged chemical test results.  It is your constitutional right to contest all the evidence against you.

Some people think: I drank, I drove, I got arrested, so I must be guilty.   Not at all.

In California, it’s not illegal to drink alcohol and then drive a car.  Its only illegal if the evidence shows that you were “under the influence” at the time of driving, or that at the time of driving your blood alcohol concentration was .08% or more.  The prosecutor must prove these conclusions beyond a reasonable doubt with evidence that is accurate and reliable; and that is not always so easy for the prosecutor to do.

In the case of a marijuana or other drug DUI, it is only illegal if the evidence shows that you were “under the influence” of the substance at the time of driving.  Again, the prosecutor must prove these conclusions beyond a reasonable doubt with evidence that is accurate and reliable, which can be more difficult in drug cases.

Remember, the best way to keep a DUI arrest from showing up on a background check is to do everything you can to keep the arrest from turning into a conviction.