Does a DWI Appear on a Routine Background Check?
Unless a DWI is Non-Disclosed or finally expunged from your record, the adjudication can show up on a criminal background check. This means that potential employers, landlords, and others could see it if they decide to conduct this type of screening. Background checks based on someone’s social security number are the most common. DWI convictions that have been Non-Disclosed or expunged will not typically show up on this type of background check. However, there is no guarantee of this.
Hiring managers and landlords are not legally allowed to see a Non-Disclosed or expunged criminal conviction, but there are certain exemptions. Someone applying for a job in law enforcement may not be able to keep this information secret.
Texas Employers Conducting Background Checks
Most companies in Texas rigorously conduct background checks on job applicants. This even means that they may see DWI charges for which there was no conviction, leaving that applicant out of the running for that job. If you are applying for a job that requires driving, that firm will very likely do a thorough criminal background check to see if you’ve had a DWI or some other type of reckless driving charge.
A DWI Can Have an Impact on Your Prospects for Employment
In Texas, hiring managers have the right to turn down a job applicant after evaluating their past criminal conduct. However, employers are required to follow certain guidelines. First, the prospective employer is supposed to retain a third-party to conduct the background check. They must inform you of their intent to do this and obtain your consent by asking you to sign an agreement granting them permission.
Second, if this employer decides not to hire you based on damaging information they’ve seen on your record, they are required to advise you of their reasons for this on paper.
The Severity of the DWI Charges Has a Major Affect
Based on the seriousness of the allegations, a DWI can be categorized very differently. For first-time offenders, it’s usually a misdemeanor charge. But this would not necessarily be the case if a first-time offender severely injured other people, which could boost this charge up to a felony. Other incidents could also influence the consequences in terms of severity. If the person has been charged two times prior for DWI, they could be indicted for felony DWI if they are charged a third time.
DWI circumstances can vary widely, which means that penalties and how they affect your criminal record can vary as well. This is why it’s vital that you explain to any prospective employer all the facts and circumstances that resulted in your DWI. If you are honest upfront it will bode better for you than allowing others to come to their own, possibly erroneous conclusions based on your background check.
Getting Your DWI Expunged from Your Record
A charge of DWI will show up on your record even without you being convicted. However, you may be able to have it taken off your record.
Getting your DWI expunged typically requires you to file a petition and attend court hearings. Your attorney would argue your case, stating all the reasons why your drunk driving arrest must be removed from law enforcement’s database.
Requesting Your Record be Non-Disclosed
Rather than seeking an expungement of your DWI record, you can request a non-disclosure ruling, which would seal it. When criminal records are Non-Disclosed they do not totally disappear from the person’s police record, but they cannot be accessed by the public at large, job recruiters, or companies doing background checks.
The catch to this option is that your DWI record can still be accessed by certain administrators. So, if the job you’re applying for is a high-level one serving the public sector, one that requires you get a security clearance, your criminal DWI conviction could still be a problem. Further, the licensing boards of professions that are licensed by the State of Texas, have access to non-disclosed records. An attorney can advise as to how to deal with licensing boards.
Actions to Take When Facing DWI Charges
There are a number of options to choose from in Texas if you are facing DWI charges. But before doing anything else reach out to an experienced DWI attorney. Your attorney will evaluate your situation and give you his/her professional advice on how best to proceed. This might be for you to plead “not guilty” or taking steps to lower your DWI charges to negligent driving.
Once you avoid being convicted, your lawyer can fight on your behalf to have the DWI charge itself removed your record.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Daniel K. Peugh
The Peugh Law Firm has a team of highly experienced legal professionals available to assist people with DWI charges in Denton County, TX. So, if you are facing charges of DWI in Texas, or have already been charged or convicted of a DWI, we can help you determine the best course of action. We evaluate cases for procedural discrepancies, defending the legal rights of those wrongfully accused, as well as people who have paid their debts to society. Please contact us today for your free consultation.