Do I Have To Disclose My DUI On A Job Application?
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Do I Have To Disclose My DUI On A Job Application?

So you got a DUI in Las Vegas, and you’re in the process of figuring out how to deal with the punishments have been put on you.  You probably have to make arrangements to get around due to the fact that your license was suspended, and you probably had to pay some fines and do some community service.  You might have to spend a few days in jail, and probably had to attend a victim impact panel, or some other form of counseling.  Depending if you’re DUI was alcohol related or marijuana related, there may have been additional types of counseling that were required.  All of this is either in the past or will soon be in the past, and all you want to do is get on with your life.  The problem is that a DUI stays on your record for seven years before it can be sealed.  This means that it can be accessed as part of your permanent record when someone does a background check or does some digging after you have applied for a job.  This conviction can come back to haunt you, even though you have paid your debt to society and have been keeping out of trouble for a long period of time.  The question “do I have to disclose the DUI on my job application” is a common one.  The main reason is that DUI is a very common crime that affects a lot of people that would not consider themselves criminals.  They may have never been in trouble in their life, but a simple mistake of having too much to drink one night ends up haunting them for many years to come.  Now you are applying for a new job in the hopes of making your life better, and you find that your past mistakes may hinder that process.  You are thinking to yourself “do I really need to disclose this” when you are asked in an interview if you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.  You may be reading the job application and wondering if you actually need to check the box about criminal activity.  Here are few guidelines that you can follow to answer these questions.

In Nevada, the law does allow employers to check your criminal records for convictions.  That same law does not allow them to check your criminal record for arrests.  This means that even though you’re not legally obligated to disclose your arrest if you are asked, unfortunately answering “no” to the question of arrests can potentially result in a violation of a company policy about lying.  Essentially what you’re facing is the fact that if it is discovered that you lied on your application for any question is asked, the employer is allowed to either not hire you or to end your employment if you have already been hired.  If you’re asked specifically if you have been convicted of a crime, you will need to answer “yes” due to the fact that a first or second DUI in Nevada is a misdemeanor.  Although it is not a felony, if the question is asked “have you ever been convicted of a crime” unfortunately the answer must be “yes.” If you were not convicted but were just arrested, you would be able to answer “no.” This would not be a lie due to the fact that you were not asked about being arrested, only if you had been convicted.  This may seem like splitting hairs, but if you are researching about disclosing that DUI on a job application, you obviously don’t want to talk about it.  The good news is that most people who have had an arrest or even a conviction for DUI will not necessarily be eliminated from consideration for many jobs.  In some cases, you may even find that refusing to hire you based upon and your arrest or conviction could potentially be a violation of your civil rights.

Nevada law expressly to permits employers to ask for and received information from criminal justice agencies in regards to criminal records.  These can include both past convictions or also incidents where the potential employee is currently on parole, on probation or in the criminal justice system.  There are many factors that can contribute to a disqualification from a job based upon a criminal background.  This will entail things like the nature of the crime and how much time might have passed since the crime was committed.  It can also have a lot to do with what type of job is being performed or what functions the employee is being requested to do.  If you’re applying for a job and you have a criminal conviction on your record is always a good idea to prepare a brief explanation as far as what factors were involved in that crime, and why it will never happen again.  It’s best to prepare for the potential that these questions will come up.

“What if my conviction has been sealed?” If seven years have gone past and you had your conviction for DUI sealed by the court, it is no longer visible to employers.  This does not mean that government agencies may not still be legally able to obtain this information if your applying for position were a certain type of license might be required by the state.  If you’re asked by a non government employer about your criminal history and your records have been sealed, you’re generally not legally obligated to disclose it.  It is always best to obtain the services of a Las Vegas criminal attorney to find out whether are not these questions will apply, and how you can answer them.

Another very common question asked is about being arrested vs. being convicted.  Just because you have been arrested does not count as proof that you have been engaged in criminal conduct.  Federal guidelines as well as Nevada guidelines discourage employers from inquiring about arrests if they have not resulted in convictions.  The employer is within their rights to ask about your arrest record if they are concerned about your suitability for specific position.  They may take things into consideration like how recent the arrest is, how likely you are to commit that crime again, and if this position has any kind of a relationship with that crime that may be compromised.

If you were a juvenile when you were arrested, there is a good chance that your records were automatically sealed.  Some juvenile arrests and adjudications are sealed automatically while others are sealed through petition of the court.  If the adjudication is for an act that would have been considered a felony if you were an adult, the record cannot be sealed and it will always be available to potential employers.  An adjudication does not necessarily disqualify you from most jobs.  It is not a good idea to attempt to hide it during the job application process, and instead is a far better idea to disclose it and discuss the learning experience that it taught you.

If you completed Nevada drug court or some other treatment program as part of the guilty plea on a Nevada drug charge, there is a good chance that your case was completely dismissed after completion of the program.  If this was the case, you are not legally required to disclose this treatment program on any job application or interview.  You will be required to disclose it if you are applying for professional licensing or a government position.  Once again it is a good idea to not attempt to hide this information, but if you do, always enlist the services of a Nevada criminal lawyer before you make any determination about answering questions.

One last question is often asked is if an employer is allowed to share the information about your criminal record with other employers.  The answer is “no.” An employer is only allowed to obtain and use a record of your criminal history for the sole purpose that that record was requested.  That means that since the record was requested in response to potentially hiring you as an employee, that employer is not allowed to share or use that record for any other purpose.

If you happen arrested for, or are accused of a DUI or any other crime in Las Vegas, contact us immediately.  We can help you through the process as well as helping you to navigate the future.