Additional Resources for DWI and Other Serious Cases

DWI and Your Job

1. Are you required to disclose a New Jersey DWI conviction to a prospective employer when you apply for a job?

No. The only advantage of being charged with a DWI in New Jersey is that it is not considered to be a criminal charge. The reason why DWI defendants have limited rights in New Jersey is because DWI is not a criminal charge. After a person is convicted for a DWI in New Jersey the Municipal Court does not report this conviction to any criminal databases. The two major criminal databases are National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the New Jersey State Police maintains a criminal database. The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is a computerized database of documented criminal justice information available to virtually every law enforcement agency nationwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The NCIC is the primary database wherein an employer can search if you have a criminal record. If a person was convicted in another state wherein DWI is classified as a criminal case, then you would have a criminal record and it would be reported to the NCIC.

If a DWI offense was a criminal charge then many of the rulings and cases under the rubric of New Jersey DWI case law would not withstand judicial scrutiny. In simpler terms the Municipal Courts would not get away with obtaining so many DWI convictions if a DWI was classified as a criminal charge. Thus, if you are convicted in New Jersey for a DWI then it is just a motor vehicle offense, and it is not a criminal offense. However, in 48 other states a DWI is a criminal charge, and if you are convicted here then you will have a criminal record.

Most employers today include a question on their application forms which ask one of the following questions:

* Have you previously been convicted on any felony charges?

* Have you been convicted on any legal charges?

* Have you ever been arrested on any legal charges?

If you are applying for a job in New Jersey, then you don’t have to disclose any DWI arrests or DWI convictions. These charges are only motor vehicle offenses and they are not criminal charges.

2. Are there any types of jobs that require a person to disclose a DWI conviction?

There are many fields and jobs that require you to disclose a DWI conviction. If you are applying for a job in law enforcement then you will be required to disclose a DWI conviction. Other career areas wherein you will required to disclose a DWI conviction include:

a. Truck Drivers

b. Mass Transit Drivers (Includes buses, trains, and ferries.)

c. Pilots

d. Law Enforcement Careers

e. Doctors

f. Nurses

g. Child Care Workers

h. Health Care Providers

I. School Teachers

You should only disclose a DWI conviction if the employment application specifically requests same. Don’t volunteer that you have had a DWI conviction unless the application specifically ask for this information. If your job will require you to drive, and if the prospective employer conducts a search of your driving record, then your DWI conviction will certainly show up. Any prospective employer will obtain your driver’s abstract from the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. Thus, your DWI conviction will certainly show up. However, if your prospective employer is primarily concerned on whether you have a prior criminal conviction then just answer “no.” Moreover, your answer will be 100% accurate and truthful.

3. I was just convicted for a DWI. Will my employer be notified?

No, the New Jersey Municipal Courts do not notify employers after a defendant has been convicted of a DWI.

4. What type of jobs require a DWI defendant to notify his employer of a DWI conviction?

There are some jobs/careers wherein you have to notify your employer. If you have a commercial driver’s license they you have to notify your employer. Some of the fields wherein you have to notify your employer include;

* Employment at UPS or Fed Ex

* Truck Drivers

* Chauffeurs

* Bus Drivers

* Taxi Drivers

* Delivery Drivers

In these types of jobs your employer will regularly check your driver’s license/record by obtaining your driver’s abstract from the NJ MVC.

There are other of jobs wherein you may be required to disclose your DWI to your employer. These fields include:

* Train Engineers

* Pilots

* Military Personnel

5. What type of careers have strong penalties if you are convicted of a DWI?

Following are a some of the career fields which can be greatly impacted if you are convicted for a DWI;

* Air Traffic Controllers – The FAA is very harsh and rapid in their response. Termination is a common outcome for controllers who are convicted of a DWI.

* Careers which you may have expected a DWI to end the career can include:

* Truck Drivers

* Delivery Drivers

* Taxi Drivers

* Chauffeurs

* Bus Drivers

* Police Officers

Any person who is required to have a CDL, or whose job duties at work include a significant amount of driving  is at a great risk of losing his job for a DWI conviction. One of the biggest costs in business is paying for insurance. If you are convicted for a DWI, then your employer’s insurance rates will sharply increase. If you are truck driver and if you have a DWI conviction, then your employer’s costs to insure your truck will be outrageous. If you are a taxi driver or chauffeur then your employer will have to notify their insurance carrier of your DWI conviction. Thus, your employer’s overall motor vehicle insurance costs will go through the roof. The important point is that a DWI conviction will in many jobs cause your employer’s insurance costs to greatly increase. Moreover, if an employee is convicted of a DWI, then your employer’s lawsuit exposure is also substantially increased. In summary, there are many fields of employment wherein a DWI conviction will cost a person his job, and there is no way around it.