Can I Be Fired For A DUI In Florida?
Being charged with a DUI is a serious offense that the judicial system and most employers take quite seriously. If you are currently facing charges for DUI, you are likely concerned about the consequences that this could have on your life and employment. Unfortunately, there are no laws that protect your job in the event that you are charged with or convicted of a crime. The best thing that you can do in this situation is to be as proactive as possible in trying to fight the charges against you and work with your employer to see if it is possible to maintain your employment. It is important to understand that Florida is an at-will employment state, which means that your employer can essentially fire you at any time for any reason. This means that it is well within an employer’s rights to fire an employee for being charged with DUI or convicted. Note also that an employer is permitted to fire an employee based on DUI charges alone, regardless of whether they ultimately lead to a conviction.
Do I Have to Tell My Employer if I am Charged With a DUI in Florida?
Generally, when you apply for a job you are asked whether you have ever been charged with a crime or have been convicted of one. Your employer will then also usually run a criminal background check to confirm your answers. Most companies, however, do not have a mechanism to be made aware of new criminal charges or convictions against existing employees, so it will often fall on you to determine whether you have a legal obligation to inform them. There is no law in Florida that requires you to inform your employer when you are charged with a DUI, however, there are a number of circumstances in which not doing so could result in further legal trouble. For instance, if your job requires driving or operating heavy machinery, you should notify your employer of the charges. Additionally, if your employer asks you directly whether you have been charged with a DUI, you should not lie. You should also review your employment contract and your employee handbook to see whether your company has a policy or mandates on what disclosures are required. While you may be hesitant to be honest with your employer, doing so often gives you the best chance of retaining your job. Many companies have programs in place for employees who are battling with substance abuse issues and can place them on a performance action plan or administrative leave pending the outcome of the trial. In some cases, companies may require employees to inform them of criminal charges, while in others, companies may only require disclosure of criminal convictions. Your lawyer can also help you navigate this aspect of your DUI too, and help you determine the best course of action.
Schedule a Consultation With HAWM Law
If you are facing charges for DUI in Florida and are concerned about the impact that they may have on your career or livelihood, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at HAWM Law are ready to help. Contact HAWM Law today to schedule a personalized consultation and find out how we can help you.