If you are convicted of OUI (Operating Under the Influence) in Massachusetts, you can expect that your crimes will play a significant and detrimental role on the rest of your life. One of the major impacts that you can expect will be with your job eligibility, and whether or not your criminal record is an outright disqualifier if not at least a mark against your attractiveness as a candidate. In some cases, an OUI conviction could even get you fired from your job.
However, it is important to realize that a conviction is very different than an arrest, and simply being arrested for OUI in Massachusetts will not play as significant of a role in your employability, especially considering that employers and potential employers are not able to base their hiring factors on arrests on a criminal record—only convictions.
With this in mind, consider how important it is to work with an experienced, successful OUI defense attorney in Massachusetts so that you can maximize the chances of minimizing your conviction and therefore minimizing the long-term impacts that this arrest will have on your life. In some cases, it may seem appealing to plead guilty to a misdemeanor OUI in order to avoid additional charges, or you may think that since it is a misdemeanor it “isn’t a big deal,” but it is imperative that you consider all options, explore all avenues, and work with a legal professional before deciding which direction you will pursue.
How An OUI Can Get You Fired
There is no cut-and-dry answer to the question of whether or not you will be fired for being convicted of OUI in Massachusetts. In some cases, you may have a specific agreement with your employer that certain off-duty behaviors can lead to you being terminated from the company. In the United States, there are many protected statuses that a person cannot be terminated for, including their race and religion. However, their criminal record is not protected, and an employer (in many cases) has no legal obligation to retain the employee.
Obviously, if your job requires that you operate a motor vehicle you will be unable to do so while your license is suspended. This means that for a truck driver, bus driver, delivery driver, or someone else who relies on a motor vehicle to perform their duties, an OUI conviction will be absolutely devastating for their career.
Additionally, there are many other impacts that an OUI can have. For example, after being convicted of an OUI you will be ineligible for a License to Carry a Firearm or a Firearm Identification Card. If your line of business requires that you carry a firearm, and you are now unable to do so because of your criminal record, then this will obviously impact your ability to keep your job.
An Arrest Is Not a Conviction
Keep in mind that being arrested for OUI is very different than being convicted of OUI, and when you are working with the team at OUI Attorneys, you can be confident that we are working to keep you from being convicted if possible. Employers are unable to fire you or decide not to hire you because of an arrest on your record, but they can decide to let you go or choose another candidate based on a conviction.
During an interview process, employers can not ask you if you have ever been arrested. But, like their rights to fire you over a conviction, they are legally able to ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime. If you have not had your record sealed or expunged, you cannot legally avoid answering this question honestly. Even if you decide to lie about it during the interview, this information is generally available to the public, and will certainly come back on your background check, otherwise known as a CORI.
Contact Us Immediately
One of the most important things that you can do in order to protect your current and future ability to be hired and stay employed is to begin working with an experienced legal team to build a strong defense and work towards a positive outcome. In some cases, we will work towards having your case CWOF (Continued Without a Finding), meaning that you will be required to agree to possible probation, fines, and other penalties, but if you are able to complete all of your agreed penalties then the charges will be dismissed. This means that, if you are able to truthfully answer that you have never been convicted of a crime, which will be a significant help for future job and educational applications.