For some people, the most alarming aspect of a DUI arrest is the potential criminal penalties they might face. In Oklahoma, a DUI conviction can mean between five days and one year in jail, although there are legal strategies you can take with your attorney to reduce your DUI charges to avoid jail time. But for others arrested for a DUI, their most pressing concern might be their reputation and career, and specifically the question of whether a pending DUI charge can be disclosed to their employer.
Oklahoma Employers Are Not Prohibited From Learning About Pending Charges
Oklahoma is like most (if not all) states in making its criminal prosecutions of individuals public record. Although you are not necessarily under any legal obligation pursuant to Oklahoma law to take the steps to proactively inform your employer that you have been arrested for a DUI (but you should check your employment contract, if you have one, to see if disclosure of arrests is a contractual obligation between you and your employer), your employer may decide to run a periodic background check on you which could pull up the fact that you have been arrested for a DUI and are facing charges.
Fighting Your DUI Charges and Expungement
That said, a bedrock of our criminal justice system is that defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and there are steps you can take to defend yourself against a DUI charge by working with an experienced DUI defense attorney in pursuit of a not guilty finding or dismissal of charges. Although a background check might bring up the record that you were charged, it will also show that you were cleared of the DUI charges.
Furthermore, if you are convicted of a DUI, you may eventually have your criminal record expunged. If you successfully expunge your criminal record, you will not be required to tell employers about your criminal record even when asked and the conviction will not show up in state records during background checks.
Work With an Experienced Oklahoma DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for a DUI violation in Oklahoma, you may be facing serious consequences if convicted, not to mention damage to your personal and professional reputation. J. Patrick Quillian, Attorney at Law, is a criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma City with years of experience in obtaining favorable outcomes in DUI matters. Contact him today to schedule a consultation regarding your DUI matter.