If you're convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois, there will be harsh legal penalties. Depending on the nature of the DUI, you may be required to pay costly fines and be exposed to possible jail time. But these aren't the only ramifications you should be wary of. There are repercussions of a DUI conviction that extend far beyond terms of your sentence. These are known as collateral consequences.
Unlike legal penalties, collateral consequences will haunt you after completing your sentence. The only way to avoid them is to get your conviction sealed or expunged, or to avoid a conviction altogether. If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, it's important you understand what you're up against. In this article, Dolci & Weiland will address a few aspects of post-conviction life that will be affected by a DUI.
Finding work in this dwindling job market is already hard enough. With a DUI conviction on your record, the job search becomes much more difficult. DUIs and other stigmatized crimes severely limit your access to employment.
To be in between jobs after a conviction is especially challenging. Offenders grapple with the choice of disclosing their conviction or not disclosing and hoping for the best. Even if you choose not to disclose on a job application (not a good idea), the majority of employers run background checks to screen potential new hires for criminal offenses. Unfortunately, some employers perceive a DUI as an indicator of other deep-rooted issues or bad habits, like alcoholism, and skip over them in fear of hiring a liability.
If you've been convicted of a DUI and are currently employed, your disclosure depends on several factors. If your employment contract requires you to update your criminal history or you drive a company vehicle, you will have to disclose your DUI conviction. Many employers provide in contracts that a conviction of any crime is grounds for firing.
Commercial drivers who operate company vehicles get hit the hardest after a DUI conviction. Acquiring this charge is enough to justify your firing and could keep you from landing jobs in the commercial driving industry for good.
Having a DUI on your record will cost you lots of money. Most people experience an astronomical auto insurance rate increase immediately after conviction. In worst case scenarios, motorists lose coverage altogether. People with more than one DUI on their record are more susceptible to being dropped by an insurance provider.
Most commercial drivers are covered by their company insurance for driving company vehicles or hauling heavy equipment. Your employer may lose coverage if you remain employed with a DUI on your record. Even if you manage to remain covered, your employer's insurance premium will go up exponentially, and they may not want to pay the price to keep you.
A DUI conviction can derail your plans to further your education. In the application process for colleges and universities, you'll encounter a request to disclose information about criminal convictions and even arrests. Opting out of disclosing a DUI is risky. Schools don't perform background checks as much as employers do, but they do random checks. If you're accepted and it's later discovered that you withheld critical information on your application, you can be expelled.
A conviction also affects financial aid and scholarships. Eligibility requirements for aid vary from program to program, but most lenders are reluctant to give funding to people with serious criminal convictions. The same goes for athletic scholarships.
Living in a dorm on campus is a privilege that can be taken away with a DUI on your record. Students have experienced receiving notices informing them that they are to evacuate the premises within 30 days. People who live in student housing sign an agreement promising to abide by certain rules if they wish to stay. A DUI is a violation of this agreement at many schools.
Have You Been Charged With a DUI? Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
When taking into consideration the potential of a DUI to limit your post-conviction opportunities, wouldn't it be easier to try to avoid a conviction altogether?
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Illinois, the smartest thing you can do for yourself in this predicament is to seek legal representation from a seasoned criminal defense attorney. An Illinois DUI defense lawyer who knows the ins and outs of state DUI law will be able to assert a legal defense to your charge could lead to a reduced punishment or even the dismissal of your charges.
You should never have to fight any criminal charges on your own. With Dolci & Weiland in your corner, you won't have to. Don't wait until it is too late to obtain the legal help you need to overcome these charges. To speak with a member of our legal team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call the office nearest to you today. For our DuPage office, call (630) 261-9098, or for our downtown Chicago location, contact (312) 238-9007.