One concern many potential clients and clients have when they call me is of course, being able to keep their job. It is certainly critical to be able to maintain your livelihood, even if you are facing a Virginia DUI or DWI case.
The good news is that your employer most likely will not learn about your Virginia DUI or DWI, at least through the courts. Really, the only time they will learn about it is if they find out through the grapevine or if you need tell them about it due to certain requirements. The court does not normally make you tell your employer about your case.
If you are convicted, you will be required to complete certain tasks and that is where it starts to get sticky for people. You may have to let your employer know that you need time off in order to go to court, to be able to attend alcohol safety classes and in some cases, to serve your jail time. We can usually arrange for you to serve the jail time at a later date, but you would still need some way to be able to get off work in order to do that.
The one area where some courts will, in a way, make you tell your employer, is when it comes time for your restricted driver’s license. If you are convicted of a first DUI in Virginia, your license is suspended for 12 months. If you can get a restricted driver’s license, one of the permissible purposes for driving is for work.
Some courts, including Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg are essentially going to need proof from your employer about who you work for and your work schedule. Stafford normally requires you to bring a letter on letterhead from your employer that just says where you work and your hours. That may be something you can get without them really asking too many questions. However, Spotsylvania, for example, has a form for their restricted license and they require your employer to sign that form, so of course they are going to know that you have some kind of court case going on.
Those are just a few of the examples about how your employer may end up needing to know about what is going on in court. A DUI is certainly not a case where your employer has to know, depending on your facts and circumstances. Of course, as your attorney, it is my job to keep everything as confidential as possible. That is something that we would work together to do and minimize any risk of the DUI harming your future career.
photo credit: Victor1558
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