Kansas City and Missouri residents who face a DUI charge may have many questions and concerns. Most of these usually involve how much any fines will be, if a driver’s license will be suspended and if they will go to jail.
However, a criminal conviction can have many consequences besides fines and jail time. A DUI conviction in Missouri could be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.
One thing that might be overlooked is how a DUI can affect both your personal and professional reputations.
The impact on your job and professional status
You might not be fired for a DUI, but many times, bosses or co-workers will view you differently after learning you were arrested or convicted of a DUI. Perhaps you are passed over for a promotion you are convinced you would have otherwise gotten, or no longer invited to company events involving alcohol.
If you are a professional, you might be subject to questioning or an investigation from a licensing board. Although your license may not ultimately be suspended or revoked, the process can leave you feeling even more stressed and exhausted than you likely already are.
The challenge of finding a new job with a criminal record
Job-seeking becomes much more challenging with a criminal record. Some jobs or careers require than an applicant have no criminal record.
Even if you apply for a job that hires people with criminal records, you are likely to be competing with applicants without criminal records, which lowers your chances of being hired.
Difficulties finding housing
Obtaining housing can also be challenging for people with criminal records. You could now find yourself being denied the ability to rent an apartment, and if you cannot afford to buy a home, your only option could be living with family or friends.
A DUI conviction’s effect on your personal reputation could be more damaging than you may think. If you are a business owner, you could lose clients or customers after they find out about your DUI.
In terms of your family and friends, you might be surprised by how some of them react to learning about your DUI. Your relationships could suffer, and you could be treated differently.
Imagine being invited to your family’s annual holiday party, to find that no one offers you an alcoholic beverage anymore or now eyes you suspiciously if you drink one.
Defending yourself against a DUI charge
It should be clear by now that you have too much to lose with a DUI conviction. There are many defenses to a DUI charge that could be available to you.
As with any criminal matter, the prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. In DUI cases, this is usually done through various forms of evidence. The prosecutor must show that evidence was not altered or tampered with.
Additionally, you have rights when you are pulled over for DUI. A DUI charge can be dismissed if any of these rights were violated.
The best thing to do if you are charged with a DUI is to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney can analyze your case, advise you on any potential defenses and help minimize any damage from the situation.