Saturday, October 11, 2014

DO I Need To Disclose My DUI Arrest On A Job Application?

Here is the scenario:  You are arrested for a DUI and are given a Court date to appear and  answer to the charges months away, before you ever even get to your arraignment to are in the process of job hunting which requires you to fill out job applications.  How do you deal with the DUI arrest on the application?

In order to answer this question we must first understand that being arrested alone does not mean you "have a DUI on your record".  An arrest under the law is requires a very low level of proof and it does not equate to being guilty of the offense for which you were arrested.  We must remember that under the United States and California Constitutions a person is "presumed innocent" unless and until the contrary is proven in a Court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.

So, how do you deal with a application for employment?  First, take a careful look at the question being asked.  Under California law it is actually illegal for a private employer to ask if you have ever been arrested.  This means that  most applications will not directly ask you about an arrest alonne.  the question is usually phrased as "Have you ever been convicted of a crime".  Under this scenario you can honestly answer "NO" to that question if your case has not yet been resolved in Court.  There are times when a private employer may ask if you have any "pending"  cases in Court.  This question is much more tricky and involves a more careful response.  You should consult your attorney to help respond in this type of situation.

In addition, there are governmental employers and jobs that require security clearances, etc.  which can be exceptions to the rule.  Remember, CA law only excludes "private employers from asking about arrests that do not culminate into a conviction.  If you are seeking employment from these entities consult your lawyer for a more detailed answer to these applications.