How Georgia DUI convictions can affect your job search

Whether you have just been charged or already received a conviction, the effect of a DUI on a Georgia job seeker's record can be devastating. Those who hold commercial driver's licenses can effectively be shut out of the job market when a DUI is present on their record. There are effective steps that can be taken to help an individual regain their ability to work.

Background checks performed by outside companies are governed by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Though criminal arrests do not show up after seven years on a background check, criminal convictions, like DUIs, are reported indefinitely. Fourteen states have passed laws that require employers to prove that a given conviction is relevant to the job that is being advertised. However, the state of Georgia is not one of these states. Therefore, job seekers with a history of a DUI conviction can easily be shut out of the job market.

To combat this, a job seeker may attempt to expunge their conviction record. Expungement is a process that seals a record of arrest or criminal conviction, which is court ordered. This may be particularly helpful if the conviction occurred when the individual was young or if there has only been one incident.

Expungement is not always available. Sometimes, it is only available for an arrest, but not for subsequent convictions. In some cases, only juvenile offenders are eligible. In Georgia, an entire criminal record cannot be expunged. Instead, each eligible arrest must be separately applied for. Felony convictions can never be expunged in the state of Georgia. If considering expungement for a drunk driving conviction or another criminal matter, it is important to seek the counsel of a qualified attorney.

Source: FindLaw.com, "DUI and Employment Background Checks," accessed on Sept. 8, 2014

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