Anyone charged with allegedly driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas will likely worry about the consequences of the charges they face. It is common for people to focus on the potential loss of their freedom due to incarceration if they wind up convicted, but it’s also important for anyone facing DWI charges to understand the other penalties and consequences that impaired driving can cause.
A conviction can mean a criminal record, as well as the suspension of your license to drive. Although fighting a DWI charge may seem unnecessary or risky, in reality, a defense could help you reduce the long-term impact of DWI charges on your life and career.
Losing your license could affect your job
Quite a few people have to drive as part of their work. If you do sales calls, you may need to visit a client’s business. Some people even drive as a primary function of their work, including those with commercial driver’s licenses.
If you get charged with an impaired driving offense, you will likely have to face the suspension of your license after a conviction. In fact, even if the alleged offense occurred while you were driving your own vehicle, you could lose your commercial driver’s license and eligibility for an impaired driving conviction.
Even if you don’t drive as part of your job, losing your license could still impact your current position. If you can’t drive yourself to work, you may wind up dependent on other people or even the public transportation system, neither of which may be as reliable as you need them to be. Chronic absenteeism or tardiness could affect your job quickly.
Criminal charges can affect your employment and professional licensing
Many companies have rules that penalize their staff for any kind of criminal activity. If your employer has a firm rule against criminal convictions, they could fire you when they find out about your charges or deny you raises and promotions in the future. Even if you avoid those kinds of employer-based consequences, the state of Texas may impact your ability to do your job.
Many of the best-paying or most stable jobs, from general contractors working on homes to physicians and teachers, require state licensing. Texas has numerous licensing boards for different professions, but many of them take a dim view of criminal convictions. Even if your job has nothing to do with driving, you could wind up losing your professional licensing and ability to practice in your career because of a criminal conviction.
Additionally, there can be more subtle, social consequences with your co-workers and bosses related to criminal convictions. It is typically in your best interest as an individual and a professional to push back against any criminal charges you may face instead of pleading guilty just to avoid court or potential embarrassment.