As a professional charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated) in New Jersey, you may be worried that the charge will affect your ability to get or keep a job, especially if you are ultimately found guilty. Fortunately, a DWI in New Jersey is not a criminal offense, so it does not show up during criminal background screenings and is not reported to criminal databases like the National Crime Information Center or NCIC. However, that doesn’t mean that a conviction is not without its fair share of penalties for the accused.
A Traffic Offense
In New Jersey, DWI is considered a traffic offense, not a crime, and whether the intoxicating substance is alcohol or drugs makes no difference. However, if you use your vehicle in your line of work or if you drive yourself to work, your employment may be affected by the DWI penalties assessed in your case. Even a first-time DWI charge comes with a loss of driving privileges for three months.
Punishments and penalties for DWI are based on the severity of the charge, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels, and whether or not the accused has a history of DWI. Penalties are even steeper for individuals who are caught driving under the influence in a school zone or who are repeat DUI offenders.
Professions With Requirements to Report Alcohol-Related Offenses
If you are employed in certain industries that require alcohol-related offenses to be reported in a timely manner following the incident, your employment may be affected. For example, pilots and other aviation industry personnel are subject to these reporting requirements. If your profession requires that you report charges of this nature, it’s imperative that you speak to a DWI lawyer in Burlington County, NJ, as soon as possible.
Will Your Employment Be Affected?
If your profession has no reporting requirements, DWI typically doesn’t cause much fallout for defendants as far as employment goes. This is especially true of the lighter penalties for first-time offenders who generally stay in jail no more than 12 hours (but can be sentenced to up to 30 days).
In summary, DWI is a traffic offense in New Jersey and should have minimal impact on your employability, at least in most industries. For the best possible outcome in your DWI case, contact The Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP to speak with a traffic and criminal lawyer in Monmouth County, NJ.