Discussing a DWI can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. If you have been arrested or convicted of a DWI, you probably want to forget about it. However, your current employer or that new job application may not allow you to leave it in your past. So, do you need to disclose your DWI?
Here’s the rule: Do not lie!
You are not legally required to tell your boss about your DWI. However, depending on the conditions of your job, you may be obligated to do so.
You should tell your employer if:
- Your job includes driving. In New Jersey, DWI convictions often result in license suspension, which will affect your ability to do your job.
- It is required by your contract. If your contract requires you to report any convictions and you fail to do so, it is grounds to fire you.
- Your boss asks you. Do not lie! If your boss asks you, it is important to tell the truth. You may not be fired for your offense, but being dishonest could.
Depending on the job application’s instructions, you may or may not have to disclose your DWI. Either way, it is important that you do not lie because many employers perform criminal background checks to double-check your answers.
- “Have you ever been arrested?” You should answer yes.
- “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” You should answer no. New Jersey law, unlike other states, categorizes a DWI as a traffic offense and not as a criminal one. There won’t be a “record” of it in any criminal database.
- “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” You should answer no. Again, a DWI is a traffic offense and not a felony.
It’s important to know that state law in New Jersey specifically excludes motor vehicle offenses—including DWIs—from expungement eligibility, meaning that you cannot have it removed from your record. If you have any questions about how a DWI arrest or conviction will affect your current or future job, call me, David Barry, Attorney at Law today at (732) 238-8686.