Is It Possible to Hide a DUI From Employers?
Your life can change in an instant when you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Oklahoma. The repercussions include everything from having to pay fines and court costs to losing your license—and you could potentially be facing jail time. There’s also the impact on your professional life.
You wouldn’t be alone if your first thought was how to hide a DUI from employers to keep your job from being at risk. In this article, you’ll learn the different scenarios of when you can legally conceal your DUI, and when you can’t.
When You Can’t Hide a DUI: Current Employer
If you're currently employed by a company, you have to disclose that you were arrested for a DUI when:
You drive a vehicle as part of your job. When you are arrested for a DUI in the State of Oklahoma, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) automatically suspends your driver license. This means you cannot legally operate any vehicle and must inform your employer of that fact. If you do not disclose your DUI and are pulled over or get in an accident, both you and your employer will face major legal consequences. Note: there is an option to fight the license suspension. You have a 30-day window after your arrest to request an administrative hearing with DPS to defend your driving privileges. If you are successful, you may be able to retain your license under limited conditions. If your request is denied, your driver license will be suspended for at least six months—perhaps even years, depending on whether you have prior offenses.
You have a professional license. Whether you’re a commercial driver or pilot, doctor or lawyer, your professional license likely has its own rules and regulations about disclosing criminal charges or convictions. Many professional licensing institutions track arrests and convictions independently—meaning the license you need for your job could be revoked due to your DUI. Similar to having a suspended driver license, you cannot perform your job without your professional license, making it mandatory to inform your employer of your DUI.
Your company has a policy that requires disclosure of criminal records. Every organization has its own internal policies that outline the behavior standards, laws, and professional expectations all employees must abide by. Company policies almost always include information about whether you are required to disclose any criminal records like DUIs. Even if you have a desk job and don’t drive a company vehicle, you must disclose your arrest if the internal policy mandates it. If you hide a DUI from your employer, you risk being fired.
When You Can’t Hide a DUI: Potential Employer
When you’re job hunting, many employment applications will specifically ask you about criminal charges and/or convictions and you must answer honestly. The same rules apply as with a current employer. You must disclose your DUI when:
- The job involves driving a vehicle (e.g. rideshare driver, service technician, commercial trucker, etc.)
- Your professional license requires disclosure and/or your licensing status has been affected by your DUI
- The company policy requires disclosure of criminal records
If you do try to hide your DUI, there are legal repercussions and odds are the potential employer will discover the charge regardless. Here’s why:
DUIs are Public Record in Oklahoma
Your employer or potential employer may discover your DUI even if you are not legally obligated to inform them of it and even if it has been dismissed. Criminal charges are public record in Oklahoma and your DUI will appear on a background check. Employers have different policies about what information is included in background checks and how it is used for employment and hiring, so it may be a nonfactor. But be prepared for your DUI to be found unless you clear your record.
When You Can Hide a DUI
You are allowed to hide a DUI from employers when your job or licensure doesn’t require disclosure, or you’ve had a court seal or expunge your records.
Clearing Your Record
The best way to put a DUI behind you forever is to get it off your record. You can do that by having your record sealed or expunged.
If you have a DUI conviction, your option is to pursue criminal record expungement. When successful, you are not required to tell employers about your DUI—even when asked—and the conviction will not show up during background checks. If a record is expunged, you are legally allowed to say that the conviction or arrest didn’t occur.
Moving On From a DUI
It’s perfectly normal to be overwhelmed when you’ve been pulled over for a DUI and don’t know where to turn. As experienced DUI defense attorneys with years of experience fighting these types of charges, we know how to help you limit the impact a DUI has on your life and career. And if you have a conviction on your record that’s haunting you, we can help with that, too. Contact us for a free case evaluation.