Getting arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York is serious. After all, there are a host of potential legal consequences, ranging from fines and jail time to the loss of your license. Many people focus immediately on minimizing the criminal consequences of their charges.
Fewer people stop to think about the potential long-term social consequences and other secondary consequences not directly a result of a criminal conviction. Unfortunately, that short-sighted approach can lead people to do things, such as pleading guilty, that could end up hurting them in the long term. You could lose out on a job or end up paying a lot more for car insurance.
Familiarizing yourself with the consequences of a DWI beyond criminal consequences can help you make more informed decisions about your case.
If your boss or co-workers find out, a DWI can affect your job
As soon as you wind up arrested, the rumor mill starts spinning. People begin gossiping and sharing stories. Unfortunately, even if the arrest is related to something relatively mild, it will likely end up exaggerated as it passes from person to person.
What may have been a mistake, such as leaving a party in your own vehicle, could quickly turn into a career-altering rumor. Even if there isn’t any truth to the version of the story going around your workplace, other workers and even your boss might believe it. People may not approach you about it, but it may affect how they treat you.
Your co-workers and managers may regard you as less trustworthy or even stop inviting you to social events out of fear that you may drink. Eventually, all of those social pressures could affect your upward trajectory at a business and prevent you from achieving your career goals.
Losing your license and gaining a criminal record won’t help you
For some fortunate people, word about their DWI arrest does not reach their employer. These people may feel like they have the opportunity to simply call in sick when they need to be at court. This attempt at secrecy may work sometimes, but it is more complicated than you might imagine.
For example, once the state suspends your license, you will have to find alternate ways to get to and from work. If you are habitually tardy because of issues with your rideshare or public transit, people may start to figure out that something is wrong. If you didn’t disclose your legal troubles previously, it may look bad to use them as an explanation for your frequent late arrival at work.
Many companies also perform background checks both when hiring and when promoting someone. Years after your criminal conviction, the record of it could come back to haunt you. You can lose out on a great new job or lose the opportunity at a promotion in your own company.