All it takes is one poor decision to turn a night out with friends into a nightmare that follows after you like a villain out of a horror movie. Choosing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after a night of drinking is usually not a good idea. But even those who understand their limit and stay within the boundaries of the law can end up being charged with a DUI should the circumstances be unfortunate.
For those who are facing a DUI charge, there is one question that crops up again and again. What happens when you seek employment and have to provide a background check? Will the DUI show?
The answer is that yes, a DUI will show on a background check. They are a criminal charge, so they have to. However, there are options that can help to reduce the amount of harm the DUI causes. We’re going to look at how a DUI can be set aside, what that means, and what strategies can be used in court to avoid getting a guilty verdict in the first place.
How Can I Improve My Chances of Getting Hired If I’ve Previously Had a DUI Conviction?
We all know that being convicted of any crime comes with a punishment, usually in the form of time behind bars or fines that have to be paid. These are the punishments that come down from the state, but they are far from the only punishments faced by those who are convicted of a crime. Other punishments come from society, such as difficulty finding a place to rent or seeking employment.
A DUI conviction may affect your ability to rent somewhere, but if it is to have an impact, it is far more likely that it will be on your ability to find work. Some careers don’t particularly care, driving isn’t part of the job description, and your qualifications outweigh a single conviction for a DUI. But other careers frown heavily on DUIs, especially when there is driving involved. Many places won’t even offer you the chance to explain yourself before rejecting you.
One potential solution is to get the DUI set aside. You can find more information about this process in ARS 13-905. But, in layman’s terms, a set aside does not remove a conviction from your record. But it does indicate to anybody checking your background that you completed the sentence in question and all requirements associated with it.
This isn’t a perfect solution because the DUI will still show, but it does tell employers and anybody looking into you that you didn’t treat the conviction lightly, you took responsibility and did what was necessary to make it right. Employers are far more likely to hire somebody who has had their conviction set aside.
How Do I Get an Arizona DUI Set Aside?
To get a DUI set aside in Arizona, you must file an Application to Set Aside a Prior Conviction. This has to happen in the court where the case occurred, so that may require you to travel if it wasn’t local. There is no fee to file, and, even better, there is no waiting period. Once a court discharges a DUI, you could file that same day.
However, chances are good that there will be a hearing. After all, they aren’t going to set aside a conviction without good purpose. This doesn’t mean to imply that they want to refuse to set aside a DUI, but they want to be sure they make the right decision. If you’re a raging alcoholic that is likely to turn around and get another DUI in the next couple of weeks then they wouldn’t want to grant that.
The court will use a number of factors to weigh your case and determine their outcome. Details from the case, the way you handled probation, your criminal history, your age, all of these are more are considered. This means that if you have worked hard to overcome your slip-up in judgment, then you have a good chance of getting your DUI set aside.
However, it also means that there is no guarantee that you will get the outcome you desire. This means that, ultimately, the best way to protect yourself from having a DUI show up on a background check is to avoid getting convicted in the first place. But it does little help to tell you not to drink and drive if you’re already facing a DUI. So, instead, let’s look at some of the strategies that can be used to help you get a not guilty verdict.
What’s the Best Way to Avoid a DUI Conviction?
Some strategies that work for defending against a DUI include (but are not limited to):
- Arguing that the breathalyzer wasn’t functioning properly
- Proving that the police didn’t have reasonable suspicion to pull you over
- Showing that the field sobriety tests were incorrectly administered
- Showing that the police failed to observe a fifteen-minute observation period prior to administering a breathalyzer
- Demonstrating that your dental work collected alcohol and contaminated the breathalyzer results
- Presenting that law enforcement lacked probable cause when they made the arrest
- Proving that a medical condition caused the breathalyzer results to be contaminated
- Arguing that police mistook a medical episode for being drunk
How Can an Attorney Help?
If you have already been convicted of a DUI, then an attorney can help you seek to get the conviction set aside. From filing to representing you at a hearing, an attorney can offer advice and guidance every step of the way.
An experienced DUI attorney is also your best bet for putting together a defense against a DUI charge in the first place. The best way to avoid a charge showing on a background check is to avoid a conviction, but picking the right strategy based on the evidence of your arrest can be tricky. A DUI attorney has the experience necessary to judge the best possible route for a defense, will work hard to gather evidence that supports your position, and argue for you at every turn possible to help you with your DUI.
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