Must I Report a 10-Year-Old DUI on a Job Application?

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Getting a DUI for the first time can be a painfully embarrassing experience but having to be reminded of that experience every day for the rest of your life is an even worse fate. If you’ve ever wondered whether your DUI is the reason you’ve not been landing any job offers, then you’ve probably also wondered how long you have to put up with your criminal record. 

In most states, including California, a DUI conviction is automatically erased from DMV records after ten years. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t necessarily happen with all criminal records. A DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record well over ten years unless you take the necessary steps to seal or expunge the conviction. 

See our article “How long will a DUI stay on My Record?” This means that if potential employers want to look for a conviction, they will most certainly find one. 

Am I legally required to disclose my 10-year old DUI conviction?

In the past, employers ask on job applications about any prior convictions or arrests. As a rule of thumb, if your arrest did not lead to a criminal conviction, then you were not legally obligated to disclose the arrest. If, on the other hand, you had a criminal conviction and either chose to omit this or respond with “No,” you would be committing fraud. 

As of January 1, 2018, California made it illegal for employers to ask about criminal convictions before making a conditional offer first. In what is currently known as the “Ban the Box” Law, whether you have a DUI conviction that’s months old or more than ten years, employers can NOT ask about it until the later recruitment stages. 

Even if your criminal record does eventually show up in background checks, employers still can NOT deny you based solely on their conviction. Instead, the law further requires them to conduct an individualized assessment to determine whether the conviction is relevant to the job. 

Depending on the job type, employers may also decide to do a driving record background check instead of a criminal history check. Most employers will notify applicants beforehand which kind of background check they will conduct. 

In the case of a DMV record background check, if your record has already been erased from DMV records after ten years, employers will not see your DUI conviction. Just like arrests that did not lead to a conviction, you’re also not legally required to disclose a conviction that does not show up in DMV records.

You are safer if you get your criminal records sealed or expunged. You will have many higher paying job opportunities without a criminal record. You can reach out to Criminal Defense Hero for legal advice on expunging criminal records at (323) 529-3660 or fill out a free expungement evaluation here.

The DUI Attorney Don Hammond


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