Can You Be a Firefighter With a DUI?
Meta Description: Want to be a firefighter but have a DUI? Don’t give up your dreams. Learn how to overcome your DUI and start your career as a firefighter today!
Do you want to be a firefighter? Have you been arrested for a DUI? If convicted, you may have a hard time becoming a firefighter, but the possibility is definitely not out of the question.
Laws pertaining to the hiring of firefighters and determining their fitness to serve vary by county and state. Different departments also have their own policies in place regarding prior convictions, including DUIs.
Despite these differences, all firefighter candidates must “pass” a Bureau of Criminal Investigation background check. The good news is, however, that the decision often rests in the hands of the hiring manager, keeping alive the possibility of becoming a firefighter with a DUI.
While an understaffed department with a lower candidate pool may be willing to overlook a single misdemeanor DUI, there are certain automatic disqualifiers, such as:
• Felony Conviction
Getting a job after a DUI is tough enough, but becoming a firefighter with a DUI felony conviction is all but impossible. If you’re convicted of a felony DUI, you will not be able to pursue a firefighter career.
• Probation and Injury
Can you be a firefighter with a DUI? Not if your DUI resulted in injury to property or another person. You also won’t be considered for employment if you’re on court ordered probation or have yet to have your driving privileges restored.
Most fire departments across the U.S. treat DUIs and certain other prior convictions as discretionary qualifiers. A discretionary qualifier may prevent you from becoming a firefighter, but the decision is ultimately made by the hiring manager.
Deciding to hire a candidate with a DUI conviction is no easy task for a hiring manager to make. However, there are some deciding factors that often play a large role in the hiring decision, including:
• Date of the Offense
The odds of becoming a firefighter with a DUI are much better the further in the past the offense took place. When deciding whether to hire or pass on a candidate with a DUI or DWI, nearly all fire departments consider the date of the offense first. If it happened five years ago and no other offenses have taken place since, the department hiring manager may be more open to hiring the candidate.
• Pattern of Misbehavior
Like many employers, fire departments tend to look at patterns of misbehavior that may impact a candidate’s ability to adequately fulfill the duties of a firefighter. Therefore, many fire departments automatically disqualify any candidate with more than one DUI or DWI conviction.
• Ownership and Remorse
If convicted of a DUI, it’s important to take ownership of the lapse in judgement and show remorse for your actions. When conveyed sincerely, the hiring manager will be more inclined to overlook the infraction and offer you the job.
• Action and Change
It’s equally important to take actions demonstrating how much you’ve grown and changed as a result of your DUI conviction. By volunteering at a sober living facility, being a M.A.D.D. advocate, and showing how much your experience has changed you for the better, you’ll greatly increase your chances of landing the job.
What You Need to Know
Some fire departments operate via a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to DUIs and similar convictions. So, if you’ve been convicted of a DUI, you should contact your local department to learn about its official policy prior to applying.
As mentioned above, time is very important. The more time that has passed since your DUI conviction, the better your chances of being hired. Everyone, even the most decorated firemen in the department, has done things they’re not proud of. They’re people too, and most realize the fact that we all make mistakes.
If you have a DUI conviction on your background yet make it through to the panel interview, psychological exam, and the other later stages of the firefighter hiring process, consider it a victory won. This means despite your past mistakes, they’re potentially willing to add you to the team.
Nonetheless, it goes without saying that a DUI conviction doesn’t look good on your record and won’t do you any favors in your interview. That’s why it’s important to choose a DUI lawyer who will fight for you and your future by thoroughly examining the evidence and exhausting all possible options before advising a guilty plea.
Succeed as a Firefighter Despite a DUI
Getting a job after a DUI and succeeding as a firefighter means you must successfully navigate the interview process. If you’re not asked about your DUI, don’t make the mistake of bringing it up.
While you may feel like you’re being dishonest and hiding something, you’re not. If the hiring managers have performed a BCI background check, which they almost certainly have, they already know about your DUI. So, there’s no sense reminding them.
Your single objective during the interview is to make yourself appear as the best firefighter candidate for the department. Bringing up a negative aspect of your past they’re already aware of will not help you achieve your goal.
Although you shouldn’t freely offer damaging information, you shouldn’t lie about your DUI conviction when asked about it either. If you’re caught lying in your interview or throughout any part of the hiring process, you can say goodbye to your dream of being a firefighter as your chances of being hired will be slim to none. Remember, everyone has made mistakes in their past, and any reasonable hiring manager will understand this fact.
It’s also important to take action and ownership of your lapse in judgement and the mistake you made. The primary pillars of the firefighting community are responsibility and accountability. If you try to deflect blame for your mistake, you’ll erase any chances of making it past the interview.
Ask yourself, “What have I done to show I’ve learned from my mistake, and what actions have I taken to ensure I never repeat it?” While everyone makes mistakes, very few can show they have truly changed. Your ability to do so will determine whether you get hired for the job or get passed over.
For example, let’s say you’re 27 now, but you were arrested for a DUI when you were 23. Four years have passed with no other incidents, so time is working in your favor.
Now, consider what you’ve done during this time. Has it impacted your life so greatly that you quit drinking altogether? Do you now volunteer to help drunk driving accident victims? It needs to be your goal to convey what actions you’ve taken to demonstrate how much you’ve learned from your mistake. Simply saying, “I learned my lesson and no longer drink and drive” won’t cut it.
The bottom line is to admit your mistake, take ownership of it, and show the actions you’ve taken since to better yourself and your community. If you’re able to do this, your chances of being hired as a fireman despite your DUI will greatly increase. Even if you don’t get hired, it will be a huge step in the right direction and you’ll earn the respect of the person interviewing you.
Get Representation Today!
Can you be a firefighter with a DUI? Sure you can, but it’s much better to avoid being convicted of a DUI in the first place. To do so, you’ll need excellent legal representation. Contact a lawyer today for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.
Can You Rent A Car With A DUI / DWI?
After you were convicted of drinking under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the court may have outlined all of the things you can’t do if you have a DUI. However, the judge may not have told you what it would be like getting a rental car if you have a DUI or a DWI on your driving record.
At some point in your life, you may need to see about renting a moving van or car if your own vehicle is in the shop or if you need a larger vehicle to use during a long distance move. Learn the answer now to Can You Rent a Car with a DUI by discovering what criteria vehicle rental companies look for when deciding whether or not to lease cars and vans to clients with less than perfect driving records.
Can You Rent a Car with a DUI?
The answer to Rent You Get a Car with a DUI depends on the nature of the DUI or DWI charge of which you were convicted. It goes without question that the rental company will discover the conviction on your record even if you go to some lengths to hide it. The company will run a background check on your driver’s license number and your driving record and discover that you were arrested and convicted for this crime.
As such, it is important that you are forthcoming with the information and admit your responsibility in the offense. Admitting that you drove under the influence may not necessarily bar you from getting a rental car or renting a moving van. However, it will make it more difficult, which is why you need to be honest about the circumstances of your arrest and conviction.
If you did not harm anyone, damage any property, or had a relatively low blood alcohol or BAC level during your DUI arrest, you may find it easier to rent a car or van than if you damaged property, harmed or killed someone, or had a BAC that was significantly over the legal limit. If you were convicted of DUI or DWI but paid a monetary fined or served out community service, you might be allowed to rent a car or van. However, you may be required to put up a larger deposit or invest in extra car insurance.
If you served jail time or had your license or driving privileges taken away, you more than likely will not be allowed to rent a car or van from the leasing company. The company may view you as too much of a liability and not want to take a risk on you being responsible while you are driving its vehicle.
So what can you do if you need to rent a vehicle but have a severe DUI or DWI conviction on your record? Do you have to add it to the list of things you can’t do if you have a DUI or DWI? Fortunately, there are a number of options available to you, the most significant of which includes hiring a DUI or DWI lawyer to assist you.
Can You Get A CDL With A DUI / DWI?
Commercial drivers are entrusted with responsibilities for which everyday drivers are not equipped. Because they must know how to operate heavy and expensive semi-trucks safely and carefully, they are expected to study, test, and apply for a commercial drivers licence before they are hired on by over-the-road hauling companies.
When you want to acquire or maintain this license, you may wonder Can You Get a CDL with a DUI on your record. You may be able to start or continue driving a truck after a DUI depending on the state in which you plan to work or the company at which you apply for employment.
What is a commercial drivers licence and how does it differ from a license that you get to drive your personal vehicle? A CDL is a special license that allows you to drive not only big rigs or semi-trucks but also may be required for driving a limo or driving for Uber. Many states require this special class of license for driving any vehicle that is longer or heavier than a personal vehicle like a sedan or pickup truck or any vehicle that is used for a commercial purpose like public transport.
Many commercial companies like over-the-road hauling corporations or companies that hire people for driving a limo for special events likewise require that their drivers undergo this special training and licensing. People hired for driving for Uber or other ride sharing companies are typically considered to be safer and better drivers if they go through the rigorous training and testing for a CDL.
However, like a regular drivers license, a CDL can be negatively impacted if you are arrested for and convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The court has the right to restrict or take away your CDL, which in turn could make it difficult or impossible for you to keep your job as a commercial driver.
Further, a DUI could prevent you from getting a CDL if you have yet to obtain this type of license. Again, the answer to Can You Get a CDL with a DUI varies from state to state. Nonetheless, it is best that you know the broader impact of how this offense can impact your ability to pursue a career in commercial driving. You may be able to realize your career goals and protect your CDL better if you have a DUI attorney to help you avoid a drunk driving conviction or expunge your record.
How a DUI Attorney Can Help
A DUI attorney can be your best resource if you are serious about getting or keeping a CDL as well as a job in the commercial driving industry. Some companies that hire commercial drivers will overlook a DUI that has been on your record for some time. In fact, some businesses require you to have no DUI offenses within the last year on your record but may overlook convictions that are a year or more older.
Still, some CDL companies are not that forgiving and require that you have as stellar driving record as possible. Even an older DUI could put you in jeopardy of being turned down for a driving job even if you have a current CDL. Rather than put your driving career at risk, you can get and maintain a clean driving and criminal record by hiring a DUI attorney to take your case. Your attorney may be able to help you avoid a DUI conviction or have prior DUIs expunged from your record so that you can get a CDL and commercial driving job.
If you are facing a possible DUI conviction, it is crucial that you get a DUI lawyer on retainer as quickly as possible. You cannot afford to lose even a single day of defense as your case progresses through the court system.
Immediately after your arrest, booking, and processing, you should reach out to a local DUI attorney to take your case. If you can, you should make that phone call before you are arraigned. If not, you should hire a lawyer just as soon as you bond out of jail. You need a lawyer working your case from the very first day after you are arrested for DUI.
Your attorney will get to work right away to determine if the police had due cause for pulling you over and testing you for DUI. If there is any discrepancy in your detainment or field sobriety test results, your lawyer may ask the court to dismiss the charges. The charges also could be dropped if your rights were violated at any time during your arrest and processing.
If the charges are upheld, your lawyer may be able to get them reduced if you are a first-time offender or if you are a juvenile. Reduced charges could result in you paying a fine or doing community service. These punishments could help you keep your CDL and still make you eligible for employment as a commercial driver.
Once a DUI is placed on your record, it is important that you know whether or not you can have it expunged. When you have the conviction expunged, you are basically hiding it from certain people like corporate recruiters, insurers, leasing agents, and others who typically perform routine background checks.
When the conviction is expunged, it is no longer visible to these individuals. They cannot find out if or when you were ever convicted of DUI.
Your lawyer may be able to get the record expunged if the offense took place years ago and you satisfied all of the terms of your sentencing. Likewise, it could be expunged if the conviction occurred when you were a juvenile or if any details of the case like your field sobriety tests could be called into question.
How to Hire a DUI Attorney
A DUI attorney can be a tremendous ally in your efforts to avoid a DUI conviction or clean up your driving and criminal records. But how can you find one to hire and how can you afford to pay for an attorney?
When you want to find a good DUI lawyer to take your case, you should start by asking friends and family members for recommendations. With DUI being one of the most common offenses in society today, chances are that someone you know also knows the name of a good DUI lawyer.
If not, you can go online and read the reviews of local DUI attorneys. You may consider those who have the highest client ratings. You can also call the state bar association to ask for a referral for a competent DUI attorney.
Paying for a DUI lawyer is not as complicated as it would appear. Many lawyers allow you to make payments or use a credit card to pay your legal fees. Some even allow you to use assets like a tax refund to settle your legal expenses.
If you cannot afford to hire a DUI attorney, you must by law be appointed one by the court. This right is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and allows people with little to no financial means to have access to suitable legal counsel when facing charges like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A career in commercial driving can give you the satisfaction and income that you look for in a job. However, your license and employment could be in jeopardy if you are convicted of driving under the influence.
You can beat a DUI charge and keep your CDL by hiring a DUI attorney to take your case. Your lawyer may be able to help you avoid being convicted or ask the court to have your DUI conviction expunged from your record.
Can You Get a Passport With a DUI or DWI?
Meta: Getting a passport with a DUI can be tricky. Learn how to travel to a foreign country with a DUI on your record.
A DUI conviction can have long-lasting consequences in your ability to drive. Even if you are a first-time offender, you could still have your driver’s license suspended for up to 90 days, making it next to impossible to go to work or school.
Still, you may wonder Can You Get a Passport with a DUI on your driving and criminal record. Find out if you can still travel with a DUI and what it might be like getting a visa after a DUI conviction by keeping these important facts in mind.
How a DUI Impacts Your Passport
In all honest, a DUI probably will have little to no impact on a passport that you already have. The court will not force you to hand over your passport after you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated unless you are facing felony charges or have been placed under federal arrest or subpoena.
Otherwise, a misdemeanor DUI cannot technically stop you if you want to travel to a foreign country or if you want to travel with a DUI on your record. While you may enjoy relative leniency in the U.S. when it comes to keeping your passport, you may not enjoy the same freedom if you want to travel to a foreign country after you have been arrested or convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In fact, using your passport with a DUI may be next to impossible depending on the country to which you plan to travel and visit. For example, Canada reserves the right to deny entry to foreign visitors who have criminal records of any kind including records of driving while intoxicated. Despite you having an unrestricted passport with a DUI, you still may not be able to get past customs at the airport because of your driving and criminal record.
Moreover, the entire question of Can You Get a Passport with a DUI on your record can only be solved by considering the specifics of your case. As mentioned, you can generally keep the passport that you already have. However, you may find getting a visa after a DUI to be more difficult if you have yet to apply for and receive a passport.
Many courts mandate that DUI offenders not be allowed to get passports because of their offenses. You must serve out any punishments handed down by the court before this restriction on travel can be lifted. If you attempt to get a passport with the travel restriction on your records, you will be turned down and could even face arrest for trying to travel outside of the country without the judge’s approval.
With that, what happens if you must travel outside of the U.S. for business or other reasons? Do you have to stay stateside until the court releases its restriction and you serve out your sentence? How can you get into countries like Canada if that country reserves the right to deny entry to foreign visitors who have criminal records of any kind?
The answer to these and other DUI travel-related questions are not easy. However, when you want them to be answered thoroughly if not to your satisfaction, you need a skilled DUI lawyer working for you and overseeing your case today.
How a DUI Attorney Can Help You and Your Passport Issues
A skilled DUI lawyer will be able to assess your case quickly and devise a plan of action that could allow you to travel to foreign countries easier in spite of your DUI conviction. This plan may include:
- having the DUI expunged from your record
- reviewing your case to ensure that your arrest was legal
- reviewing the results of your field sobriety test
- contesting the conviction based on the violation of your constitutional rights
- asking for a reduction or elimination of charges based on no prior DUI history
Depending on the circumstances of your case, any or all of these solutions could be used to clear your record and help you get a passport so that you can travel to and from foreign countries. Asking the judge yourself for any of these resolutions can be a complex and time consuming task. When you want the best outcome, you need a DUI attorney working for you.
Your lawyer may be able to review your case and find out if you were legally detained and arrested for driving under the influence. Did the police officer have due cause to stop and test you for intoxication that day?
If the evidence points to you being pulled over and arrested without due cause, the lawyer may ask the court to have the charges and subsequent conviction overturned. This action would clear your record and allow you to get a passport or enter countries that once turned you away at customs.
Likewise, your attorney can make sure that the results of any field sobriety testing were accurate and read correctly by the arresting officer. Many police departments do not offer extensive training in how to administer field sobriety tests. Police officers may misinterpret the results and wrongfully arrest you for DUI when in fact you are under the 0.08 percent allowable blood alcohol content limit.
If the test results were skewed or wrongfully interpreted, your attorney can ask the court to dismiss the conviction. You would then be free to use your passport and travel internationally.
Finally, if you are a first-time offender, you may argue that you should not be subject to the severest of penalties that are usually reserved for repeat offenders. Why should you be prohibited from applying for a passport and visa if you have never before been arrested or convicted of DUI?
Your lawyer can make the argument in court and ask the judge for leniency. If the judge agrees, he or she may dismiss the charges and have the conviction expunged from your record.
Because these solutions should be available to you from Day One after your DUI arrest, it is important that you know how and when to hire an attorney. You should be allowed to contact a DUI attorney immediately after your arrest, booking, and processing. If you cannot afford to hire one yourself, you could ask the court to appoint one for you at no cost.
Having an attorney appointed to you at no cost to you is one of your guaranteed Miranda rights. This right entitles you to legal counsel right away after you are arrested for DUI.
However, if you can afford to hire a lawyer to represent you, it is important that you know what qualifications to look for in a potential legal representative. Some of the questions that you should ask your attorney during your initial consultation include:
- How long have you practiced law?
- What percentage of your law practice is devoted to DUI law?
- Do you know how DUI laws will impact my passport?
- Can you help me regain my ability to travel overseas as needed?
- Who will build my defense case, you or your paralegals and assistants?
- Will you directly and quickly respond to my phone calls and emails?
These questions will help you vet and hire a lawyer who is more than capable of taking on your DUI and passport case. You should keep them in mind before you arrive to your initial meeting with your lawyer.
Having a DUI on your criminal and driving record can negatively impact your ability to get and use your DUI. You may not be forced to hand over your passport. However, you still may not be able to use it to travel to countries like Canada. Find out how you can clear your record and safeguard your passport and travel rights despite having a DUI on your record.