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Can you lose your job over a DWI?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious charge in Texas -- even when it's your first offense. While it's always wisest to abstain from drinking if you're going to be driving, many people make the mistake of having a drink or two with dinner and thinking that they can drive home without detection.

It's only when you're standing at the side of the road with an officer who is demanding that you breathe into a Breathalyzer that you may realize you should have called for a ride instead. Once the reality sets in, its natural to panic about the consequences -- especially if you're worried how a DWI might affect your job.

Unless you caused a serious accident, you'll most likely be able to bond out of jail on a DWI charge almost immediately -- which can prevent you from losing your job through an attendance issue.

But that's not where your trouble will end. If you're convicted, you may end up losing your job for any one of these reasons:

  • Your employer's insurance may no longer cover you. If your position requires you to be bonded, your employer may find it too expensive to keep you on the payroll once you have a criminal record.
  • You may not be able to drive. If your job requires you to hold a commercial driver's license (CDL), you won't be able to maintain it with a suspended license.
  • You may be in violation of your employment contract. Some companies require their employees to adhere to a morality clause in their contract that allows the company to terminate them if they're convicted of a crime.
  • You may be considered a security risk. If your job requires a security clearance, a criminal conviction has to be reported when your clearance comes up for renewal -- and you may no longer meet the qualifications.

Don't let a single mistake turn into a disaster. Talk to a DWI defense attorney about your case as soon as practical after your arrest.

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