Long-Term Consequences of a Tampa DUI

In the face of driving under the influence (DUI) charges, many first-time criminal defendants are focused on the criminal consequences of a DUI, including fines, driver’s license suspension, DUI School, community service, probation, and incarceration. However, what many defendants fail to consider are the long-term, non-criminal consequences of a DUI conviction.

In many legal circles, the non-criminal consequences of a DUI are referred to as “collateral consequences,” which can impact a DUI defendant’s life for years, long after they’ve paid their fines and completed their DUI probation. In reality, the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, even a misdemeanor DUI, can prohibit a person from attending certain colleges, obtaining a much-coveted college scholarship, accessing housing and employment, and more.

Are You Facing DUI Charges?

If you are facing DUI charges (for drugs or alcohol), before you even think of pleading guilty without fighting your charges, we want you to pause for a moment. Have you considered the burden that criminal convictions place on individuals who try to leave their criminal convictions behind, and become productive citizens? Read on as we explain.

Collateral consequences not only apply to convicted felons, but to individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanors, such as DUI. The collateral consequences of a DUI are not temporary; they last indefinitely and long after the individual has paid for their mistakes. The collateral consequences of a Florida DUI, include but are not limited to:

  • Housing: If you try to rent an apartment or a home, you could have extreme difficulty because many apartment managers and landlords simply won’t accept an applicant who has a criminal record of any kind.
  • Education: Many colleges will deny a student’s application if he or she has a criminal conviction. Also, if a college student fails to notify their current school of a recent DUI, and the school finds out, the student can be expelled.
  • Background Checks: DUIs do come up on background checks, so even if an employment application does not ask about criminal convictions, the employer can still find out.
  • College Sports: Often, a DUI can bar an athlete from playing college sports, or it can get an athlete kicked off the team.
  • Auto insurance: DUI convictions are reported on defendant’s driving records for years, so they cause auto insurance premiums to skyrocket.
  • Employment: Since DUIs are criminal convictions, they can place serious limitations on an individual’s employment opportunities for years to come.
  • Travel: Some countries, such as Canada deny entry to individuals with DUI convictions. If you plan to travel internationally, check with the country’s rules about criminal convictions before you buy that non-refundable plane ticket.
  • Mobility: Depending on the facts of a case, a judge can limit a DUI defendant’s mobility while he or she is on DUI probation.
  • Lifestyle: While on DUI probation, you can be ordered not to consume alcohol, not to consume drugs, and to submit to alcohol or drug tests.
  • Immigration: While a misdemeanor DUI generally won’t affect immigration, a felony DUI or a drug-related DUI can lead to removal proceedings.
  • Child Custody: If you enter into a child custody battle, a recent DUI conviction can tip the scales in your ex’s favor.
  • Professional Licenses: In some cases, a professional license will be cancelled or outright denied due to a recent DUI conviction.
  • Security Clearance: A DUI will come up on the background investigation, thus it can definitely lead to the denial of a security clearance.
  • Military Careers: A DUI can impact a military career. Often, a military DUI results in a reduction in rank, a reduction in pay grade, and a serious loss of face among fellow service members.

Facing DUI charges in Tampa? Contact Thomas & Paulk to meet with a member of our high-caliber defense team. To learn more about us, visit our case results page.