When you’re applying for an apartment or a new job, usually your employer or landlord will want you to submit to a background check. If you’re a person who has never been in trouble with the law before, a background check will be smooth sailing, and you’ll have nothing to worry about. If you’re been arrested before, however, you may be nervous about your background check and what it can uncover. Does a DWI show up on a background check?

Police officer assisting someone after a fender bender car accident

DWIs & Background Checks

The short answer is yes, a DWI in which you have been arrested and convicted of shows up on your background check, just like any other criminal offense will show. This can have long term ramifications for you if you’re applying for a job in which you need to drive or travel, and may result in an employer hiring someone other than you who they may believe will be more reliable on the job. A DWI conviction can show on public documents such as court records, law enforcement agency records, vehicle registration records, and more. A DWI can possibly stay on a person’s record indefinitely.

Motor Vehicle Record Checks & Pre-Employment Screenings

In addition to your criminal record, an employer may also request as part of a pre-employment screening your motor vehicle record. This is where your employer will uncover moving violations, driving infractions, parking tickets, and more. A DWI conviction may also show up on this record.

Lying about a DWI Conviction

Some people may “roll the dice” by lying on their employment application, hoping that a background check doesn’t uncover their DWI conviction. We do not advise lying on any application, whether for employment or otherwise. If you lie on your application, and your background check results in an offense, the employer is much more likely to terminate your employment for lying on your application, whereas it’s possible the DWI conviction may not be relevant to your employer had you been truthful.

Getting a DWI Conviction Removed

It is possible, in some instances, that a DWI conviction can be removed from your record. Expungement can be possible in cases where a conviction had not resulted, or where a charge was dismissed/not prosecuted. Petitioning for annulment requires you to petition the court after waiting a certain period of time as described by your offense. If you have been convicted of other crimes, or have charges pending, you may not be eligible. It is best to consult with a licensed attorney about petitioning for a DWI conviction annulment.

Avoiding a DWI on a Background Check

The only way to avoid a DWI showing up on a background check is not to be convicted of a DWI offense. This is why it’s important to hire an experienced, trustworthy DWI lawyer for your defense if you are arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. A DWI mistake can follow you around for the rest of your life and harm your potential chances for career advancement, changing careers, or finding a new home.
If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of a DWI, contact Bernstein & Mello, PLLC today.