Unless you have it expunged or receive limited access relief, a DUI will stay on your record for life. As a matter of public record in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, your DUI conviction will affect your criminal background, credit records, insurance history, driver’s license history and many other facets of your life. In fact, the commonwealth will update your record in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Driver’s Register. For more information, please keep reading, then contact an experienced Pittsburgh first DUI lawyer. The ways having a DUI on your record in Pennsylvania will affect your life include:
It is quite common for potential employers to require a background check as a condition of employment. Many employers cannot, or will not, hire employees with a DUI conviction, especially those that:
- Contract with the government
- Interact with children, and
- Allow employees to drive company vehicles
Renting a home
As with most employers, the majority of property managers and landlords will request credit and criminal history checks prior to agreeing to rent you a home or apartment. Any convictions on your record may provide them with grounds for denying your rental application.
Auto insurance rates
Compounding your difficulties, a DUI conviction will very likely prevent you from obtaining affordable car insurance. According to some estimates, Pennsylvania car owners with DUI convictions pay twice as much as drivers who do not have a DUI conviction on their record.
Aside from criminal penalties, if you injured a person or damaged property while intoxicated, you open yourself up to the threat of a civil lawsuit. Unlike a criminal trial, a plaintiff need only prove their case “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Considering that means “more likely true than not,” the bar is significantly lower. On top of other expenses, you end up paying for the plaintiff’s monetary losses, pain and suffering and other damages caused by the car crash.
Sustaining a conviction for a DUI or losing a civil lawsuit can sever or strain formerly strong ties with spouses, children, friends and extended family. Even once you have your license reinstated, others may not entrust you to drive them anywhere. These same individuals may feel awkward asking you to social events with alcohol present. Some might even harbor unfavorable feelings regarding you because of the accommodations they had to make for the consequences of your DUI conviction.
The Commonwealth is very particular about expunging DUI convictions, so the best approach is to avoid a conviction in the first place. Speak with a skilled Allegheny County DUI lawyer for sound counsel and effective representation.
Contact Our Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer
If you are facing a DUI charge, contact The Law Offices of George Heym to schedule your free initial consultation.