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Should I Tell My Boss About My DWI Arrest and Pending Charges?

Whether or not your inform your boss about a driving while impaired (DWI) arrest is up to you. In most cases, you have no obligation to share that information with your employer given that you have not been convicted of a crime. However, there could be situations where you are obligated to inform them—especially if you are ultimately convicted.

Ultimately, your obligation to your employer will depend entirely on the nature of your employment. Are you an at-will employee? If so, you have little obligation to inform them of an arrest in most cases. Are you under contract? That is where things can be different.

The important thing to remember is that an arrest for a DWI is very different than a conviction. An arrest can trigger serious consequences, but there is no guarantee that a DWI conviction will be a result. Call the attorneys of Gerald Miller right away to discuss your defense options.


You Cannot Face Criminal Consequences For Not Telling Your Employer

One thing you will not have to worry about in the aftermath of a DWI arrest is additional criminal consequences for not reporting your arrest to your employer. While your arrest could cost you your job, it is not against the law to withhold news of your arrest from your employer.

In fact, you are under no obligation to discuss your arrest with anyone. There are circumstances where it could be in your best interest to inform your employer about an arrest, but the failure to do so will not lead to additional criminal charges.


Your Job Could be At Risk If You Fail to Disclose an Arrest in Minnesota

There is no risk that the failure to tell your employer of your arrest could result in additional criminal charges. Of course, that does not mean keeping that information to yourself could never come back to haunt you. If you do not disclose your arrest and your employer eventually finds out, there are any number of consequences you could face.

If you are an at-will employee, your employer has the right to terminate your employment. They can do so because you failed to disclose your arrest, but they could also fire you because you were arrested in the first place. As an at-will employee, there is little you can do about these consequences.

There could be times when the consequences you face at work are far greater due to a failure to inform your employer. Even though you are an at-will employee, you likely have an employee handbook that your employers require you to abide by. These handbooks often include language requiring workers to notify an employer about any pending criminal charge.

The bottom line is that your arrest could cost you your employment. In some situations, failing to inform your boss could put your employment at even further risk. If your employment handbook requires you to disclose an arrest, it could be in your best interest to do so. Some employers are likely to be more forgiving about a potential arrest than dishonesty. That said, only you can make that decision for yourself.


What if I am a Contracted Employee in Minnesota?

If you have signed an employment contract, your obligations to your employer could be very different compared to everyone else. Unlike at-will employment, your contract could set out specific requirements assuming you are ever arrested under suspicion of a DWI or other crime. These agreements could specify a certain set of actions you are required to take following a DWI arrest.

There are financial risks associated with failing to adhere to the terms of an employment contract. Depending on the language of your contract, the failure to report an arrest could be a greater threat to your employment than the arrest itself. If you are arrested for misdemeanor DWI, there is a chance your contract could protect you from immediate termination.

You could also face claims of breach of contract if you fail to uphold your duty to report your arrest to your employer. Every employment contract is different, and the requirements you face will depend on the wording of your agreement. However, any breach of your contract could result in serious financial hardship for you.


Should I Tell My Professional Licensing Board in Minnesota?

If your line of work requires that you maintain a professional license, your obligation to report your arrest to that governing body could be greater than any duty you owe to your employer. Every professional licensing body has their own bylaws, and some of them are also governed by state or federal law. For that reason, the obligation to report an arrest for DWI to one professional body could be very different for another.

In many cases, professional licensing bodies will only require the reporting of a conviction for DWI. With some professions, a single conviction for a misdemeanor conviction will not put a license at risk. Felony DWI convictions are often a different story.

There are certain professions where even an arrest for DWI must be reported immediately. This is especially common for professions that involve transporting other individuals. Pilots are required to report their DWI arrests immediately instead of waiting for a conviction. Often, their licenses are suspended temporary while the case is pending.

What is important to remember is that with virtually every professional licensing body, failing to report an arrest when it is required by their bylaws is a serious offense. It is not uncommon for a person to lose their license due to their failure to report, even though the criminal arrest or conviction itself might not have resulted in license forfeiture.


What About My Driver’s License in Minnesota?

Another factor to consider is your ability to drive. Even if you have no obligation to report an arrest to your employer, the impact your arrest has on your driver’s license could still require you to notify them.

If your ability to drive is crucial to your employment, a DWI could have a dramatic impact on your professional life. It is possible for you to face a lengthy suspension of your driving privileges even if you have not yet been convicted of a crime.

The suspension of your driving privileges is an administrative matter, not a criminal issue. That means you could lose your ability to drive—and possibly your job—before you ever have a chance to defend yourself in court.

Every person arrested for DWI will face the same challenges regarding their driving privileges. The arrest officers will replace your license with something known as a 7-day temporary permit. This paper permit allows you to drive for the next week, but after that your license is revoked. The good news is you can object to this revocation and fight back during a hearing.


Fighting Your License Suspension in Minnesota

The first step in fighting the revocation of your driving privileges is by formally challenging the administrative action against your license. You have 60 days to do so, and missing this deadline will result in the revocation of your license for the full period.

If you challenge your license revocation, you are entitled to a hearing. This is s not a criminal proceeding, and it will not take place during your DWI trial. Instead, this administrative hearing is solely focused on your driving privileges. If you prevail at your hearing, the state is required to return your license to you right away.


Talk to Gerald Miller About Your DWI Arrest in Minnesota

The decision to inform your employer about your DWI or keep that information to yourself is an important decision that could impact your personal and professional life for years to come. However, this is only one of the important decisions you will be asked to make following an arrest.

The good news is that you never have to reach these decisions alone. You are entitled to an attorney, and you have the right to hire the defense counsel of your choice. The attorneys of Gerald Miller are proud to fight for the rights of the accused, and we look forward to discussing your case with you. Before you consider a plea, contact our firm right away for a free consultation.


About the author

Kyle Dreger

Kyle Dreger is a skilled DUI/DWI and Criminal Defense lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. Kyle has received his law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He is also a professionally trained basketball player.

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