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Tips for Explaining a DWI in a Job Interview

Updated: Aug 3, 2023 @ 1:14 am

Less than 1 minuteReading Time: Minutes

One of the worst things about a DWI arrest is having to explain it to people. Although most people will remain in the dark, you can expect an employer to pull a background check on you as part of the screening process whenever you apply for a job. That’s usually when they find out about the DWI arrest or conviction.

Is there a particular way to talk about a DWI arrest? And is it possible to seal or expunge these records? Our Houston DWI defense lawyer provides some general advice.

How to Handle a DWI in a Job Interview

Probably nothing causes fear quite like hearing, “So, let’s talk about your criminal history” when you are participating in a job interview. You really need the job. What you don’t need is to be reminded of mistakes that you made in the past.

Here are some basic tips for dealing with this question if it comes up:

  1. Be upfront. If they are asking about the DWI, don’t lie and pretend they have someone else’s criminal history or act as if you can’t remember. You can admit you were arrested. Even if the arrest is 10 years old, you should be upfront about it.
  2. Don’t make excuses. Don’t claim that you were intoxicated only because you grabbed your sleeping pills by accident when you really needed ibuprofen. Far-fetched stories like these do not sound credible, and you will come off looking even worse. Employers want to hire people who are honest—even if they made a mistake in their past.
  3. Explain how you’ve changed. As part of your DWI sentence, you probably participated in alcohol education programs or treatment programs. Explain how they have helped you realize the importance of remaining sober.
  4. Don’t volunteer unnecessary details. Maybe you ended up running over someone’s mailbox while drunk or completely totaled your sister’s car. Those details might not be in your criminal background history, so there’s no need to go into them.
  5. Don’t complain about unfairness. Maybe the jury convicted you when the evidence was shaky. Although unfair, an employer is not interested in anything that sounds like an excuse.

In short, you can address a DWI with confidence—especially if you truly have turned your life around.

Can You Expunge or Seal Your DWI Records?

It’s possible, depending on the facts. For example, if you were merely arrested for DWI but had charges dismissed, you might expunge the arrest record. That means you would not need to disclose it when you go to a job interview or even report it on an application.

In other situations, you might obtain an Order of Non-Disclosure, which seals the record (though it stops short of destroying it). Still, because your record is sealed, private citizens like employers cannot find out about the DWI. You can answer honestly that you were not arrested if you’ve obtained a Non-Disclosure Order.

Need Assistance with a DWI Case?

Contact Houston DWI Attorney Tad Nelson Today!

The best way to move forward following an arrest is to vigorously fight the charges. Tad Nelson has defended thousands of people and can provide a free case evaluation to see if there are any solutions to help you get the situation behind you.

To get stared, call us at 713-802-1631.

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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