Why Your Best Option Might Not Be To Plead Guilty To DWI
In some countries, You May Not Be Able To Travel To
A majority of probation peas prohibit any travel outside of Texas. You are required, by law, to request permission and receive permission to leave the State of Texas – and leaving the country can be even harder. These consequences are often overlooked by people.
Before pleading guilty to a DWI charge weigh those considerations carefully since it is a lot easier to get a court to allow travel before pleading guilty. Also, certain countries won’t allow you to enter with a DWI conviction.
For example, Canada does not allow entry without you doing one of the following two things:
- Obtain a Temporary Residence Permit that requests entry for a certain length of time and specific purpose. Each time you would like to enter, you must apply.
- Apply for Criminal Rehabilitation that permanently removes the issue of entry after five years from your conviction date and probation has expired or all fines are paid.
You Can Lose Your Job And Not Many Companies Will Be Willing To Hire You
The most important and probably the most severe consequence that comes with a DWI conviction is you can lose your career and job. Each “collateral consequence” discussed above, may end your career where you are an educated professional or skilled laborer.
For example, if part of your job involves driving, pleading guilty should not be an option. For example, if you are a truck driver after your CDL is suspended, you won’t have a job. The consequences might not be as obvious if part of your sales job or sales position involves driving a company car. Although you might be able to keep your driver’s license, many companies will fire you due to increased insurance rates.
If You Plead Guilty You Could End Up Losing Your Professional License
In the state of Texas, several processing plants, chemical plants, and refineries require security clearance credentials and special licenses for employees. A DWI conviction might impact your ability to hold those licenses.
If an ignition interlock device is required to be installed on your vehicle as one of the terms of your probation, your employer and you might be embarrassed if you drive clients around in your car. In those situations, the court might allow you to get a letter from your company and allow you to drive the company car without having an interlock device. However, you need to be aware of this in order to make a proper request.
Finally, it is very important to know when your DWI needs to be disclosed to your employer. There are some employers who will keep you after you receive a DWI conviction after knowing about it. If you don’t notify them of your arrest they might discharge you. Check your company’s human resource policies or handbook with an experienced DWI lawyer who can help to ensure that you are making the right decision at the very beginning of your DWI case.
Your DWI Record May Be Sealed
Your DWI records might be sealed under Texas state law and provisions which keep them concealed from the view of the public. But having the record sealed and getting it expunged are not the same thing. Anyone who is in law enforcement or any prosecutor still will have access to your sealed record and can use it against you and make your punishment worse if you are arrested again for a DWI. An expungement completely erases the record as though it never occurred. However, if you plead guilty, neither of those options will be available to you.
A Guilty Plea Still is an Option
We do want to be very clear that it is still an option to plead guilty to your DWI charge. However, in the end, when you consider the impact it will have on your entire life, you do have other options. Make sure you carefully weigh your decisions and consult with a DWI attorney who will be able to provide you with the right counsel.
Because it is too late after you plead guilty. Give Jim a call today and let him give you a free consultation so that you can get the help that you need. You can contact Jim for your free consultation! Click here for the second article in this series.