One of the most common questions from teachers who have been charged with an OUI/DUI offense is how it will affect their employment status. There is certainly cause for concern in this regards as there are policies in place which give the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education authority to access information about these charges and use it to make determinations about the eligibility of applicants.
If you are a teacher facing an OUI, there are two main concerns when it comes to your future as a teacher:
- Making sure your educator license does not get revoked, limited or suspended.
- Making sure your criminal history stays clear so that future employers do not see the conviction and use it as grounds not to hire you.
How an OUI can affect the status of your educators license
Under the CORI (criminal offender record information) policy, The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is authorized by the Criminal History Systems Board (CHSB) to access conviction and pending criminal case data for the purpose of screening license applicants as well as current holders of education licenses. The Department will then make a judgment on the suitability of the applicant. The Department has the right to refuse to license the individual or to take action to revoke, limit or suspend the individual’s license.
What this means is depending on the nature of the offense and your prior history, an OUI offense may affect the status of your educators license.
How an OUI can affect your employment status for many years to come
Since an OUI offense stays on your criminal history, it will show up on background checks any time you apply to work at a school, no matter which state it is in. Background checks apps and programs are ubiquitous. Teachers, administrators, parents, and even students can easily find out if you have a drunk driving conviction. This can lead to not only a world of embarrassment, but it may also influence administrators not to hire you. In the real world, when there are two applicants, one of which has a clean record and the other has an OUI conviction, which do you think administrators will prefer?
This is why it is important that you get the correct legal information about your charge and take steps to fight against a conviction. The important thing to remember is that OUI/DUI cases can be won. An experienced attorney who knows forensic science will be able to set up challenges to the evidence collected.
It’s not too late to take the steps to preserve your future. Don’t let your career go to waste over one mistake. Call 888-526-9737 now for your free, detailed case consultation.