In New Jersey, drivers suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI) may be arrested and criminally charged. The charges are quite serious and may take some time to sort out. In that time, those pending charges might show up in a background check.
It is certainly possible for pending DWI charges to appear in a New Jersey background check, but it is not always guaranteed. Whether pending charges show up in a background check depends on who is running the check and what they are looking for. Even if the pending charges appear in a background check, the consequences may vary from person to person. In many cases, people are denied job opportunities because of pending DWI charges, particularly for jobs that involve driving.
If you were recently arrested for a DWI and are afraid of your pending charges appearing in a background check, our New Jersey DWI defense lawyers can help you fight the charges so there is no record of a conviction. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 for a free case evaluation.
Do Pending DWI Charges Show Up on Background Checks in New Jersey?
It can be difficult to say whether pending DWI charges or other criminal records will appear on a New Jersey background check. Not all background checks are the same, and different information might show up depending on what is being searched.
Arrests are part of your criminal record, and an arrest for a DWI might show up in a New Jersey background check. However, it might not show up depending on the parameters of the background check. For example, if the background check is only searching for convictions, an arrest for a pending DWI will not appear. Since your DWI is pending, there is no conviction on your record. Our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers can help you fight your DWI and hopefully prevent a conviction.
Alternatively, some background checks only check for records from the last few years. For example, the person conducting the background check might only search your criminal record from the last 2 years. If your pending DWI occurred just over 2 years ago, it would be beyond the reach of the background check. Keep in mind, pending DWI charges tend to be from recent incidents. Although, a pending DWI that has been delayed for an extended period of time is not impossible.
Consequences of Pending DWI Charges in New Jersey Background Checks
Now that we know a pending DWI might show up in a background check, the next logical question is what happens when the DWI is discovered? The answer to that question depends on who is conducting the background check and what they are looking for.
Background checks are common parts of job interviews. Certain jobs sometimes require that employees have clean criminal backgrounds or at least be free from specific kinds of convictions. For example, professional drivers such as truckers or bus drivers must be free from DWI convictions to have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).
A pending DWI may or may not prevent you from getting a job that requires a CDL. The employer might decide to delay your hiring until you are convicted or acquitted of the DWI. In other cases, the employer might deny you the job in favor of an applicant with no pending DWIs.
Under New Jersey’s Opportunity to Compete Act, specifically under N.J.S.A. § 34:6B-14(a), a potential employer cannot inquire about a job applicant’s criminal history during any initial employment application process. Typically, a criminal background check is conducted after an initial job offer.
Our Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys can help you fight your pending DWI charges so you are not blocked from certain job opportunities.
Can I Prevent Pending DWI Charges from Appearing in New Jersey Background Checks?
The best way to prevent pending DUI charges from showing up in background checks in New Jersey is to be acquitted or have the charges dropped or dismissed. In that case, there would be no DWI conviction on your record. Our New Jersey DWI defense attorneys can go over your case with you and determine the best defense methods for your situation.
One possible defense tactic is to suppress the evidence against you. Suppressed evidence is evidence that is not allowed to be introduced at trial. One common reason evidence is suppressed is that law enforcement illegally obtained it. For example, if the police physically forced you to submit to chemical testing – which is illegal – evidence of your BAC can be suppressed. The more evidence that is suppressed, the weaker the prosecutor’s case is. In some cases, prosecutors cannot press charges with the evidence they have left and instead choose to drop them.
Our Avalon criminal defense attorneys can also review your DWI arrest. If there was not enough probable cause to support the arrest, we can challenge any evidence obtained pursuant to the arrest. Similarly, if DWI checkpoint protocols were not followed, your arrest might have been illegal.
Can I Prevent Past DWI Convictions from Appearing in New Jersey Background Checks?
To prevent pending DWI charges from appearing in background checks, we can help you fight the charges and avoid a conviction. Past convictions for DWIs are a different story. While many criminal convictions can be expunged from your record, DWI convictions are not eligible for expungements.
Our New Jersey DWI defense lawyers can help you file an appeal depending on how recent your DWI conviction was. An appeal is when we ask a higher court to review the ruling of the lower court where you were convicted. If the lower court made legal errors, you might be granted a new trial and a second shot at fighting your DWI charges.
If we can successfully challenge your DWI on appeal, we can continue working on getting the charges dropped or dismissed. In that case, the DWI would not appear in a background check.
Contact Our New Jersey DWI Defense Attorneys
If you have pending DWI charges and are worried about them showing up in a background check, our Ocean City DUI defense lawyers can help you fight the charges and hopefully keep them out of a background check. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 and ask about a free initial case evaluation.