Can I Become a Police Officer if I Have a DUI?

Person holding out their car keys
Nobody is perfect. No matter how good a person’s intentions may be, the truth is that everyone messes up at one point or another. While some mistakes can be easily forgotten, others have more long-lasting consequences, such as a DUI. Once a person is convicted of a DUI, it can make it difficult to move on, as a conviction can affect all aspects of life. This is especially the case for individuals facing DUI with hopes of becoming a police officer in the Phoenix, AZ area. An attorney such as James Novak, who is experienced in DUI defense to help individuals avoid the serious consequences of this crime, can be a vital asset to someone facing DUI charges. An experienced DUI attorney can make all the difference between moving past a mistake and having your future hindered by it.

Is It Possible to Become a Police Officer after a DUI Conviction?

It is not impossible for individuals with a prior DUI conviction to become a police officer. There are no universal standards in place that would prevent someone with a DUI conviction from entering the field of law enforcement. However, each police department has their own unique policies regarding prior convictions, and it is fair to assume that a DUI would certainly make it more difficult to be hired on as a police officer. Generally, when considering police officer applicants with a prior DUI conviction, departments are likely to take into account the following factors:

  • The date of the conviction: Most departments recognize that individuals can mature and move on after making a mistake such as driving under the influence, so the date of conviction does matter. Someone with a DUI in the past six months, for instance, may find it more difficult to get hired by a police department than someone whose conviction was several years ago.
  • The number of DUI offenses: Again, mistakes are made, so a single DUI offender may stand a chance of being hired as a police officer. On the other hand, someone with multiple DUI offenses may not be viewed as an ideal candidate for a law enforcement position.
  • The types of substances used: DUI can refer to a situation in which someone was driving while intoxicated, or driving while under the influence of drugs. This detail is likely to matter to a police department. Someone driving while intoxicated may be viewed differently than someone who was under the influence of illegal drugs.

Overall, while a DUI will not necessarily automatically exclude a person from a career as a police officer, it certainly can make the prospect more unlikely.

Protect Your Future

A DUI conviction can affect a person’s life in numerous ways, with career opportunities being just one such aspect. The best chance a person has to avoid these long-term consequences is to work with an experienced DUI defense attorney who understands the intricacies of the law. With a strong defense, many DUI suspects can avoid conviction and move on with their lives.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are facing DUI charges, it is in your best interest to seek the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney. James Novak has handled many DUI cases and would be happy to advise you of your legal options. Schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience to discuss the details of your case and find out how we can assist you in avoiding a DUI conviction.

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