Not all background checks are equal. You might “fail,” depending on why your background is being checked, whether you were convicted, how much time has passed, and how much the person checking your background cares. An important reason to agree to a plea bargain in which you plead guilty to a lesser charge is that it may have less of an impact when your background is checked in the future.
Why Would Someone Check My Background?
This Colorado Bureau of Investigation web page gives you an idea of how many reasons your background may be of interest, and this list is only the beginning. The most important reasons are:
Colorado law prohibits employers from asking job candidates about prior criminal convictions on their job applications, but there are exceptions. Further in the hiring process, you could be asked about convictions, and the potential employer can run a criminal background check.
Depending on the employer and job, there may or may not be a criminal background check. If there is one and it shows a DUI conviction, you only “fail” it if it prevents you from getting hired. Many drivers, at some point, have driven while impaired by one substance or another, but only a fraction have been arrested and even fewer have been convicted.
If it’s a job in transportation, your record may prevent you from being hired. For another kind of job, you may need to explain the situation. The fact you drove home from a party while impaired five years ago may not be as big a deal as drinking on the job and getting arrested while driving a company vehicle a year ago.
There are factors beyond your conviction record at play. If someone with your skills and or background is in high demand, and the employer is having difficulty hiring people, they may be more willing to look beyond what happened in the past.
Renting a Home
If you’re looking to rent a home, a landlord can consider a DUI conviction if it occurred within five years of the rental application. If a landlord does a criminal background check and you’ve had such a conviction, they could use it as a reason not to rent to you.
The situation is similar to applying for work. If there’s a lot of demand for a unit, the greater the interest in renting it, the higher the number of potential tenants, and the easier it is for a landlord to use this information against you.
Insurance companies use background checks to rate potential customers. People who show behavior risking their health and lives (like driving while intoxicated) may not be able to obtain life insurance, or the premiums could be so expensive they’re unaffordable. If you’ve been convicted of DUI in the past and want life insurance, shopping around may be a good idea because how much of a risk of a premature death you pose may be seen differently by insurance companies.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation if you’ve been arrested for a DUI and need help.