An arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas can result in criminal consequences ranging from incarceration and fines to the suspension of your license. What people often fail to consider when deciding how to handle pending Texas DWI charges are the secondary consequences of a conviction, including the impact it could have on their professional life.

There are multiple ways in which a DWI can influence your professional success and career trajectory. The more you understand these secondary consequences and impacts, the easier it will be to make a fully-informed decision about how to respond to pending criminal charges.

Losing your license could mean becoming unreliable

Even if you avoid missing work for court or a period of incarceration, you will likely lose your license to drive as part of DWI proceedings. That means that you will either need to carpool, rely on rideshare services, or otherwise depend on other people or public transportation to get to your work.

Not having control over when you can leave and when you arrive someplace could very well mean that you wind up missing work or arriving late frequently, which may make you seem less reliable in the eyes of your employer, a perception that could take years to change.

You could lose your professional licensing

The more educated and skilled your position requires you to be, the more likely it is that Texas licenses professionals in your field. Anyone from an accountant to a teacher needs a license to do their job.

Obviously, a DWI conviction will impact your commercial driver’s license and the ability of your employer to insure you if you drive a company vehicle. However, even if your job doesn’t involve driving, a significant criminal conviction could result in a review by the licensing authority that manages your profession in Texas, which could mean the loss of your licensing and future career hardship.

The inability to pass a background check can hold you back

Compared to the violent crimes or offenses that involve a breach of trust like embezzlement, a DWI might seem like a minor offense. However, many employers have very little tolerance for criminal convictions, even if they don’t directly relate to the work someone performs.

You could find yourself struggling to secure a new job or even getting denied raises and promotions from your current employer as a result of your new criminal record. Avoiding a conviction by defending yourself against DWI charges can reduce the likelihood of the alleged offense impacting your career and income.