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How an OWI Can Ruin Your Life


Not only can an OWI in Wisconsin result in jail time, fines, and license suspension, but also a permanent criminal record that can cause lasting damage to your professional reputation and personal life. Even after you serve a jail sentence or probation and all fines are paid, the long-term impact of this conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life.

How OWI Affects Employment

The following are several ways a drunk driving charge can impact employment:

  • Background checks – Prior to hiring someone, most employers conduct criminal background checks. If a misdemeanor or felony DUI conviction shows up in your background check, the employer will most likely not hire you.
  • Current employment – An OWI conviction can also affect your current job. A drunk driving charge results in court dates, a term in jail, and even hours of community service, which can cause scheduling conflicts with your work that could result in your termination. If there is a work policy which states that a conviction of a crime will result in termination, then your job is at risk. If you are a commercial driver’s license holder and drive for a living, losing your license means losing your job.
  • Suspended license – If your driver’s license has been revoked and you failed to obtain a hardship license, then you would have to rely on public transportation, taxis, and ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft to commute to work or school. Losing the ability to drive leaves you prone to tardiness and absences, which can result in getting fired.

How OWI Affects Education

The following are several ways a drunk driving charge can impact education:

  • College applications – Many colleges and universities require applicants to list any criminal arrests or convictions on their application. Whether you have one or multiple OWI convictions on your criminal record, colleges will either deny your application or select another applicant more qualified for admission. However, community colleges and trade schools often accept those who have been convicted of OWI.
  • College policy – Some colleges require enrolled students to report any arrests to the administration within a certain amount of days. Failing to report the incident can result in suspension or even expulsion.
  • Financial aid – If you have been convicted of a felony DUI, many federal programs will not offer you financial aid. However, some programs have their own set of rules when granting private scholarships. There are even some scholarships that are specifically available for those who have had convictions and attempting to revive their career opportunities.
  • Athletics – If you are a college athlete, an OWI arrest or conviction can result in being benched, suspended, or kicked off the program.

If you have been arrested for an OWI in Wisconsin, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and future. For more information about our legal services, contact our Milwaukee OWI attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella and schedule a free consultation immediately.

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