If you’ve ever been arrested for anything, it’s very possible that anyone can find it with some online or offline searching. This includes being arrested for a Driving While Impaired(DWI). Therefore DWI records are public in North Carolina.
In general, criminal records are considered public information throughout the United States. For example in Florida, every arrest, including court dates, is a public record and easily accessible. Criminal records are available through courthouses as well as “people finder” websites. Using these third-party websites is frequently easier because the information is not limited to availability by locale. Employers may do a search on you if you are applying for a job.
The information from third-party websites can serve as a starting point for anyone looking for a specific record or several records on an individual. However online search sites are not government-sponsored. Availability may vary by the provider and some of the information may not be entirely correct.
Freedom Of Information
No matter what you’ve been arrested for, including DWI, anyone can learn about your arrest through a public record search unless it’s been expuncted from your record, meaning removed, also called “expunged” in some states.
North Carolina’s Freedom of Information Law allows the public to inspect and examine government-created records. State public criminal records are available in several databases in North Carolina. They are maintained by the courts and law enforcement agencies. These records are also accessible online and allow citizens to request copies for reasonable fees.
North Carolina’s court system also maintains a complete database of charges (arrests) and convictions made in conjunction with law enforcement agencies throughout the state. You can obtain certified copies by mail or in person, or by visiting a local police station.
Wake County utilizes the North Carolina Public Records Law, found at N.C.G.S. Chapter 132, further explains public records. North Carolina requires that public records are to be made available to the public for a nominal cost or for free, as well as via Internet accessibility. Online access to these public records makes things easier for the public and saves Wake County time, money, and resources.
Effects of DWI Arrest
If you’ve been arrested, you will be required to disclose it when asked on employment applications, as well as applications for credit, college, and housing. The exception is if the arrest was expuncted from your record. In the case of DWI, expunction is only possible if the case was dismissed. Please note, North Carolina does not allow for expunction of DWI convictions. Be forewarned that if you don’t tell the truth on your application, a background check will certainly reveal the truth for you.
Another direct impact of a DWI arrest is the marked increase in your insurance rates. As a newly branded “high-risk driver,” your rates will increase almost instantly after your arrest. Many companies will refuse to insure drivers who have been arrested for DWI and drop you entirely. However, there are companies that will insure someone who has been arrested, albeit expensively.
Depending on the type of job you have, it is possible you could be terminated after an arrest for DWI. This is particularly true if driving is a vital part of your job. Bus drivers, truck drivers, delivery drivers, taxi drivers, and other driving-centric jobs may, at the least, suspend you after a DWI arrest.
If you are terminated and need to seek new employment, it is possible to find additional employment. However, you will be ineligible for several different types of jobs, including:
• Jobs in which you’re required to drive
• Military enlistment and other government jobs
• Jobs that require the handling of very confidential information
• Jobs that require working with children, such as daycare and teaching
During an interview, it’s best to wait until asked about any arrests or convictions, but of course, don’t lie. Give a brief description of the circumstances that led to the DWI, what you’ve done since then to correct things, including rehab, and what you learned.
Your DWI defense attorney can advise you on your case and how to proceed with the employment.
Fight The DWI
Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who works to defend DWI cases. He will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial under the law. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form) for a free consultation. You can also email him at email@example.com.