More and more people are attracted to the idea of becoming an entrepreneur. They want to become financially independent and to have a lifestyle that it is not bound to nine to five. A career in entrepreneurship is indeed alluring. You can put your idea to work in the competitive economy, not to mention generate considerable wealth while you do it. You answer to no one but yourself, and your clients and customers.
However, entrepreneurship is not all fun and games. You face many challenges along the road to success. For instance, you may be wrongly charged with a DUI. You did not drink, and yet you are arrested on impaired driving charges, based on the police officer’s mistaken observations. Being charged with a DUI is a serious offence and can have immediate aftermath. What could happen to your business? Can it have a significant impact? The answer is yes.
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The effects a DUI can have on your business
A DUI conviction has important ramifications and can have long-lasting impacts. A guilty verdict could cause irreparable damage to your professional life. Let us see how exactly a conviction for driving under the influence could affect you from a business standpoint.
1. Your reputation can be affected
The reputation of a business, no matter its size, is crucial to its survival. The organization’s reputation is the key ingredient that determines whether or not the company will survive in the market. While a great reputation opens the door to fantastic opportunities, a bad one will affect more than just the sales. Negative press impacts will make it impossible for you to hire employees. What is more, even if you are able to retain some of the top talent, it will cost you, as you have to raise the salaries. Needless to say, a DUI can affect your company’s reputation in the community.
Even if being arrested and charged for drunk driving does not affect your organization’s reputation, it will hurt your personal reputation, in the community and at work. Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is strongly disapproved of. The court’s judgement is not as severe as that of your contacts. Some people resort to public shaming, even if there is no conviction. So, it does not matter if you were tested below the legal limit the moment you got arrested. You are guilty in the eyes of the public. Taking into account the legal and social consequences of a DUI, you need to have a strong legal team behind you.
2. Your driving privileges can be suspended or revoked
Having a driver’s license is a privilege and not a right. The driving privileges can be suspended or revoked as penalization for a DUI arrest or conviction. A license suspension means that your privilege to drive is deprived for a short period of time. A license revocation means that your driving privileges are permanently revoked. If you work from home and rarely meet with clients face-to-face, this should not be a problem. However, if you have to catch up with clients, deliver samples or drive to your place of business, this can considerably affect your operations. You can have your driving license revoked by simply refusing the breathalyzer test. This makes it impossible to get around.
The courts have taken this aspect into consideration. In San Diego, California, you can apply for a restrictive license and carry out your daily routine. When you are arrested for the DUI, the police officer gives you a temporary license, which grants you driving privileges for 30 days. If you wish to continue to drive beyond the 30 days, you have to contact the DMW. Eligibility depends on certain factors, such as age and the time of arrest. A DUI lawyer San Diego will be able to help you out. Administrative processes are complicated, so it is recommendable to use an attorney. Get a lawyer and avoid losing your driver’s license.
3. Your insurance premiums can increase
It is no secret that a DUI conviction can have serious financial consequences. It can increase your premium rates for 3 years or more. This is because getting a DUI makes you a liability. Insurers believe that you will continue to drink and drive and cause an accident one day. Insurance companies see people who have been charged for a DUI as a business risk. Therefore, if you have a DUI, you will pay a lot more than someone with a clean driving record. Actually, you are lucky if the company does not drop you.
Several factors can influence auto insurance after committing the crime or offense of operating a motor vehicle while impaired. They include age, time and number of DUIs. The overall cost can be expensive, depending on the state. Nevertheless, the formal decision made by the court will not affect business-related insurance, such as general liability or commercial property insurance.
Important step to take after being charged with a DUI: Hire a lawyer
In the off-chance that you have been arrested for a DUI and are awaiting trial, it is important to get legal representation. You are completely innocent in this ordeal and others need to see that. A criminal defense attorney will help you avoid conviction, challenging the accuracy of the breathalyzer and challenging the belief of the police officer. Even the most diligent officer can make a wrong guess. A DUI conviction is avoidable, even if you have been arrested. After collecting pertinent information, the lawyer will put together a solid case for why you are not at fault. Consult with a DUI lawyer for a legal opinion.
Although some entrepreneurs opt not to hire a legal professional, there are many situations in which having a defendant can turn out to be useful. Repair your legal standing, as well as your reputation. In this sense, you might want to write to the local paper, explaining them your situation. Reaffirm how important the local community is to your business and insist on the fact that you are innocent. Innocent people are frequently convicted of DUIs and have no option but to defend themselves.