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Will My DWI Affect My Job as a Teacher?

August 1, 2020

Any DWI conviction will carry penalties and consequences such possible jail time, driver’s license suspension, fines and fees, and ignition interlock requirements. If you are employed in a school in New Jersey or are applying for employment at a school and you have been convicted of DWI, you may be wondering what effect your conviction may have on your employment. Under New Jersey law, some criminal convictions can disqualify an individual from being employed at a school, whether as a teacher or another employee such as a cafeteria or maintenance worker. 

Fortunately, a single DWI conviction will likely not disqualify you from seeking or maintaining employment in a school in New Jersey. However, you should know what criminal offenses can disqualify you from employment in education.

How Convictions Disqualify People from School Employment

Statutes in New Jersey govern the running of criminal background checks for people seeking employment in New Jersey public schools. The statutes list specific criminal offenses and convictions that will disqualify a person from seeking employment as a school teacher, substitute teacher, teacher’s aide, paraprofessional, study team member, school physician, school nurse, custodian, maintenance worker, cafeteria worker, school law enforcement officer, school secretary, or any other position that involves regular contact with public school students.

New Jersey conducts a full nationwide criminal background check on applicants for public school employment, so convictions in states other than New Jersey can also disqualify you from employment. 

Offenses That Will Disqualify You From Employment as a Teacher in New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, a conviction for any of the following criminal offenses will disqualify a person from employment in a New Jersey public school system:

  • Endangering the welfare of children
  • Endangering the welfare of an incompetent person
  • Resisting arrest or eluding a police officer
  • Manufacturing, transportation, distribution, sale, possession, or habitual use of controlled substances
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Robbery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • Arson
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Theft by unlawful taking or disposition of property
  • Theft by deception
  • Theft by extortion
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Fencing
  • Theft of services
  • Theft by failure to make required disposition of property
  • Unlawful taking
  • Shoplifting
  • Leading organized retail theft enterprise
  • Operation of facility for stolen automobiles or parts
  • Use of a juvenile in theft of an automobile
  • Leading an automobile theft trafficking network
  • Recklessly endangering another person
  • Terroristic threats
  • Criminal restraint
  • Luring or enticing a child
  • Criminal mischief
  • Burglary
  • Wrongful credit practices
  • Improper influence in official and political matters
  • Perjury and false swearing
  • Escape

New Jersey’s New Ignition Interlock Law

In 2019, a new law went into effect that expanded the use of ignition interlock devices for persons convicted of DWI, while simultaneously reducing license suspension and forfeitures. The new law requires a person convicted of their first DWI offense, and who had a BAC higher than 0.15% or who refused a breath or blood alcohol test, to install an ignition interlock device. The device must remain installed in the convicted individual’s vehicle during any period of license suspension and for a period of six months to one year after his or her license is reinstated.

An individual whose BAC was below 0.15% may be required to install an ignition interlock device at the court’s discretion. 

The period of installation increases for second and subsequent DWI convictions. Failing to have the device installed can increase the license suspension period.

Contact an Experienced Woodbridge DWI Defense Attorney About Your Drunk Driving Charges in New Jersey

Have you been charged with a DWI or DUI offense in New Jersey? A drunk driving conviction could leave you with a permanent record, and it could result in your driver’s license being suspended for a very long time. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified DWI defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio represent clients charged with drunk driving, breath test refusal, and related offenses in Princeton, Jersey City, Mt. Laurel, Freehold, and throughout New Jersey]. Call (732) 334-7468 or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 227 Main Street, Woodbridge, NJ 07095, in addition to offices located in Freehold, Mt. Laurel, Jersey City, and Princeton.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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