If you are charged with DUI in California, you’ll probably worry about jail time, a fine, and a temporary driver’s license suspension. For the most part, those are serious but short-term consequences.

However, a DUI conviction can have another consequence that’s even more severe in the long run; it can ruin your current career and devastate your job prospects for the future.

Listed here are several ways a DUI can hurt your job and your future:

1. License suspension: If your license is suspended and you don’t (or can’t) get a restricted license for driving to and from work, then you’re probably taking a taxi or a bus or riding a bicycle. And if your job requires driving, you might lose it.

2. Insurance cancellation: Many insurers will not insure drivers with DUI convictions. If you are covered by your employer’s insurance for driving as part of your work, your employer may lose coverage by keeping you and have no option but to let you go.

3. Obligatory firing: Many employers enforce a policy that a conviction for a crime is grounds for dismissal.

4. Missing work: You’ll miss work for court appearances and possibly for mandatory alcohol education. And you might get sentenced to jail time. You could be fired for excessive absences.

5. Commercial driving: If you’re a taxi, limo, truck, or bus driver, a driving under influence conviction can bring that career to an end.

6. Education: Many universities and professional schools inquire about criminal convictions. Some financial aid applications can also be denied if you have a driving under influence conviction.

7. Professional licensing: Many professional licenses require that any arrest be disclosed to the licensing agency. Depending on the state and the licensing agency, you could lose your job as well as your ability to work in the same field in the future.

Your work is too important to risk a DUI conviction. If you are charged with a DUI in California, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney who will take the time to assess the charges against you, interview eyewitnesses, and compile evidence for your defense. Your charge may be reduced or tossed out completely. If you go to trial, a good DUI defense lawyer will cross-examine the arresting officers to find any discrepancies in their testimony; uncover any inconsistency in the breath or blood tests; and introduce other evidence to strengthen your defense. If you face a DUI charge in California, get in touch with an experienced driving under influence defense attorney right away.