Firm Articles

Will My DWI Affect My Job As A Teacher?

Posted by Carmine R. Villani | Feb 04, 2016

slow school zone sign

DUI traffic violations can occur on any road in the state of New Jersey. All DUI convictions carry penalties, fees and license suspension requirements. Of all DUI violations, driving in a school zone while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics carries the highest penalties. If you are employed by a New Jersey school district or are thinking about applying for a job at a local NJ school, you may be wondering if a DUI conviction will cost you that school job. There are some criminal acts that can make an individual disqualified from obtaining a job within a New Jersey school, whether it is employment as a teacher or a school maintenance worker. Fortunately, a DWI conviction will not prevent you from being hired for or get fired from a school job, but it is important to know what will.

Who Can be Disqualified from School Employment?

N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.1 is the New Jersey statute that governs the criminal record check of individuals seeking public school employment. Under this statute, the disqualification for jobs in the New Jersey public school system applies to people currently working or seeking employment within any area of the system. A conviction for any of the offenses listed in the statute will disqualify someone from the following types of jobs: school teachers, substitute teachers, teachers' aides, paraprofessionals, child study team members, school physicians, school nurses, custodians, school maintenance workers, cafeteria workers, school law enforcement officers, school secretaries or clerical workers, or any person serving in a position which involves regular contact with pupils.

What Types of Offenses Will Disqualify Me from a School Job?

New Jersey law provides that there are many circumstances in which a person would be disqualified from teaching or otherwise working within a school system based upon their criminal record. The criminal records check is a full federal search, so an offense committed in another state may become a disqualification. The law requires that an individual shall be permanently barred from employment or service within the Board of Education if the individual's criminal records check reveals a record of conviction of any first or second degree crime, or any of the offenses listed below. The statute further provides that the conspiracy or attempt to commit any of the offenses listed would also bar employment in a public school system upon conviction.

  • N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 (Endangering the welfare of children)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:24-7 (Endangering the welfare of an incompetent person)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2 (Resisting arrest or eluding a police officer)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:35-1 (Manufacture, transportation, sale, possession, distribution or habitual use of a controlled dangerous substance)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1 (Drug paraphernalia)
  • Conviction of a charge involving the use of force or the threat of force to or upon a person or property which charges include, but not limited to, robbery, aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, arson, manslaughter and murder
  • Theft related offenses:
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3 (theft by unlawful taking or disposition of moving property or immovable property)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4 (theft by deception)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-5 (theft by extortion)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7 (receiving stolen property)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-7.1 (fencing)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-8 (theft of services)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-9 (theft by failure to make required disposition of property received)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-10 (unlawful taking of means of conveyance)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 (shoplifting)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11.2 (leader of organized retail theft enterprise)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-16 (operation of facility for sale of stolen automobile or parts, second-degree crime)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-17 (use of a juvenile in theft of automobiles, second-degree crime)
    • N.J.S.A. 2C:20-18 (leader of automobile theft trafficking network, creation of offense)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:12-2 (recklessly endangering another person)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3 (terroristic threats)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2 (criminal restraint)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6 (luring or enticing a child by various means, attempts; crime of the second degree)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:17-2 (causing or risking widespread injury or damage to another)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3 (criminal mischief)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 (burglary)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:21-19 (wrongful credit practices and related offenses)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:27-3 (threat and other improper influence in official and political matters)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:28-3 (perjury and false swearing)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:29-5 (escape)

Talk to a NJ School Employment Lawyer About Your Charge

It is very important that you take steps to obtain advice from a criminal defense attorney familiar with school employment disqualification if you are an applicant who will be applying to work within the public school system or are presently a school employee, who has been charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey. Although a DWI conviction itself isn't enough to bar school employment, if you are facing other DWI-related charges in addition, you may be at risk of losing your school job or being prevented from obtaining the job you want. Call Villani & DeLuca for a free consultation today.

About the Author

Carmine R. Villani

Founding partner, Carmine Villani, Esq. is a former municipal prosecutor with over three decades of experience in Criminal and DWI Defense.