You had one too many drinks last night, but thought you were okay. On your way home, you saw those red and blue lights flashing in your rear-view mirror. Today, you have a DWI. Your head is pounding and you’re trying to understand what this means for the rest of your life.

Should I tell my boss?

If you just got a DWI, you may not have a conviction, so you may not need to have that uncomfortable conversation yet. While you shouldn’t lie, which might get you into even more trouble, you may be able to wait and see what the courts decide. However, if you get a suspension on your license and that keeps you from doing your job, you’re going to need to talk with your boss.

If you receive a DWI conviction, it’s more likely that you need to fess up. First, look at your employment contract. You may have a clause that requires you to disclose any convictions. If that’s the case, start planning how you will approach the subject with your boss. Remember that not telling your employer will be a breach of your contract and will probably end in termination.

Will I lose my job?

As you are looking at your employment contract, see what it says about criminal charges. Some contracts give your employer the right to fire any employee who gets in trouble with the law. A DWI is a crime, so it’s possible that you will lose your job.

If you receive a suspension or even a revocation of your license and you are no longer able to get to work or if driving is part of your job, you will likely not be able to fulfill your job requirements. This may be grounds for getting fired.

If you’re worried about how to handle a DWI at work and if you’re going to lose your job, start by talking with a criminal defense attorney. They will help you understand your rights and how this DWI could affect your life.