The Residual Effects of a DUI
Most people know that your license will be suspended if you get a DUI conviction in California. What some people don't realize, however, is that you could lose other licenses as well.
A DUI is not just a criminal conviction; it's a mark on your record as a credible, responsible person. Consequently, getting a DUI can affect your professional life. If you have to maintain a professional licensure for your job, you may be at risk of losing it if you get a DUI. Not surprisingly, those who stand to lose their licensure when facing DUI charges do everything they can to fight it.
Talk with the entity that issued your license about its policy on DUI convictions. Not everyone with a professional license will be affected by a DUI conviction. How professional organizations or agencies treat a licensee with a DUI or any criminal conviction varies quite a bit. The positions where it is more likely that DUI will affect your licensure are those that involve a basis of trust, good character, and moral judgment, such as:
The State of California does not have an umbrella policy on how a DUI affects a professional license. Each agency, bureau, or board will have its own specific stance on how a criminal conviction will affect a license.
For example, the Medical Board of California looks at every case individually and thus does not have a strict set of guidelines on what will and will not affect a license. The California Department of Insurance considers several factors when considering a licensee or license applicant with a DUI, such as the specifics of the conviction, the time passed since the conviction, and any steps you have taken toward criminal rehabilitation. For example, completing a treatment program or performing community service may increase your chances of keeping your license. You will have to contact the agency or board that issued your license to find out the specifics of how a DUI conviction can affect your license.
Keep in mind that the agency or board that issued your license may have specific reporting requirements that you are subject to. Even if a DUI won't cause you to lose your license or suffer any discipline, you may still have to report the conviction to the agency. This can be a very difficult thing to do, especially if you pride yourself on your professional dignity. Make sure you thoroughly read through the policy on criminal convictions for the entity that issued your license and report any and all details that are required of you.
If you are worried about losing your professional license because of a DUI, speak with an attorney right away. An experienced California DUI defense attorney can advise you of the consequences of a DUI conviction and help you make the right decisions regarding your case. A DUI is not considered a violent or serious crime, and some licensing agencies may be willing to overlook it. Others may take disciplinary action but allow you to keep practicing in your field. Some may suspend or revoke your license all together. Every case is unique, which is why it is important to check with your licensure agency, and talk with an attorney about how to fight your charges. You may be able to increase your chances of keeping your license if you take steps after your DUI to demonstrate your good character. An attorney can also help you build a strong defense that could protect your freedom, your credibility, and your professional license.
Do you have questions on facing criminal charges? If so, contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team for expert counsel. Experienced in criminal defense, our Visalia area legal team can advise you of your rights and help you navigate the criminal prosecution process. With over ten years of criminal defense experience, Christopher Martens will aggressively defend your rights and help you get the outcome you want. Call our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.