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How Can DUI Charges Impact a Professional License?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | May 29, 2020

DUI charges can significantly impact someone's professional license in Los Angeles. If someone is an attorney or medical doctor, their governing board may have a lot of rules relating to criminal charges and DUIs.

You want to avoid getting a DUI in the first place, but if you are arrested for a DUI, you will need to consult with a criminal defense attorney. Depending on your profession, you're not only going to want to discuss with your criminal defense attorney whether your license could get suspended because of a DUI but also determine whether getting an administrative attorney is a viable option.

It might be necessary to get an administrative attorney who handles things before a board related to your particular profession and who has experience guarding professional licenses. An administrative attorney can make sure that the DUI doesn't cause you to lose your ability to work in addition to all of the other issues that are attendant with a DUI, like loss of your license, jail time, and other restrictions that the court can put on you.

Therefore, if you have a professional license and you've been arrested for a DUI, you must start by getting a DUI defense attorney who's familiar with people who have professional licenses or who rely on their ability to drive as part of their job.

I've coordinated with many individuals, such as a union entity or an administrative attorney, in trying to get the evidence necessary to defend a DUI not only in criminal court and the DMV but also with any governing body that might attempt to take your ability to work.

A DUI arrest would impact any job or license that requires a person to drive a DUI arrest.  An Attorney would also probably have to report a DUI arrest to the state bar. Medical doctors and real estate agents also hold a professional license at risk due to a DUI.

How Can DUI Charges Impact a Professional License In California?

You want to be ultra-conservative if you have been unfortunate enough to get arrested for a DUI. Don't make another mistake by not looking into whether a conviction may impact a license you hold.

In some cases, I've been able to get other charges like wet reckless, dry reckless, or speed contest in issues where a full-fledged DUI on their record would result in loss of employment. It certainly depends on the case.

But, if your blood alcohol level is not that high, and you need a wet reckless on a case to save your license, we can get some proof for that. I've had success in convincing prosecutors to give defendants a break.

They don't want people to lose their job, but they have to weigh that against public safety and whether you're a danger on the road.

Am I Required To Inform My Professional Licensing Board Of A DUI Conviction?

Each job or profession has its requirements. Most jobs don't require you to inform them of anything. But if your job has needs, you should check the conditions by reading your contract. You can also talk to your union representatives or someone that might be trusted in the company. You can discuss it with your criminal defense attorney, but they may not know the requirements for your particular job.

Different ways they might find out about a DUI is if they run your criminal record or if you're trying to get a promotion or new job. Often, how it's found out that they have a DUI is random. That's how their career ends up getting impacted.

Some jobs keep fingerprints, and employees have to work at a particular location. Some jobs have a system set up to ping them if you ever get arrested. Not all jobs have that, and most don't, but some do. It is a meager percentage. Most jobs don't find out about it, but obviously, you want to be ultra-protective and careful if your job might find out or one you need to report to.

Is It Possible For A DUI Conviction To Be Expunged In California?

It depends on the requirements and which governs your license. However, it would help if you looked into that discussion with your DUI defense attorney. You could also possibly discuss it with a union person or an administrative attorney familiar with the requirements specifically related to your situation.

You don't want to be in a position where you ignore things and don't look into whether your professional license will be impacted. There may be some things that you and your DUI defense attorney can do to help mitigate the impact on your professional support.

The bottom line is that not all jobs handle criminal convictions or DUI convictions the same. You're going to have to look at your particular job and your specific contract. Sometimes people have unions that can help them. Sometimes, people have administrative attorneys who deal specifically with their type of job and have handled these situations before. I've coordinated with those individuals on many DUI cases that involve professional licenses.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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