DUI charges can greatly 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 DUI's.
You obviously 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 possibly 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 with 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, it's imperative that you 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.
What Types Of Professional Licenses Could Be Impacted By A DUI Conviction In California?
Any type of job or license that requires a person to drive would be impacted by 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 that could be at risk due to a DUI.
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 license that you hold may be impacted by a conviction.
In some cases, I've been able to get other charges like wet reckless, dry reckless, or speed contest in cases 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 in order to save your license, we can get some proof for that. I've definitely had success in convincing prosecutors to give defendant's 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 their own requirements. I would say most jobs don't require you to inform them of anything. But if your job has requirements, you should check the requirements 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 what the requirements are 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. A lot of times, how it's found out that they have a DUI is random. That's how their job ends up getting impacted.
Some jobs keep fingerprints, and employees have to do it in order to work at a particular location.
Some jobs have a system set up that will ping them if you ever get arrested. Not all jobs have that, and I would say most don't, but there are some that do. It is a very low percentage. Most jobs don't find out about it, but obviously, you want to be ultra-protective and careful if your job is one that might find out or one that you need to report to.
Is It Possible For A DUI Conviction To Be Expunged In California?
It depends on the requirements and who governs your license. However, you should look into that discussion with your DUI defense attorney. You could also possibly discuss it with a union person or an administrative attorney who is familiar with the requirements specifically related to your situation.
You don't want to be in a position where you just 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 license.
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 particular contract. Sometimes people have unions that can help them.
Sometimes people have administrative attorneys that deal specifically with their type of job, and who have handled these types of situations before. I've coordinated with those individuals on many DUI cases that involve professional licenses.