Los Angeles DUI Attorneys Helping Professionals Keep Their Licenses After An Arrest
A DUI charge is one of the most expensive misdemeanors due to criminal fines, administrative costs, court penalties, various alcohol treatment programs, and impoundment. On top of all of these expenses, professional licenses are also at risk for doctors or nurses who are charged with a DUI.
Law Firm Representing Doctors, Nurses, Chiropractors And More Who Have Been Accused of Drunk Driving
When it comes to a DUI charge, the stakes are highest for medical professionals. A DUI can even hurt the career of an aspiring nurse or doctor and can prevent them from obtaining a professional license in the future.
In Southern California, the licensing board will be automatically notified of the licensee’s DUI charge by the Department of Justice. This is because an arrest or conviction may be a violation of the terms of the license. Once notified, the professional could have their license suspended or even revoked, not to mention the substantial fines. Here are some of the most common questions our DUI law firm receives:
What Should You Do If You Have A Professional License And Have Been Charged With A DUI?
The best course of action is to take responsibility immediately. Ignoring a request for information or failure to show remorse for the incident will only create a bigger problem for you down the road.
After the DUI conviction, the licensee will be generally be contacted by the licensing board and be asked for an explanation of the conviction in the licensee’s own words. After that, an inquiry and/or investigation will be conducted by the licensing board, and an administrative hearing usually follows.
The licensee may have an attorney present during the administrative hearing, and the best chance the licensee has at keeping their license is having a skilled attorney representing them. The right L.A. County DUI defense attorney understands the strategies, legal issues, and evidentiary issues that should be addressed at administrative hearings.
A DUI is not just a criminal conviction. It is a mark on your record that could haunt you for much of your professional career even if you do not have a professional license. Not only does it tarnish your record, but it also damages your credibility and good character.
If you were charged with a DUI and you are a licensed professional or someone hoping to get a professional license in the future, there are some options to consider.
Reporting Your DUI To The Medical Board
When it comes to DUI charges, the Medical Board of California handles each case differently and there are no set guidelines that will or will not suspend or revoke the license. Though there are no specific guidelines that are followed, the Board does warn that a conviction that is “related to the practice of medicine” may result in the license being suspended or revoked. The discipline will depend on factors such as child endangerment, multiple arrests, excessive blood alcohol content (BAC), felony DUI, hit and run DUI, or DUI causing injury.
It is possible that the licensing board could take the position that the DUI conviction exhibits “unprofessional conduct” or that it demonstrates a lack of good judgment and they may decide to suspend or remove the professional license on either of those grounds. In addition to the professional license being suspended or revoked, there are other ramifications as well.
Licensees should also anticipate fines, mandatory counseling, and probation. However, an expungement or dismissal may drastically help licensees to avoid these consequences.
Are There Defense Strategies Available For Professionals Charged With DUI?
It is possible for medical professionals who are facing DUI charges to keep their licenses and to avoid fees and other ramifications. Expungement is the best possible way to secure or maintain a professional license.
When a criminal record is expunged, the defendant’s prior conviction is cleared from public record as a conviction. The only way that a DUI can be eligible for expungement if it is a misdemeanor and not a felony conviction.
If the DUI conviction results in a felony conviction, the defendant must request that the felony conviction be reduced to a misdemeanor. The request is more likely to be granted by the court if the defendant has completed probation with no violations.
Once the felony is reduced to a misdemeanor, the defendant must petition for expungement. In order to be granted an expungement, the defendant must not be serving any sentence, including probation, for another conviction and they must not have any charges pending against them.
Some of the benefits of expungement include eligibility for some professional licenses, you won’t need to worry about background checks, and your conviction and expungement do not have to be disclosed to prospective employers even after the employer makes a conditional offer of employment. However, it is important to remember that even if the charge is expunged, the licensing board can still revoke or suspend the license, but an expungement does make it much more likely for a licensee to keep their license.
After a conviction has been expunged, it does not have to be disclosed. Even if the employer finds out, they are not legally allowed to use an expunged conviction as a consideration when making decisions such as employing, retaining, or promoting the employee.
The expungement of a California DUI conviction makes it much easier to secure employment. It’s important to remember, however, that an expunged DUI conviction is still priorable just as if it had not been expunged. If you are convicted of a DUI in the future, the expunged conviction will still count as a previous DUI conviction.
Let The Los Angeles Professional License Defense Attorneys Of Braden & Tucci Help You Today
If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI and are worried about possibly losing a professional license, you should speak with an attorney right away.
If you have been charged with a DUI and do not have a professional license but plan to get one in the future, a DUI charge could have a major impact on your career. The best action is to seek representation from a reputable DUI lawyer who can help to make important decisions regarding your case, including getting the charge expunged from your record.
Because every case is handled differently, having an attorney on your side can help to navigate the process and build a strong defense that could protect your professional license.
Contact the attorneys of Braden & Tucci at (213) 935-7550 and start protecting your rights today.