If you have recently been arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in California, it is possible your professional license could be in jeopardy. Depending on your industry, if licensing, certification, or other qualifications are required, even a simple arrest could result in the suspension or revocation of your right to continue practicing or earning a living.
Fortunately, with help from a Los Angeles DUI attorney, you could clear your name of the allegations against you and protect your future. Here is more about what to expect professionally when arrested for or charged with drunk driving.
What to Expect Professionally After a DUI Arrest in CA
Many are quick to assume that their professional license will not be at risk if they are not found guilty of a DUI. However, even an arrest for suspected DUI is grounds for the licensing Board to take action.
In the aftermath of a DUI arrest, the licensing Board will often consider the arrest “unprofessional conduct.” Sometimes, this may be enough for the Board to suspend your license while they conduct and complete an investigation. Some of the factors they will take into consideration when determining how to move forward include the following:
- Whether you have previous DUI convictions on your record
- What your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels were at the time of your arrest
- Whether your suspected drunk driving caused an accident with injuries or property damages
- Whether you were under the influence of any other type of controlled substance, such as narcotics or marijuana
- Whether a child or firearm was involved
Professional Consequences Associated with a DUI Conviction
The professional consequences of drunk driving arrest and conviction are undeniable. First, you have to cope with the fact that your professional reputation may be destroyed.
Even if you are ultimately acquitted, being accused of drunk driving is enough to tarnish your reputation and significantly affect your career. You could be passed over for job opportunities once potential employers run your background check and see that you have prior DUIs on your record.
If you are convicted of a DUI, the state licensing Board will find out in the course of their investigation into your alleged unprofessional conduct. They will likely suspend or revoke your license entirely if you have a DUI conviction on your record. Depending on your career field, if this is your first DUI conviction, the licensing board may be willing to consider rehabilitative measures, such as completing a drug or alcohol treatment program instead of license revocation.
However, since every industry is different, it is essential to consider the various penalties you could face based on your career field. With that in mind, here are some of the most common consequences for professionals in California:
Consequences for Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents risk having their real estate license suspended or revoked by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). However, the DRE will wait to decide until after completing their disciplinary investigation. Your DUI attorney can help you defend yourself at trial or enter a pretrial diversion program to reduce the likelihood of a conviction impacting your record.
Penalties for Nurses
Registered and licensed vocational nurses will face some of the most severe penalties if arrested, charged with, or convicted of drunk driving. This is one of the most severe types of unprofessional conduct a nurse can be accused of.
The California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT) will investigate the DUI arrest internally. You could be facing formal or informal disciplinary actions, which could include but are not limited to:
- A citation
- Suspension of your nursing license
- Revocation of your professional nursing license
- Board-ordered completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program
It is essential to disclose your arrest, charges, or conviction to the nursing Board before a complaint is raised. Otherwise, the Board might assume you attempted to hide the DUI charges from them.
Professional Sanctions for Contractors
When contractors are accused of drunk driving, the consequences may not be as severe as in other professions. According to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), rehabilitative measures remain a top priority. While your professional license may initially be suspended or revoked, you have a chance to regain your license after a certain amount of time.
There is a three-year waiting period for contractors convicted of a misdemeanor DUI, while contractors convicted of felony DUIs will face a seven-year waiting period. However, contractors that have multiple convictions on their records may find their license permanently revoked.
Consequences for Insurance Agents
Insurance agents are held accountable for DUI convictions in criminal court and with the Enforcement Bureau of the California Department of Insurance (CDI). If the Enforcement Bureau decides formal disciplinary action is necessary and appropriate, your insurance license could be suspended or revoked permanently.
However, by reporting your arrest and conviction to the CDI in advance, the Board may be willing to forgo a revocation and instead order fines, sanctions, and other informal disciplinary actions.
Professional Sanctions for Chiropractors
If a chiropractor is charged with or convicted of drunk driving, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners will investigate and determine how to proceed with your professional license. You can expect the Board to thoroughly evaluate your case, including reviewing court records, arrest documents, and the written response you provide to investigators as part of their review of your license. You could be placed on probation, your professional license could be temporarily suspended, or it could be revoked.
Meet with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer for Help Today
The California State Licensing Board may have specific requirements you must meet to avoid losing your professional license. However, the best way to protect your future is by dodging a DUI conviction altogether.
Do not hesitate. Reach out to a dedicated Los Angeles DUI lawyer for a free consultation today and further discuss your defense options. Complete our confidential contact form or call us to get started on your defense strategy session as soon as today.