Being convicted of a DUI can result in fines, imprisonment, probation, and/or the loss of your driver's license. It can also come with a consequence that is often not considered at the time of the charge or during the case: the loss of your professional license. This may apply to any career that requires a license to practice, such as doctors, nurses, real estate agents, hairdressers, and insurance agents. If you are subject to this punishment, you would not be able to practice in your chosen field that you have worked hard to excel in.
How Will the Licensing Board Know About My Conviction?
Many licensing boards or departments require licensees to report criminal convictions. If you're found guilty of driving under the influence, you may be obligated to provide that information to the board by a certain deadline.
Even if you don't report the conviction yourself, there are other ways the licensing board may learn about it. The information may be automatically transmitted to the board. Or a consumer or colleague may report the conviction. For instance, the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) has an Enforcement Program where patients and health care professionals may submit complaints about a registered nurse who engaged in unsafe conduct that may endanger the safety of others. The Enforcement Program commonly gets complaints alleging that a nurse has a chemical dependency or has been convicted of a crime.
Is Revocation of My Professional License Guaranteed After a DUI Conviction?
The consequence of a DUI conviction on your professional license depends on the standards of the licensing board for your profession. It is likely that after hearing of your conviction, the board will review the circumstances and scrutinize your license. It may also conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether or not your actions were inconsistent with standards of professional conduct.
Depending on the board's decisions and policies, your conviction may result in minor disciplinary action or more substantial punishments.
For instance, for registered nurses, the potential outcomes include:
- Revoking or suspending the license
- Accepting a voluntary surrender of the license
- Requiring the licensee to complete a probation period
- Citing and fining the licensee
One of the most effective ways to attempt to avoid the loss of your professional license because of a DUI conviction is to fight the charge from the outset. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can aggressively defend you and work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf, such as getting the charges dropped or the case dismissed.
If you've been charged with a DUI in Bakersfield, it's imperative that you have experienced representation on your side. At Koenig Law Office, our seasoned trial lawyer knows what it takes to challenge drinking and driving accusations. Call us at (661) 338-5353 or contact us online today.