DUI And Professional License
How Can A DUI Charge And Conviction In California Impact Someone’s Professional License?
Anytime somebody is arrested and convicted of a DUI in California, it will have a direct impact on their professional license, any California state issued license, or any national license in their possession. In California, the state licensing agencies each have their own unique requirements when it comes to reporting. Some require reporting on arrest if it’s a felony or misdemeanor charge, while others only require reporting upon a conviction if it’s a misdemeanor or felony. The nature of the reporting is extremely significant. We represent a lot of professionals, including, doctors, lawyers, nurses, therapists, dentists, and chiropractors. The list is almost endless of the professions that get regulated in California.
When we have somebody who is licensed, we have to be sensitive to the notice requirement or the reporting requirement to each licensing agency or board. That particular reporting is extremely crucial as far as the language and verbiage of the reporting. Oftentimes, we work with our clients on those particular issues as well. The reporting of a conviction also requires extensive work because the licensing agencies often ask for certified copies of court documents and other documents. Each state licensing agency exercises the ability to independently obtain copies of the charges, police reports, and other documents from the courts and arresting agencies since this could lead to discipline. The levels and the nature of discipline can vary from agency to agency.
When somebody who has a professional license gets arrested for a DUI, the consequence of what happens right after the arrest, as it relates to their license, can severely impact their ability to practice their profession or continue in their occupation. Sometimes, the facts themselves initially are so severe that it could cause a particular licensing agency or board to take steps, depending on the nature of the offense.
What Types Of Professional Licenses Could Be Impacted By A DUI Conviction?
In California, any type of professional license can be impacted by a DUI conviction. The nature of the impact depends and varies from agency to agency, or licensing board to licensing board. For instance, there are real estate licenses, doctor licenses, chiropractor licenses, nursing board licenses, and accounting boards. The list is endless. But, if there is a state license involved, then the state licensing agencies will get notification upon conviction. Often, it usually requires self-reporting, but the prosecutor or the courts’ clerk’s offices are obligated to notify state licensing agencies upon a conviction. You can rest assured that if the person who’s licensed doesn’t self-report, there is an excellent chance that the conviction will be reported independently by the prosecutor or the court’s clerk upon a conviction of a DUI, or any criminal conviction for that matter.
Am I Required To Inform My Professional Board Or Association If I Am Charged Or Convicted Of A DUI In California? How Would They Even Know?
Often, upon arrest, there isn’t a requirement to report to the board if you have been charged with a DUI in California. But again, each board varies. As a license holder, you should check your board continuously to verify whether there has been any change in the rules and regulations by the licensing agencies in California. But upon conviction, almost every board and agency requires self-reporting, and it depends on when that self-reporting is to be done. Sometimes, it’s done within 30 days of a conviction. Other agencies require notification upon renewal. Therefore, it varies from agency to agency.
As far as the agencies finding out, they get notification from the courts, the prosecutors, or the clerk’s office where a conviction occurs. Sometimes, when a person gets arrested for a DUI, they disclose the nature of their profession or occupation to the arresting officer. That’s often how a person gives notice to the prosecuting agency, the court, or the clerk’s office that he or she has a professional license. In turn, the prosecutors, the court, or clerk’s office will notify the state licensing agency. Although we practice across the state of California, this is especially true in the jurisdictions that we practice in. We concentrate in representing people arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. All of these counties notify the state licensing agencies once they become aware that the person who is convicted is licensed by a state licensing agency.
Is It Possible To Have A Criminal Conviction, Such As A DUI, Expunged Or Removed From My Record In California? Could That Potentially Help My Professional License?
It is possible to have a criminal conviction, such as a DUI conviction in particular, expunged from your record in California. In California, an expungement means that anytime there is a conviction based on the plea of guilty or no contest, the plea of guilty or no contest is withdrawn. A plea of not guilty is entered, and the case is dismissed, the conviction is vacated. In that type of scenario, the court is to notify the California Department of Justice that there is an expungement, and the person no longer has a criminal conviction.
Because of the passage of time though, expungements can become more difficult to come across or come by as more time goes on. Once a conviction is expunged, it is taken off the person’s record. However, it still stays on the DMV record for purposes of DMV action in California, as well as on a criminal background record as a prior conviction. Currently, DUI convictions stay on the record for 10 years, even if it’s expunged for the purposes of a prior. For the purposes of employment, however, if a conviction is expunged, employers don’t often ask a person to disclose that information. But that will depend on the employer. If you’re applying for a position with a law enforcement agency or state agency, even though the conviction is expunged, they will usually require disclosure.
When it comes to a professional license, the impact of whether or not a conviction is expunged, will depend on the individual state agency and particular circumstance in which discipline may be imposed. Perhaps a subsequent offense that relates to a person’s current actions may or may not have an impact on discipline when they look at the record to see if there are prior offenses or convictions that were expunged. Again, that will depend on the agency.
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