How DUIs Impact Licensed Professionals
If you were recently arrested, charged, or convicted of a Driving While Under the Influence (DUI) in the state of Virginia, it is important to know how DUIs impact licensed professionals, and how a DUI may impact your ability to continue your career. Consider reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Faraji A. Rosenthall at 703-934-0101.
How DUIs Impact Licensed Professionals
Being convicted of a DUI can impact your freedom, quality of life, and your entire professional career. There are many professional licenses throughout the state of Virginia which require holders to maintain what is called “good moral character.”
New Virginia Residents
The Code of Virginia Section 54.1-204 states that a new professional to the state of Virginia is not allowed to be refused a new license solely because a professional was previously convicted of a DUI, unless that conviction relates directly to the occupation in question. With a DUI conviction, this would pertain to any job where you have a Commercial Driver’s Licence (CDL) and drive a large vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer.
Current Virginia Residents
If you currently have a professional license in the state of Virginia, a regulatory board can review the nature of your DUI as it relates to your occupation and make decisions to revoke your license, temporarily suspend your professional license, place you on probation, or issue some other form of punishment.
Exactly how DUIs impact licensed professionals is contingent upon a handful of factors such as:
The nature of your profession
Whether you are arrested or convicted of a DUI
The circumstances around the DUI
Arrest or Conviction
The first consideration regarding how a DUI will impact a professional in the state of Virginia is whether it was a DUI arrest or a DUI conviction. Being arrested for a DUI simply means police officers have a reasonable suspicion or probable cause for the arrest. A conviction means you were legally charged with committing the crime of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In most situations being arrested for a DUI is not grounds to rescind or revoke your license, however, being convicted of a DUI may provide substantial grounds to revoke a professional license.
The Circumstances Around the DUI
The second consideration involves the circumstances around the DUI. DUIs can include convictions for either misdemeanors or more serious felonies. These legal differences can play a substantial role not only in your penalties but also in whether the DUI will impact your professional license.
Your Specific Professional License
The Institute for Justice found that 1 in 5 people require a professional license to work. A professional license includes medical licenses, nursing licenses, pilot’s licenses, CPA licenses, real estate licenses, and teaching licenses. Receiving a DUI conviction can potentially impact the following licensed professionals:
EMTs or Paramedics
Additionally, the state of Virginia stipulates that there are certain businesses which can lose their license if individuals under their employment are convicted of a felony which, depending on the circumstances, can include a DUI. These businesses include the following:
Small loan providers
Sales finance companies
Check cashing businesses
If you, or someone within your organization, has recently been convicted of a DUI, you might consider asking for professional, legal counsel from the Law Office of Faraji A. Rosenthall.
Anyone with a license through the Virginia State Board of Education can risk losing their professional license for specific convictions like a Class A felony. In Virginia a DUI is rarely considered a felony and usually only in circumstances where you have been charged and convicted of multiple felonies in the past, however, it is still a possibility.
Anyone with a medical license through the Virginia Department of Health Professions will be reviewed periodically by the Board of Medicine. This Board of Medicine can deny your rights to practice in the state of Virginia if you have been convicted of a felony or if you have been convicted of any crime that called into question your good moral standing. A first time conviction for a DUI is not likely to be a felony but the Board of Medicine can still review whether the DUI reflects a lack of good moral standing. It is important to note that you do have the right to appeal any decision made by the board.
For nurses, the Virginia Board of Nursing can deny or revoke nursing licenses if the individual is convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor involving good moral standing, or convicted of a DUI that the Board of Nursing can prove demonstrates the nurse in question is unsafe to their practice.
CPAs and Real Estate Professionals
For CPAs and Real Estate brokers or agents, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Board of Accountancy or Real Estate Board have the same requirements for good moral character and can revoke a professional license if a person is convicted of dishonest crimes or felonies. It is important to note that DUIs typically do not typically fall under this category. However, there may be additional circumstances in your specific situation related to your DUI conviction which may give a professional board the ability to revoke a license.
Contact an Attorney Regarding Your Legal Rights After a DUI Charge
A DUI conviction can have lasting impact on your career. Years of professional training and education can be taken away almost overnight. If you are dealing with a DUI arrest or charge, consider visiting with an experienced DUI attorney to learn how DUIs impact licensed professionals and how it may impact you. Contact our legal team today to learn more about the regulations for your field and your professional license. When you reach out to the Law Office of Faraji A. Rosenthall at www.farlawoffice.com or 703-934-0101, we can provide a consultation to review your situation and prepare you for your next steps.