If you are employed as a teacher in the State of California and were recently convicted of a DUI, you’re probably very worried about how it will impact your career. Since the profession takes DUIs very seriously, you are right to be concerned.
That said, whether or not a DUI will be detrimental to your career depends on the details of your particular case. Below you’ll learn more about how different circumstances can impact your license, your reputation as a teacher, and your future career.
Teachers and DUIs
If you are a teacher who has received a DUI, you are not alone. In fact, a 2010 study by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing revealed that the most common type of cases against teachers were offenses involving alcohol. Further, nearly 29% of criminal cases against teachers were for first-time DUIs. This has made the Commission especially proactive in its handling of these offenses.
According to Education Code Section 44421, the Commission “shall privately admonish, publicly reprove, revoke or suspend for immoral or unprofessional conduct, or persistent defiance of, and refusal to obey, the laws regulating duties of persons serving in the public school system, or for any cause that would have warranted the denial of an application for a credential or the renewal thereof, or for evident unfitness for service.”
While the exact language of this code may sound frightening, in order to take disciplinary action against a teacher, the Commission must first undertake a serious investigation of what happened. They must look at all facts and evidence and decide how much the teacher’s actions will impact their ability to perform their teaching duties.
The Commission will consider whether the DUI had a negative impact on students, other teachers, or the community; how recently the DUI occurred; whether the teacher’s case received publicity from local news media or other sources; and any other aggravating circumstances such as a prior conviction or a lack of remorse.
The impact a DUI has on your career will depend on your individual circumstances. For example, a teacher convicted of one alcohol-related offense that didn’t involve school property or students and did not result in publicity might not be subjected to harsh disciplinary action.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your DUI offense, one of the best ways to defend yourself against severe disciplinary action is to work with a license defense lawyer. They will not only be able to advise you of your rights in this situation, but can help you create a strong defense.
To get help from an experienced lawyer, contact California license defense attorney Scott J Harris. Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation by calling 323-794-0701 or 877-865-6218.
This blog is meant to be informational. It is not meant to be all-encompassing legal advice. If you are facing a situation involving your professional license, seek counsel from a licensed attorney.