Will Getting a DUI Affect Your Professional License?

No one wants to face the consequences of getting a DUI in California. From losing your driver’s license to upsetting your personal life, a DUI can be an incredibly difficult experience. Beyond this, however, many people fail to think about the enormous impact it can have on their career.

When employed in any profession that requires a license, a DUI can create the potential for suspension or revocation. Below we’ll explain how a DUI could impact your license and when working with a license attorney can help.

Learn About Your Licensing Body’s DUI Policy

Whether a DUI will affect your license depends largely on your profession. One of the best first steps to take, whether you’ve just started a job as a licensed professional or have recently received a DUI is to find out from your licensing agency how a DUI conviction could affect you.

For example, a DUI will make more of an impact in professions where good character and moral judgment are a part of your professional life. Doctors, nurses, teachers, insurance agents, and real estate agents may find that a DUI impacts them more than other licensed professionals.

Differences Between Professions

Although the State of California does not have a single policy for how a DUI will impact professional licenses, your profession’s licensing board will have a policy. Because DUIs are not typically thought of as violent or serious crimes, some licensing boards overlook the offense. Other agencies may take disciplinary action or place restrictions on your license while still allowing you to practice. Still, other agencies will suspend or revoke your license.

For example, an insurance agent who receives a DUI in California will have their case reviewed by the California Department of Insurance, who will look at the specifics of the circumstances, when the offense occurred, and whether or not the license holder has taken steps to better themselves. That could mean entering a 12-step program, seeing a counselor, or something else.

The Medical Board of California, on the other hand, considers each case individually, which means they do not have a specific set of guidelines. The California Department of Real Estate considers the degree to which the DUI will impact your ability to perform daily duties, such as driving clients to properties.

When to Report

It is likely that your licensing agency has a reporting requirement. This may be at the time of application, renewal, or as an affirmative duty upon the receipt of the conviction.  It is in your best interest to consult an attorney about your reporting requirements and to work to ensure that the detail you provide is as beneficial to your defense as possible.

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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.