Can a DUI Cost Me My Professional License?
Even the busiest professional has a life outside of work. Even nurses, engineers, physical therapists and other licensed professionals like to have fun with friends and family. They may enjoy attending parties or having alcoholic drinks with friends.
Sometimes people make mistakes, though. Instead of getting a ride home from Uber or Lyft after a night of drinking, some people decide to drive home intoxicated. They end up getting pulled over by a police officer. They fail a breath test or field sobriety test and are charged with a DUI. They are convicted and forced to serve the penalties.
While many people know that a DUI comes with jail time and hefty fines, one thing they might not know is that such a conviction can also cause someone to lose his or her professional license. This means that a nurse, accountant, psychologist, real estate broker or mortgage lender could lose their job—their only means of making a living.
What can a professional who has been convicted of a DUI expect in terms of future employment? Is license revocation a for-sure deal? Who makes the decision?
State Board Decision
Each situation is different, so there is no definitive answer as to what punishment you could face. The final say will go to the state board. Each state is different in terms of penalizing licensed professionals for such offenses. You will have to report the DUI to the Florida board and it will review the circumstances and details of the arrest and conviction.
The board may schedule a hearing to get more information and you’ll have the opportunity to defend yourself. The board may decide to suspend or revoke your license. You may be able to get away with paying a fine.The board will decide on appropriate punishment based on your case.
Even if you do get to keep your professional license, your career can still be affected in many ways. Some companies have a policy of firing those convicted of crimes, so you could be out of a job anyway. You could lose your driver’s license, which can make it difficult to get to work.
If you are forced to serve jail time, you will miss work, which will affect performance reviews. If you are looking for a new job, many employers perform background checks or ask about convictions on applications. This could deter you from getting hired.
Keep Your License with Help From a Tampa Professional Licensing Lawyer
Sometimes what we do in our personal lives affects our professional lives. When you receive a professional license of any kind—whether it be for working as a nurse, real estate agent, veterinarian, accountant or engineer—you are expected to act in an ethical manner. Getting a DUI shows a lack of responsibility and professionalism, and unfortunately, this can affect your career.
If you are facing punishment from the state board for a DUI or some other crime, you need to act quickly. Seek legal representation from the Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. I am a Tampa administrative lawyer who focuses on licensing issues for licensed professionals. For a free consultation, contact my office today by calling (813) 968-6633.