If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida or convicted, it is important that you review how DUIs impact professional licenses. A DUI could potentially impact your career and your livelihood, depending on the circumstances and the professional license you have. Consider reaching out to an experienced Pinellas County DUI lawyer – St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney, Sean McQuaid at (727) 381-2300.
How DUIs Impact Professional Licenses
Conviction of a DUI can impact your freedom, your finances, and your career. There are many professional licenses in Florida that can be revoked if the person is convicted of a serious crime. Exactly how DUIs impact professional licenses are based on certain circumstances such as:
- Whether you are arrested or convicted of a DUI
- The circumstances of your DUI arrest or conviction
- Your specific professional license
Arrest or Conviction
The first consideration regarding your professional license is whether you were arrested for a DUI or convicted of a DUI. Professional agencies must adhere to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Florida, the DBPR. If you have been arrested for or found guilty of a crime, whether you are an insurance agent, a doctor, a realtor, or any other specialized career field you generally have to report the conviction within 30 days. For most careers, you only have to notify your application board or the DBPR if you entered a plea of guilty with the courts, no contest, or were convicted. Being arrested for a DUI but not pleading guilty or being convicted simply means the police officer suspected you of driving under the influence but did not yet charge you with a crime. Only being arrested for a DUI is not typically grounds to revoke your professional license. However, being convicted of a DUI can be grounds to revoke your professional license.
The Circumstances Around the DUI
The second consideration is the circumstances surrounding your DUI conviction. Florida statute 316.193 states that a first-time conviction can be a misdemeanor depending on the blood alcohol levels and a lack of additional circumstances like the absence of property damage, traffic accidents, or injuries. Subsequent DUI convictions or circumstances for a first offense involving significant property damage, car accidents, or severe injuries to other parties can result in a felony. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony can impact your ability to maintain your professional license.
Your Specific Professional License
For each career field, there are specific crimes that can result in an immediate loss of your professional license. For insurance agents, CPAs, or financial careers, crimes related to money laundering may result in a permanent revocation of your professional license, while felony drug charges or kidnapping will result in the immediate revocation of your teaching license if you are an educator.
According to the Institute for Justice, 1/5th of people need some form of a professional license for their job. A professional license includes commercial driving licenses, attorney licenses, CPA licenses, teaching licenses, medical licenses, and even pilot licenses. A DUI conviction can potentially impact the following professionals:
- Doctors, surgeons, and nurses
- EMTs, paramedics, or First Responders
- Dentists, chiropractors, and acupuncturists
- CDL Holders
- Teachers, administrators, and social workers
- Police Officers
Additionally, Florida state law stipulates that certain businesses can lose their license if an employee is convicted of a felony.
If you, or someone you love, has recently been arrested for or convicted of a DUI, consider visiting with an experienced Florida DUI lawyer, St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney – Sean McQuaid to ensure your legal rights remain protected.
Examples of DUIs Impacting Professional Licenses
Some of the different types of professional licenses that may have an impact following a DUI conviction include the following:
The Florida Department of Education requires teachers and educators maintain a Florida Educator Certificate. Teachers, instructional personnel as well as school administrators in private schools, charter schools, and District school systems must adhere to Senate Bill 1712, known as the Ethics in Education Act. Effective July 2008, this bill states conviction of certain offenses can render an educator ineligible for a Florida Educator Certificate. Conviction of a DUI can also make administrators and instructional personnel ineligible for employment in any position within the public school system or within the private and charter school system that receives State funding. The Florida Department of Education will review the circumstances of a DUI conviction and make a determination.
Any person with a medical license issued through the Florida Board of Medicine will be reviewed periodically by this medical board. Your rights to practice medicine in the state of Florida can be denied if convicted of a felony or a crime that directly interferes with your ability to practice safely and ethically.
A first-time conviction for a DUI is not likely to be considered a felony, but DUIs impact professional licenses on a case-by-case basis. The Florida Board of Medicine requires medical professionals including doctors and nurses pass a background check prior to obtaining their medical license in the state of Florida. Individuals who are moving to Florida or have recently moved to Florida and must apply for a medical license may be ineligible if convicted of a DUI. Individuals with a current medical license must report the offense to the Florida Board of Medicine within 30 days of a DUI conviction. It is up to the Florida Board of Medicine to review the case and determine whether to rescind an existing license or prevent renewal.
Certified Public Accountants
The State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Board of Accountancy requires any Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to report a criminal conviction by filling out when submitting the criminal self-reporting document. Any CPA found guilty, pleading guilty, or pleading no contest to any crime must report it within 30 days. If you fail to self-report in a timely fashion you could face disciplinary penalties including a suspension of your license to practice and a fine up to $5,000.
Contact a Pinellas County DUI Lawyer Regarding Your Legal Rights After a DUI Charge
Being charged with a DUI can have a lasting impact on your career. A single charge can take away years of professional training and education overnight. If you are currently dealing with a DUI charge or a DUI arrest, consider reaching out to the experienced Pinellas County DUI lawyer and St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney Sean McQuaid at (727) 381-2300. When you reach out to our legal team, we can provide you with a consultation to review the circumstances of your case and help you understand all of your legal options.