A driving under the influence (DUI) or other criminal conviction can often result in severe consequences for individuals holding professional licenses and certifications. Possible penalties include the suspension, decertification, disqualification or revocation of your license and the termination of your employment.
Fighting to Protect Your Job and Your Future
The damage to your professional reputation is often long-lasting and extremely difficult to repair. With your professional future at stake, it is important that you have a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney defending you against the charges and the possible adverse impact a DUI conviction may have on your professional licensure or certification.
I have over a decade of providing skilled and aggressive representation to licensed professionals facing DUI charges in Bucks County, Montgomery County and the surrounding counties. Contact me at (215) 752-5282 for a free initial consultation or fill out the confidential contact form for an immediate response. Appointments are available after business hours and on weekends.
Professionals Who May be Affected by a DUI Conviction
Any type of commercial driver, medical professional or educational professional could have their professional licensure or certification affected by a DUI conviction. Some of the professionals who may be affected most include:
- Social Workers
- Veterinary Technicians
- Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
- Commercial Drivers
- Medical Students
- Child care providers
- Police Officers
- Other Educational Professionals
DUI Reporting Requirements for Licensed Professionals
A doctor convicted of DUI may face a hearing before the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine to review their character and fitness to continue practicing medicine. The Board may impose disciplinary action, including revocation of medical licensing and mandatory participation in counseling. A doctor who fails to promptly report their DUI or other criminal conviction to the Board may be subject to revocation of their medical license.
Dentists and other dental professionals are required to report a DUI conviction on their license renewal application. A dentist convicted of DUI may face disciplinary action from the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry.
Nursing professionals are required to report a pending DUI or other criminal charge to the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing (Board) within 30 days of the filing of the charges. The Board may suspend the license of the nursing professional and require his or her participation in the Pennsylvania Nurse Peer Assistance Program (PNAP) for treatment of substance abuse. The Board also has the authority to revoke the license of the nursing professional.
Emergency Medical Professionals
Emergency medical responders (EMR’s) and emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) are required to report a DUI conviction to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Department of Health may impose an automatic suspension of the emergency medical professional’s paramedic license. The Department of Health may also refuse EMT certification for emergency medical professionals who are convicted of DUI.
A pharmacist is required to report a DUI conviction to the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy (Board). The Board may refer a pharmacist to a professional monitoring program that may include participation in mandatory substance abuse treatment.
Teachers and other Educational Professionals
Act 24 of the Pennsylvania School Code imposes significant criminal history reporting requirements for current and prospective teachers and other educational professionals. Under the Act, convictions for specific enumerated offenses will disqualify an applicant from becoming employed as a teacher or other educational professional. Convictions for certain DUI offenses will require a waiting period before employment as a teacher or other educational professional may begin.
The penalties for a DUI conviction for a currently employed teacher or other educational professional will vary depending on the particular school district’s policy. DUI cases involving controlled substances or 2nd offense DUI cases will generally receive more severe discipline, including possible loss of employment and licensure. I can review your case to determine the most effective defense against these potential professional penalties.
Commercial Driver’s License
Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, including those who operate commercial trucks, school buses, passenger buses and dump trucks, are subject to more severe penalties for vehicle code violations and vehicle-related crimes (such as DUI) than are non-CDL drivers. CDL holders can be charged with DUI if they are operating a school bus with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 or greater or if they are operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or greater.
The temporary or permanent disqualification of a CDL license can have devastating consequences for a CDL holder who relies on the ability to drive to earn a living. CDL holders convicted of DUI will often have difficulty finding employment and commercial driver’s insurance coverage due to the existence of the DUI on their driving record.
CDL Disqualification for DUI Conviction
Upon conviction, school bus drivers with a BAC between .02 and .159 and commercial truck drivers with a BAC between .04 and .159 are subject to a 1-year disqualification of their CDL in addition to any applicable suspension of their personal driving privileges.
CDL Disqualification for Serious Traffic Offenses and Chemical Test Refusal
Admission to the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program will not reduce the 1 year CDL disqualification. Convictions for other offenses can trigger a temporary or permanent disqualification of your CDL including a refusal to submit to chemical testing for DUI and convictions for 2 or more “serious” traffic offenses within 3 years. Serious traffic offenses include excessive speeding, reckless driving and making improper lane changes.
Lifetime CDL Disqualification
A CDL license holder who has been convicted of 2 DUI offenses will be subject to a lifetime disqualification even if the CDL driver was operating a non-commercial vehicle at the time of the both offenses. It is important to immediately contact my office if you are a CDL holder charged with a 2nd offense DUI.
Committed and Comprehensive Representation
I have extensive experience defending CDL holders and other licensed professionals charged with DUI, other major traffic offenses and all categories of criminal offenses. I will provide you with a strong, focused defense against your DUI, traffic citation or criminal charges. I will also guide you through the administrative licensing board hearing process while working aggressively to protect your professional license and your ability to earn a living.
Start with a Strong Defense
If you are a commercial driver’s license holder or other professional license holder charged with DUI in Bucks County, Montgomery County or the surrounding counties, it is critical to act quickly to protect your rights and build the strongest possible defense against the charges. Phone lines are open 24 hours a day at (215) 752-5282. Call today for a free initial consultation or fill out the confidential contact form for an immediate response.