Getting a DUI can be a life-changing situation. Not only could you face serious legal DUI consequences and/or have your medical or other professional licenses revoked or suspended, but a DUI could also impact your career.
These consequences could be especially harsh for people who work in the medical field. Getting a DUI could result in a medical professional losing his/her license and being unable to work.
The good news is that there are things that can be done to ensure that your medical or other professional licenses and certifications are protected in the event of a DUI. If you’ve recently faced a DUI charge, or simply want to be prepared in case of an unfortunate event, you’ve come to the right place.
The following steps can help make sure that losing your medical license won’t be one of the DUI consequences you’ll have to face.
Hire a Lawyer
Dealing with a DUI isn’t something you should try to do on your own. The first step you should take is to hire a lawyer, ideally one with experience in DUIs and professional licensing.
One of the first things your lawyer will be able to do is let you know whether or not your profession is one that could be affected by a DUI. The following professionals will likely need to hire a lawyer to represent them in front of a licensing board:
- Medical Professionals (doctors, EMTs, nurses, medical students, dentists, pharmacists, etc.)
- Insurance Agent
- School Employees (teachers, school board members, school administrators, etc.)
- Massage Therapists
- Commercial Truck Drivers
It's important to keep in mind that regulations surrounding professional licenses may vary by state. Your attorney will be able to assist you regarding your specific situation.
An attorney with professional licensing experience will have an understanding of the impacts that a DUI could have on your career. An attorney who has specific professional license experience will know the ins and outs of dealing with licensing boards, which will be a must in helping you build the strongest case.
Your lawyer can then assist in making sure that you don’t have any statements that could incriminate you. For example, in many cases, licensing boards will consider a contested plea as an admittance of guilt.
Get a Proper Evaluation
If you’re a medical or other professional who is charged with a DUI, the first step will be to prove that you don’t have a substance abuse problem.
You will need to be evaluated to prove that you do not need any form of counseling or treatment. However, the key is to make sure you are evaluated by a trusted professional. Although healthcare recovery programs for health professionals may seem like a good option, that isn’t always the case.
Instead, your lawyer can help you find a Ph.D. or MD who primarily deals with substance abuse issues. They will evaluate you to determine the following:
It is safe for you to practice/see patients
Your DUI was an isolated incident
You do not need to be supervised
Being monitored/entering a program would not be beneficial to you
Understand Your Options
When facing the licensing board, the main objective will be to determine that you are safe to practice.
If the board does feel that you are not safe to return to work, you may still have options. Your lawyer can help you work with the appropriate parties to figure out a plan of action. This may involve you working with a healthcare-specific recovery program.
DUI consequences can be devastating for your professional life, but they don’t have to be. Working with a qualified lawyer can make all the difference. Contact Nash Law, PLLC today at 615-628-7555 for more information on what to do in the event of a DUI charge.
This article was written by the author on behalf of Nash Law, PLLC.