How to Protect Your Professional License and Yourself when Charged with a Florida DUI: Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer Advice
While many might know about the consequences of getting charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida, they may not know how a DUI can affect their eligibility to maintain their professional license.
A DUI charge could ruin anybody’s reputation - whether that means having your license suspended or going to jail. To someone with a professional license, however, a DUI charge may be much more detrimental to their career than to the average person’s career. Depending on your profession, a Florida DUI couls result in the suspension or termination of your professional license.
Harsh Penalties for a DUI Conviction in South Florida
A DUI in Florida is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, and carries several serious consequences. A person’s first or second DUI is charged as a misdemeanor; however, a third or any subsequent DUI and a DUI resulting in someone else’s injury or death is charged as a felony.
A DUI conviction may lead to up to a year in jail and, depending on the circumstances, 12 months on probation, a license suspension, a fine of $500 or more, community service hours, mandatory DUI school, or possibly a breathalyzer installed in your vehicle. While these penalties can severely alter anyone’s daily life, a person with a professional license now has the added fear of the termination of their license, or even worse, the complete end of their career.
Who has a Professional License?
For some jobs, a professional license is necessary for a person to work or practice. People who work as doctors, dentists, lawyers, nurses and teachers, for example, all have professional licenses in the state of Florida and may face career-ending ramifications when charged with a DUI.
I Have a Professional License: What should I do if I'm Charged with a Florida DUI?
Don’t panic, but you need to take control and act quickly. You only have 10 days to save your driver's license if you've been charged with a DUI in Florida.
First things first - contact a DUI attorney with a great reputation. Time is of the essence. To avoid catastrophic consequences of your DUI charge to your career and professional license, you need to hire a DUI lawyer right away to mitigate the damage and stress of the charges. If you call Rossen Law Firm’s skilled DUI defense attorneys at 754-206-6200, we can guide you through the process of responding to your respective professional board and we can represent your case. We offer free strategy sessions for you to learn how we’ll help you beat your DUI case. We'll do absolutely everything possible to prootect your rights, your future, and your career.
How Does a South Florida DUI Charge Affect a Doctor?
In Florida, doctors have 30 days to report their DUI charge to their medical board. Depending on the person’s specific medical license, they may only have 15 days.
It is also possible for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Department of Health to launch an investigation into the person charged with a DUI, largely in order to ensure that their work has not been compromised as a result of the DUI charge.
The consequences of a DUI charge on a medical licence can include a professional license suspension or termination depending on the nature of the offense, ongoing random drug and alcohol testing, mandatory counseling, probation, and a ‘letter of concern’ in the person’s file. DUIs are taken very seriously by the Florida State Medical Board.
Facing a DUI as a doctor, pharmacist, or other medical professional doesn't have to mean the end of your career, but it is very serious and you'll want an attorney on your side to fight for your rights and to protect your future and carrer. DUI charges are not all that rare in the medical community since it is a high-stress job. Most of the concern for a medical professional who gets a DUI or struggles with addiction is a cautionary concern as the Florida State Medical Board wants to ensure you're not prevented from safely practicing medicine.
You will likely face coonsequences from the medical board if you're charged with a DUI in South Florida, but it's in no way a guarantee that your career is over or in complete jeaporady. It's impoortant to report your DUI to the medical board and to cooperate with their investigation according to the advice of your DUI lawyer.
How Does a DUI Charge Affect a Dentist in Fort Lauderdale?
In Florida, dentists have 30 days to report their DUI charge to the Florida Board of Dentistry. Even if you got a DUI in another state, you still need to report the DUI to the board of dentistry if you're a practicing dentist in Florida.
Once the case has been completed, dentists need to submit certified official court documents showing the date and outcome of the charge, certified copy of any disciplinary actions taken in result of the conviction (probation, DUI school), and a detailed letter explaining the circumstances of the charge.
The letter should include details about the factors in your life when the South Florida DUI charge happened, what you learned from the experience, and what you have done since the DUI arrest to support rehabilitation.
How Does a DUI Charge Affect a Lawyer in Broward County?
In Florida, lawyers have to report a felony charge to the Florida Bar within 10 days of the failing of the indictment.
The Bar will file a ‘Notice of Determination or Judgment of Guilt,’ and immediately suspend the lawyer. At any point after the notice is filed, the lawyer can file a petition to modify or terminate their suspension. The Supreme Court of Florida will appoint a committee to hear any petitions on suspension and decide upon sanctions for the lawyer.
Discipline for a Florida lawyer facing a felony charge may include disbarment, suspension, public reprimand, diversion to practice, probation, and a disciplinary resignation. While the rules are less serious for a misdemeanor, the Florida Bar does not take any criminal activity lightly and requires it to be reported immediately. A DUI can be either a misdemeanor or a felony in Florida depending on the specific details of the DUI case.
How Does a DUI Charge Affect a Nurse in South Florida?
In Florida, nurses have 30 days to report their DUI charge to the Florida Board of Nursing.
Because a DUI involves the use of drugs or alcohol, nurses may be required to submit an evaluation or enroll in an Impaired Nurses Program.
The Florida Board of Nursing decides on all disciplinary actions, and may decide whether or not to conduct their own investigations. While a first-time DUI charge is not likely to lead to the revocation of one’s nursing license, a second or third conviction may carry more serious consequences with the Board. Learn more about how a South Florida DUI affects a nurse here.
How Does a DUI Charge Affect a Teacher in Palm Beach, Broward, or Miami-Dade County?
In Florida, individual schools and districts have their own rules about reporting a DUI charge.
If the DUI case ended in a plea or conviction, it may trigger a disciplinary hearing and could possibly lead to the Department of Education imposing sanctions against your Florida Educator Certificate.
If disciplinary action is taken against you because of your DUI charge, you may have to appear in front of the Teacher Hearing Panel of the Education Practices Commission, which decides the appropriate resolution of the case. A first-offense DUI misdemeanor charge is more likely to be forgiven by the school than a second offense or a felony DUI charge.
How Does a DUI Charge Affect a Florida Therapist?
In Florida, no matter the specific details, a therapist must report a DUI to their Florida Board.
Whether a therapist was convicted or found guilty of a DUI, regardless of an adjudication, or if he or she entered a plea of nolo contendere to a DUI charge, they need to report the outcome of their case to the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling.
For a first DUI offense, the minimum discipline from the board is a $1,000 fine and probation from practicing therapy, while the maximum disciple is the $1,000 fine and a permanent revocation from practicing therapy.
For a second DUI offense, a therapist faces a $1,000 fine and a 1 year suspension from practicing therapy.
For a third DUI offense, the fine is $2,500 with a 2 year suspension from practicing therapy or permanent revocation of a therapy license.
How the Rossen Law Firm Wins DUI Cases Affecting Professional Licenses in South Florida
Woman Worried of Losing Professional License after false DUI Charge - We beat her DUI case
Ellen was meeting up with a friend at Flanigans in Davie for a fun night out. Ellen’s friend introduced her to a man, and she had a conversation with him over food and drinks.
One thing led to another, and Ellen found herself at this man’s house to rest. Before long, this man was trying to rape Ellen. She got into her car and fled. After driving on the wrong side of the road for 8 blocks in her panicked state, Ellen was pulled over by police and was ultimately arrested for DUI.
She was terrified her licensing board would suspend her professional license and a conviction would damage her reputation in the community - things she had spent years working to build. We were able to prove in court, with the help of a Rape Trauma Expert, that Ellen was frazzled and not drunk. Her charge was reduced to reckless driving.
Check out Ellen’s Case Result to learn more about her case and how Rossen Law Firm beat her DUI.
The police received an anonymous tip that a car was driving funny in Boca Raton and they ended up pulling over Kenny.
Kenny failed the field sobriety exercises and was arrested and charged with DUI. In the process, he was given two separate breath tests. He blew more than 2.5 times the legal limit.
Kenny had never been in trouble before, but was still denied the Palm Beach DUI First Time Offender diversion program because of the high breath tests and his poor driving.
In the end, Rossen Law Firm beat his DUI and got him into the diversion program anyways. Since Kenny is a doctor in residency for emergency room medicine who had worked hard to put himself through medical school and pass his board exams, beating his DUI was very important. He was afraid he would lose his medical license and career if convicted of DUI in Florida.
To learn more about Kenny and how we beat his DUI by getting him into the Palm Beach diversion program, read his case result here.
Reach out today to learn more about protecting yourself and your professional license when charged with a DUI, and to schedule a free strategy session with Rossen Law Firm.