Will A DUI Affect My Professional License?
Being convicted of driving under the influence can be catastrophic, both personally and professionally. The impact a DUI can have on you professionally depends in large part on your position, profession, and the severity and specifics of the charges against you. For instance, a DUI conviction for someone with a commercial driver’s license could easily mean the end of their career, as it would be a large and unnecessary liability for companies to hire a driver with a history of driving drunk or under the influence of other drugs. Likewise, nurses and doctors may face serious professional penalties and repercussions following a DUI, as it raises questions about their capacity to care for patients. Teachers, principals, healthcare and counselling professionals, and anyone required to drive a vehicle for work may face professional penalties if they receive a DUI.
Professional Penalties for DUI
It’s important to note that professional penalties as a result of a DUI are completely separate from the criminal process. You do not automatically lose your license when you are charged with DUI and it is not a decision that is made by a judge or a court. Rather, it is up to the licensure board, governing professional organization, or your employer, to make a determination as to the penalty. This usually makes more sense, as the professional organizations are far more familiar with the particular risks associated with intoxication or substance abuse and can generally make a better determination as to how best to proceed. This also means that it can be hard to predict the particular outcome in any case, as they can range from mandatory treatment programs to license suspension or revocation.
Protecting Your Career After a DUI Charge
The best thing you can do for yourself and your career is to avoid letting a DUI charge become a conviction. This is best accomplished by hiring an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney will work to have your DUI reduced from a criminal charge to a non-criminal charge, and, in some cases, may even be able to have the charge dismissed. If you have been charged, time is of the essence. It’s important to retain an attorney as early in the process as possible to avoid possible pitfalls and to give your attorney ample time to build you a strong defense.
There are a number of ways that an attorney can help you challenge the charges against you. For starters, your attorney can challenge the legality of the police decision to pull you over in the first place. An attorney can also challenge the efficacy of field sobriety tests, the accuracy of lab tests, whether there was probable cause for your arrest, the constitutionality of a stop, and more. In many cases, your attorney will be able to negotiate a less serious charge for you.
Contact an Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer
In Georgia, DUI convictions cannot be erased or expunged, so in order to protect your career it’s important to hire a Georgia criminal lawyer as soon as you are charged. Hawkins Spizman Trial Attorneys, serving all of Georgia, including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs, are prepared to work on your behalf and fight the charges. Contact us today for help.