If you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Washington, D.C. or Virginia, you face jail time, fines, and the suspension of your driver's license. However, if you hold a professional license, your livelihood could be at stake. Not all professional licenses are affected by a conviction, but in some cases, you may lose your ability to work in your profession. If you have been charged with DUI or DWI, you need an aggressive defense attorney to protect your future. S.L. England, PLLC, is ready to help.
Doctor DUI or DWI
Doctors invest a significant amount of time and money into building their careers, but a DUI or DWI conviction can impact their ability to practice medicine in Virginia or Washington, D.C.
The Virginia Board of Medicine and the D.C. Board of Medicine have rules regarding how a DUI or DWI conviction affects your license. Hiring a skilled defense attorney soon after your arrest gives you the best chance of saving your license. The boards are more likely to allow you to retain your license if you are charged with a first-offense misdemeanor DUI. Subsequent offenses or felony charges may show a pattern of substance abuse, which can jeopardize your ability to practice medicine.
If you are convicted of a DUI or a DWI, the licensing board could impose their own penalties, including fines, probation, license revocation, or the loss of employment. You may have difficulty finding future employment.
Nurses With a DUI
Nurses convicted of DUI or DWI also have their licenses in jeopardy. You could face suspension or revocation of your license; censure; reprimand; or be placed on probation. The board takes any alcohol or drug-related convictions very seriously, especially if you are so impaired that it is unsafe for you to practice nursing or if your behavior shows a pattern of substance abuse.
In some cases, a first-offense misdemeanor DUI or DWI may not result in any action against you. However, if mitigating circumstances exist, you could lose your license over even a first offense misdemeanor, such as getting a DUI or DWI on the way to work or being convicted of a drug DUI in conjunction with stealing medication from your employer.
If you were arrested for injuring or killing someone as a result of your DUI or DWI or are involved in a hit-and-run, you may lose your nursing license.
Subsequent DUI charges may result in the loss of your nursing license because they show a pattern of substance abuse.
Pilots With DUI or DWI
For pilots, DUI or DWI convictions carry serious professional consequences. If you are charged with DUI or DWI, you must notify the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of any alcohol or drug-related driver's license suspension, regardless of whether you have been convicted.
The FAA is automatically notified of your DUI or DWI arrest when your fingerprints are run through LiveScan.
If you are convicted of DUI or DWI, you must notify the FAA within 60 days. The FAA will take action against your pilot's license for your DUI or DWI conviction and your administrative driver's license suspension, so it is critical that you hire an attorney to represent you at your hearing. This will be held at the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles Adjudication Services if your DUI was in Washington, D.C, or at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles if your DWI was in Virginia.
After your conviction or driver's license suspension, the FAA will review your case. For a first-offense DUI or DWI conviction with a BAC under 0.15 percent and you submitted to all required chemical testing, the FAA may not suspend your license. For a second or subsequent conviction, you may have your license suspended or revoked.
Some countries, including Canada and Mexico, restrict entry to people convicted of DUI. If you fly internationally, you may lose your ability to travel to some locations even if you do not lose your pilot's license.
Lawyers must be trustworthy, honest, and fit to practice law in Virginia and Washington, D.C. While first-offense misdemeanor DUI or DWI conviction may not affect your ability to practice law, a felony conviction can.
However, any attempt to misrepresent, defraud, or deceive the Bar regarding your first-offense misdemeanor conviction, or in any way interfering with the administration of justice can lead to sanctions. You could receive an informal admonition by the Disciplinary Counsel, a reprimand by the Board of Professional Responsibility, or public censure by the Court. In serious cases, you could face a three-year suspension or disbarment.
Teachers and Educators
Teachers are entrusted with children's welfare, so school boards and the Department of Education take criminal convictions very seriously. A first-offense DUI or DWI conviction may result in your suspension from teaching, but that may be at the discretion of the school board.
If you teach driver's education, you are immediately removed from the classroom and behind-the-wheel instructing for any DUI or DWI arrest or conviction.
Mitigating circumstances such as being arrested for DUI or DWI on school property may result in the suspension or revocation of your teaching license. Any felony DUI or DWI convictions will result in the loss of your job and prevent you from working as a teacher.
Hire an Aggressive DUI Attorney
If you hold a professional license and have been charged with DUI or DWI in Virginia or Washington, D.C., hiring an aggressive defense attorney from S.L. England, PLLC, gives you the best chance of saving your career. Our attorneys have the courtroom experience you need to effectively present your case to the judge or jury. We can represent you in any level court and at administrative hearings for your driver's license suspension. Call us today at (202) 489-0720 or contact us online.