DUI: Protecting Your Professional License

Being charged with a DUI can have profound implications on your professional license, potentially resulting in suspension or even revocation. 


In the eyes of licensing boards, criminal charges like DUI represent a violation of professional conduct and could therefore lead to punitive measures. This is where the necessity for an adept defense attorney arises.  


Our team of skilled attorneys at Stechschulte Nell Law presents detailed strategies aimed at safeguarding your professional credentials. Our vast experience in handling such cases equips us with the tools necessary to construct an effective defense strategy.  



The Penalties and Consequences of DUI Convictions 


In the state of Florida, the severity assigned to a DUI offense is dependent on its nature and the number of occurrences.  


  • A first-degree misdemeanor offense is attributed to an initial DUI charge or a second occurrence.  
  • A felony charge is imposed for a third or subsequent DUI occurrence. The felony charge also applies when a DUI results in bodily harm or fatally affects another individual. 


The ramifications of a DUI conviction are far-reaching and significant,  extending beyond the immediate legal penalties.  


Typically, a conviction may entail: 



Moreover, the convicted individual may be obligated to undertake community service, partake in a mandatory DUI educational program, or, in certain circumstances, be required to install a breathalyzer in their vehicle. 


For a professional license holder, the repercussions of a DUI conviction take on an entirely new dimension of severity. The underlying fear is not only the potential cancellation of their professional license but also the devastating prospect of a complete derailment of their career.  


Protecting Your Reputation and Career: Safeguarding Your Professional License 


Individuals who hold licenses are often entrusted with the well-being and safety of others; thus, their ability to perform their duties effectively may be called into question following a DUI charge.  


Doctors, Nurses, & Dentists  


For doctors and dentists, a DUI can result in serious consequences such as license suspension or even revocation. Similarly, nurses may face license suspension or probationary periods depending on the severity of their conviction.  


All medical professionals must report their DUI charge within 30 days to their medical board. Note: Depending on their license, they may need to report it within 15 days.  


An investigation may also be undertaken to ensure that the work of the person who has been charged with a DUI has not been compromised as a result of the charge.  


The consequences can include: 


  • License suspension or termination  
  • Ongoing random drug and alcohol testing  
  • Mandatory counseling  
  • Probation  
  • A “letter of concern” in their file  


While a DUI charge does not necessarily mean the end of your career as a doctor, pharmacist, or other medical practitioner, it is a very serious matter, and you should have legal representation to fight for your rights and safeguard your future and career. 




Regarding reporting a DUI charge as a teacher, different school districts and institutions in Florida have different policies. If the DUI case results in a conviction or a plea, the Department of Education may suspend your Florida Educator Certificate and hold a disciplinary hearing. 


Should you face disciplinary action as a result of your DUI offense, you might be required to appear before the Education Practices Commission’s Teacher Hearing Panel, which determines the best course of action.  


Note: Schools are more likely to pardon a first-time DUI misdemeanor charge than a second-time or felony DUI charge. 



In Florida, a therapist is required to disclose a DUI to their Florida Board, regardless of the specifics. 


A therapist must notify the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling of the outcome of their case whether they were found guilty or found not guilty of DUI, regardless of the adjudication, or if they entered a plea of nolo contendere. 


Note: DUIs often result in a renovation of a therapy license, though in some cases suspension may be the penalty.  




In Florida, attorneys are required to notify the Florida Bar of a DUI felony charge within ten days following the indictment’s failure. 


The attorney will be suspended right away and a “Notice of Determination or Judgment of Guilt” will be filed by the Bar. The attorney may file a petition to change or end their suspension at any time after the notice is submitted. A committee will be appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to consider petitions for suspension and determine the appropriate sanctions for the attorney. 


A Florida attorney facing a felony charge may be subject to the following disciplinary actions: 


  • Probation 
  • Disbarment 
  • Suspension 
  • Public censure 
  • Diversion from practice 
  • Disciplinary resignation  




Pilots are subject to strict regulations administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A DUI can jeopardize a pilot’s medical certification necessary for maintaining flight privileges.  


Pilots must promptly report any drug or alcohol-related motor vehicle offenses within 60 days and are then assessed on an individual basis regarding continued eligibility for aviation-related duties. 


Read More > Debunking Common Myths About DUI Defense  


Protect Your Professional License  


If you find yourself in the precarious situation of grappling with a DUI charge while simultaneously seeking to safeguard your professional license, it is paramount to turn to skilled counsel for support. Our team at Stechschulte Nell Law offers a wealth of knowledge and experience that can prove invaluable in these circumstances.  


We are skilled in navigating intricate legal processes and possess a deep understanding of the potential implications a DUI can have on your professional status. We endeavor to provide you with the best possible defense to negate or mitigate these potential consequences.  


Contact our attorneys at Stechschulte Nell Law for a FREE DUI case review today.  

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