How Can Medical Professionals Be Affected by a DUI Charge?

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Being charged with DUI is a serious matter. The consequences that could follow a conviction are numerous and potentially severe. A DUI charge can lead to the loss of personal freedom, can wreak havoc on finances, can result in losing a driver’s license, and more.

Now, even that likely sounds pretty serious, but for medical professionals, it can be much worse. Not only do medical professionals have to worry about all of the regular consequences that might follow a DUI conviction, but their professional lives could be impacted as well. Medical professionals who are charged with DUI have a lot at stake.

Arizona law provides for stiff penalties for an individual convicted of DUI, and medical professionals are no exception. In fact, state law is actually stricter when it comes to these professionals. Arizona requires that medical professionals report to the appropriate licensing board any arrests or citations for a number of various crimes. DUI is on this list. Furthermore, the report must be made within 10 working days after being cited or arrested.

Some medical professionals might think that they can avoid any possible penalties by simply not reporting their DUI charge to their licensing board. But, since not reporting a reportable arrest or citation is also something that can get a professional into trouble with licensing boards, this is not a good idea. It doesn’t matter whether the charge in question actually leads to conviction; it must be reported within the time frame specified.

In the state of Arizona, there are a number of professions that can fall into the category of ‘medical professional’; it isn’t just doctors and nurses.

Here are just some of the other professions that must report being charged with DUI to the appropriate licensing board:

  • Dental hygienist
  • Veterinary technician
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Pharmacy technician

Basically, there is a good possibility that anyone who works in the healthcare field as a licensed professional will need to report DUI charges to their licensing board. Once a licensing board receives the notification of DUI charges, it will prepare to begin an investigation into the circumstances of the charge, as well as the person who is charged. Depending on what licensing board is involved, this investigation may happen immediately or not until the criminal case is resolved.

Of primary concern in the investigation will be whether the individual facing DUI charges has a substance abuse problem. But no matter what the circumstances are, penalties from licensing boards are certainly possible and, in addition to any legal penalties imposed by a court of law, can include:

  • Mandated treatment programs
  • Mandated therapy
  • Mandated abstinence from alcohol and other substances
  • Suspension of the professional license
  • Revocation of the professional license

Exactly what penalties a reporting professional will face depends on a lot of factors, such as the degree of the charge (misdemeanor or felony), whether it is a first or repeated offence, and others. But the risk of being charged with DUI affecting a medical professional’s career is real and should not be ignored. Since suspension or revocation of a professional license is a possible outcome, medical professionals charged with DUI could lose their jobs and be prevented from ever working in the medical field again.

Because of all the risks that medical professionals face when charged with DUI, it would be wise for a medical professional in this situation to seek strong legal representation from a DUI lawyer. A DUI attorney familiar with the law may be able to help reduce or eliminate some of these risks.

Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law is an experienced DUI attorney who fights for medical professionals facing DUI charges. Offering a free initial consultation and possessing over 30 years of experience practicing law, Robert A. Dodell, Attorney-at-law is a DUI lawyer in Arizona that has the expertise needed when facing DUI charges.

Medical professionals work hard for their careers and, rather than risking one little mistake taking it all away from them, any medical professional charged with DUI should definitely get quality legal help to boost the likelihood of a successful outcome to their case.

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