Articles Posted in Professional License

September 26, 2018

How a DUI in Pennsylvania Can Jeopardize Your Doctor’s License

By Brian Manchester

Don’t Make the Common Mistake in Thinking a DUI Will Not Affect Your License

If you are a doctor that has been charged with DUI, you should not make the common mistake of believing the DUI will not affect your medical license simply because it relates to conduct outside of the medical practice.

Not only is the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine aggressive in disciplining doctors with DUI convictions, it is likely your employment contract also prohibits such alcohol related convictions. You have to be proactive in dealing with and defending the DUI charges filed against you.

You Have 30 Days to Notify the PA State Board of Medicine

Not only are there important dates that you have to be aware of regarding the criminal charges, there are also important timelines that you must follow as to the Bureau of Occupational Affairs and the PA State Board of Medicine. Once you receive your DUI charges you have 30 days to notify the them that you have been charged with DUI. Furthermore, if you are convicted of DUI, or are placed on ARD you have 30 days from sentencing or placement on ARD to notify these organizations as well. I have set forth more specific law on the reporting of convictions to show just how important it is to take these charges seriously.

In Pennsylvania, Act 6 of Pennsylvania’s Medical Boards says that any person holding a license, registration, certificate, or permit issued by a licensing board or commission under the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs shall notify the appropriate licensing board/commission within thirty (30) days of the occurrence of any of the following:

  • A disciplinary action taken by a licensing agency of another jurisdiction.
  • A finding or verdict of guilt, an admission of guilt, a plea of nolo contendere, probation without verdict, disposition in lieu of trial or an accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) or any felony or misdemeanor offense.
Not Disclosing Arrests, ARD Placement, or DUI Conviction Can Result in Loss of License

If you are placed on the ARD program that does not automatically mean you will lose your license to practice medicine. However, an ARD or a conviction may trigger a hearing before the Bureau of Occupational Affairs whereby your fitness to practice medicine may be called into question. It is important to know that a failure to disclose an arrest for DUI, and ARD for DUI, or a conviction for DUI conviction within thirty (30) days can result in loss of your medical license just because you did not disclose the arrest.

Cooperate and Demonstrate Responsibility Before the Medical Board

The Medical Board may conduct an interview and their own investigation into you and your DUI to determine if your license should be suspended or revoked. Demonstrating responsibility and being cooperative will go a long way in helping keep your license. But it is important to be very careful as to what you cooperate on and what you disclose. Their system, especially their “voluntary” alternative programs, are not all what they portray them to be and are not really designed to help doctors get through the program easily.

Know Your Options – Get an Experienced DUI Attorney Familiar with Medical Licensing

It is important to know your options if you are a doctor charged with DUI. Brian Manchester has extensive training in DUI defense and is even a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the American Chemical Society, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. Brian Manchester also regularly attends seminars that specifically focus on DUI defenses, and he was also the Educational Chairman for the Pennsylvania Association of Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys. For a Free Strategy Session, we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.

 

Posted in: DUI Blog , Professional License , Uncategorized ,

September 18, 2018

How a Pennsylvania DUI Can Affect your Teaching Career

By Brian Manchester

A DUI can be particularly detrimental to a teacher’s career if not handled properly. The Pennsylvania School Code Section 111 requires teachers, principals, school nurses, coaches, cafeteria staff, janitors, and virtually any other employee of a school to disclose the DUI conviction to the school. This amendment became effective on September 28, 2011.

With all school employment applications, Subsection (b) of Section 111 of the Pennsylvania School Code requires a criminal history report to be obtained from the Pennsylvania State Police. Subsection (c) additionally requires the prospective teacher or school employee to submit fingerprints which will be sent to the F.B.I.

Subsection (f)(1)(3) asks specifically for convictions related to DUI to be provided.  This subsection requires a three (3) year ineligibility period for a prospective employee convicted of a second DUI if it is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree.  Any second offense DUI where the driver’s BAC is above .16% or a refusal of chemical test, and any third or subsequent DUI offense with a BAC of .10% or higher (or an accident is involved) is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree.  For example: In 2015 an individual is convicted of a second DUI while their BAC was .16% and received a sentence of 5 years intermediate punishment.  That person would be ineligible for prospective employment in a school until 2023 – the 2015 sentence expires in 2020 at which point the three-year ineligibility period begins to run.

As for current school employees who receive a DUI, a current school employee is not automatically rendered ineligible if they receive a DUI. However, fact that a DUI is not an offense that requires automatic period of ineligibility for a current employee should be of little comfort to current employees that get a DUI. It is still probable that they could be subjected to the ineligibility provisions, given Subsection (f.2) states that nothing in this subsection shall interfere with a school’s ability to make employment, discipline, or termination decisions. Thus, the school is free to terminate a current employee because of the DUI, in which case the employee would be seeking prospective employment. Therefore, because a prospective employee is ineligible for three (3) years from the expiration of their sentence, the terminated employee would not be able to gain new employment at a school until the period of ineligibility ended. Lastly, current teachers with a qualifying DUI would not be able to move to a new school district under any circumstances until the completion of their period of eligibility. In essence, if you are a current school employee charged with a DUI, your best option is to find a way to keep your current position.

You Shouldn’t Assume You’ll Lose Your Job or Teaching Credential

It is important to know your options if you are a teacher charged with DUI, and you should not assume that you will lose your job or teaching credential. Brian Manchester has extensive training in DUI defense and is even a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the American Chemical Society, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. Brian Manchester also regularly attends seminars that specifically focus on DUI defenses, and he was also the Educational Chairman for the Pennsylvania Association of Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys. For a free consultation, we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.

Posted in: DUI Blog , Professional License ,

August 15, 2017

Can I Lose My Professional License If I Am Convicted Of A Crime In Pennsylvania?

By Brian Manchester

The short answer YES.

If the crime you are charged with in Pennsylvania is a drug related crime then 35 Pa. C.S.A. 780-123 gives several powers to professional licenses administrative bodies over those individuals who hold a professional license in Pennsylvania when it comes to being charged with drug related charges. These bodies can revoke or suspend your Pennsylvania professional license upon proof that the licensee is drug dependent. If you plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) or are convicted of a felony under the drug statutes of Pennsylvania after a trial severe sanctions can be imposed. Because the statute says drug dependent this can include alcohol as well. That means if you have a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction in Pennsylvania, you can face disciplinary action from your licensing board. However, before any such revocation or suspension there must be a reasonable notice and hearing/opportunity to be heard where the accused can be represented by counsel.

There is a possibility of an automatic suspension for up to one year if the licensee pleads guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) or is convicted of a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania’s drug statutes or Pennsylvania’s DUI statutes. When this occurs the District Attorney’s office must notify the proper State licensing board about the conviction. In addition to the criminal prosecution, your licensing board can conduct their own investigation into determining whether or not to suspend your professional license. However, the licensing board may stay (hold) the automatic suspension if the licensee was deemed to have only violated the Pennsylvania’s drug statutes for personal use only. If this is the case then the licensee can participate in an impaired professional program approved by the State licensing board for a period of three to five years as directed by your professional licensing board. If the licensee fails to comply with all aspects of the program the licensing board shall vacate the stay (hold) on your professional license immediately and enforce the suspension.

If your case is appealed to a higher Court, the automatic suspension shall not be stayed pending any appeal of a conviction; meaning that an appeal of your conviction does not stop your professional licensing board from suspending your professional license.

There are a lot of professional licenses in the state of Pennsylvania which can be affected by criminal charges and convictions. The law surrounding professional licenses and certifications is complex and varies between the different professions. There are many professional licenses that could be affected, here is a list of just a few of them: Physician (Doctor), Nurses, Pharmacists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Occupational Therapists, Optometrists, Podiatrists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Social Workers, Therapists, EMTs, Dentist, Chiropractors, Accountants, Brokers, Architects, Engineers, Relators, Veterinarians, Pilots, Police Officers, Teachers, and Fire Fighters.

Some of the Administrative Bodies involved are for a Physician (Doctor) Pennsylvania Medical Board, for a Nurse Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing, for a Dentist The State Board of Dentistry, for a Pharmacists Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy, for a Pilot the Federal Aviation Administration, for an EMT Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The Professional Health Monitoring Program (PHMP) is available to physicians as licensed professionals. Some branches of this are the Physicians Health Program (PHP), the Pennsylvania Nurse Peer Assistance Program (PNAP). Secundum Artem – Reaching Pharmacists with Help (SARPH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Pharmacists and Pharmacy Students in Pennsylvania. The Physicians Health Program (PHP) is operated by the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and is also available for Dentist.

It is extremely important to contact an experienced law firm right away if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. If you, your son, daughter, or loved one in Pennsylvania has been arrested for a crime in state or federal court in Pennsylvania you need legal representation. Here at Manchester and Associates, we represent people across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For a free consultation we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.

Posted in: Professional License ,

August 15, 2017

How Would A Drug Offense Affect My Professional License In Pennsylvania?

By Brian Manchester

Pennsylvania statute 35 Pa. C.S.A. 780-123 gives several powers your Professional licenses administrative bodies over those individuals who hold a professional license in Pennsylvania. These bodies can revoke or suspend your Pennsylvania professional license upon proof that the licensee is drug dependent on the use of any controlled substance, if you plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) or are convicted of a felony under the drug statutes of Pennsylvania. However, before any such revocation or suspension, there must be a reasonable notice and hearing/opportunity to be heard where the accused can be represented by counsel.

Below I have compiled a list of professions and how drug offenses can affect their licenses.

Chiropractor: Your license will be refused or revoked for any felony drug conviction within 10 years. Your license could be refused or revoked for any other felony or misdemeanor relating to a health profession.

Dentist: Your license will be refused or revoked for any felony drug conviction within 10 years. Your license could be refused or revoked for any other felony or misdemeanor relating to a health profession.

Nurse (Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse): Your license will be refused or revoked for any felony drug conviction within 10 years. Your license could be refused or revoked for any other felony or crime of moral turpitude.

Occupational Therapist: Your license could be refused or revoked for any conviction where the crime has a direct bearing on your “fitness” to be an Occupational Therapist.

Optometrist: Your license will be suspended for a felony drug conviction. Your license could be refused or revoked for any other felony or crime of moral turpitude.

Osteopath: Your license could be refused or revoked for any felony conviction or crime of moral turpitude or any crime related directly to the practice of osteopathic medicine.

Pharmacists: Your license could be refused or revoked for any felony conviction or crime of moral turpitude or any crime related directly to the practice of a pharmacist.

Physical Therapist: Your license will be refused or revoked for any felony drug conviction within the last 10 years.

Physician: Your license will be refused or revoked for any felony drug conviction within the last 10 years. Your license could be refused or revoked for any other felony or misdemeanor relating to a health profession.

Physician’s Assistant: Your license could be refused or revoked for any felony conviction.

Podiatrist: Your license could be refused or revoked for any conviction in connection with the practice of podiatric medicine or involving moral turpitude.

Psychologist: Your license will be refused or revoked for any felony drug conviction in the last 10 years. Your license could be refused or revoked for any felony or misdemeanor conviction in connection with the practice of psychology.

Obviously, the best way to prevent any of these issues is to not be convicted at all. If there is no conviction then there should be no strike against your professional license.

It is extremely important to contact an experienced law firm right away if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. If you, your son, daughter, or loved one in Pennsylvania has been arrested for a crime in state or federal court in Pennsylvania you need legal representation. Here at Manchester and Associates, we represent people across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For a free consultation we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.

Posted in: Professional License ,