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.
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.
A DUI Can End a Pilot’s Career if not Handled Properly
A DUI conviction can be detrimental to a pilot’s career if not handled properly. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) takes DUI offenses very seriously, and pilots are required to notify the FAA within sixty (60) days of each DUI related event. Specifically, under 14 CFR 61.15, all pilots must notify the Security and Investigative Division of the FAA by way of notification letter when the pilot has their driver’s license suspended, and a separate letter must be sent if the pilot is convicted of the DUI.
Because alcohol related convictions will appear on your driving record, which you must release to the FAA for a pilot’s license or renewal of medical aviation certification, it is important resist the urge to try and hide the DUI from the FAA. The FAA can and will quickly review your driving record, especially if there is any suspicion that you were convicted of a DUI. However, please note under 14 CFR 61.15(c)(1), you are not required to report the violation to the FAA if the DUI charge took place prior to November 29, 1990.
Requirements for the Notification Letter
The specific requirements for the notification letter are listed in 14 CFR 61.15(e), which are:
“Each person holding a certificate issued under this part shall provide a written report of each motor vehicle action to the FAA, Civil Aviation Security Division (AAC-700), P.O. Box 25810, Oklahoma City, OK 73125, not later than 60 days after the motor vehicle action. The report must include –
(1) The person’s name, address, date of birth, and airman certificate number;
(2) The type of violation that resulted in the conviction or the administrative action;
(3) The date of the conviction or administrative action;
(4) The state that holds the record of conviction or administrative action; and
(5) A statement of whether the motor vehicle action resulted from the same incident or arose out of the same factual circumstances related to a previously-reported motor vehicle action.”
A DUI does NOT mean an End to your Piloting Career
Getting a DUI will not automatically mean that your career as a pilot is over. However, if you are convicted, you can expect that the FAA will conduct an alcoholism inquiry in order to determine if you are fit to keep your pilot’s license. For someone that receives a DUI while in the process of becoming a pilot, it can affect your chances of obtaining the pilot’s license if you do not handle the process responsibly and properly. Thus, if you report the DUI, and conduct yourself in a manner that indicates you do not suffer from alcohol dependency, you have a good chance of keeping your pilots license.
It is important to know that you are still capable of successfully passing your aviation medical exam even with a DUI on your record, but not without being examined by the FAA. The one exception to the requirement of being examined by the FAA is if: your BAC was under 0.15, you never refused to submit to a BAC test, you properly reported the DUI to the FAA, and you have never had any prior arrests or convictions. If you have multiple DUIs, you may experience difficulty applying for an aviation medical certificate, as the FAA usually deems this an indication of a habitual alcohol or addition problem.
Do NOT Assume You’ll Lose Your License
It is important to know your options if you are a pilot charged with DUI, and you should not assume that you will lose your pilot’s license. 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.
Two Crimes For The Price Of One
If you are under the age of 21 and consumed alcohol before driving, you knew you were in trouble the moment you got pulled over and may face underage DUI charges. Driving under the influence is illegal in Pennsylvania, but so is underage drinking. What happens when you are accused of both?
The first thing you need to know is that any driver under the age of 21 who is arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania is automatically charged under Pennsylvania’s high BC tier. Even if this is your very first offense and even if you only had a minimal amount of alcohol in your system, your punishment is going to be severe.
The minimum penalties at the High Impairment tier include at least two days (and up to 6 months) in jail, a fine of anywhere between $500 and $5,000, and a 12 month license suspension. This means you won’t be driving again for at least a year.
The Consequences Don’t End There
Drivers under the age of 25 – even those with clean records – pay a lot more for car insurance than older drivers do. If you factor in an underage drinking DUI, your insurance rates will skyrocket; that is, if you can even find someone willing to insure you.
Even worse, your DUI conviction will be noted on your permanent, public criminal record, which can be accessed by all future employers, landlords, lenders, neighbors and anyone else with an interest in your past. Having a DUI conviction on your record can even affect your future interactions with college admission departments and could potentially impede your ability to obtain a job in your chosen profession. If you are in college, you can also face disciplinary action from your school.
Hire An Experienced Attorney
If you are facing DUI charges and are underage, you should hire experienced attorney that knows the ins-and-outs of DUI cases, including:
- How police test for DUI (sobriety tests), and knowledge of how to point out inaccurate police testimonies.
- Scientific knowledge of blood tests and how faulty they are, with experience using the equipment used in the lab.
- For university students, you must hire an attorney experienced in student disciplinary proceedings.
If you are looking for an experienced attorney who is experienced in debunking police tests, blood tests, and is familiar with student disciplinary proceedings, call Brian Manchester at any time for a Free Strategy Session so we can get to know you and help you through the charges set against you.
DUI convictions can have serious ramifications for licensed medical professionals. Here is an overview of what you may face if you’re a doctor, dentist, nurse, or EMT and you’ve been convicted.
A doctor convicted of a DUI is subject to a hearing before the State Medical Board to evaluate his or her character and fitness to practice medicine. You may have to report any criminal charge, regardless of whether a conviction actually took place, or you may simply lose your ability to practice medicine.
A DUI conviction can also impact your ability to obtain malpractice insurance, or cause your insurance rates to increase dramatically.
If you are a dentist convicted of a DUI, you are required to report the conviction on your license renewal application. If you are a first-time applicant, you are also required to disclose this information on your initial license application. A conviction can impact your ability to obtain malpractice insurance, or cause your insurance rates to skyrocket.
A nurse convicted of a DUI will be required to report the conviction, plea, or ARD program participation or reciprocal discpline to the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing at biennial renewal.
If you have been convicted in the last four years of a DUI in Pennsylvania, it is unlikely you will be able to receive EMT certification. If you are currently an EMT facing DUI conviction, you will be required to report it to the PA Department of Health within 30 days, and will probably receive an automatic license suspension.
If you are a licensed professional, or will be seeking a Professional License in the state of Pennsylvania, and you are facing a PA DUI charge, it is imperative to seek help from an experienced DUI attorney who works with Professional Licenses.
Many people make the mistake of assuming a DUI is irrelevant to their professional licences. This idea couldn’t be further from the truth!
The reality is a DUI conviction can cause long-term, unexpected problems with your career and reputation. Some licenses may be revoked or suspended as a result of your DUI conviction. In some professions, future license applicants may be rendered ineligible due to a DUI. In many cases, the professional license holder is required to report the conviction to their respect board or employer right away. As such, it is essential to seek legal counsel immediately after the arrest.
Here are just small samplings of the licensed professionals affected by a Pennsylvania DUI:
A DUI conviction must be reported to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of PA, which governs lawyer licensing. If you fail to disclose your conviction, you may face discliplinary action, which can vary greatly, depending on your record. Your ability to obtain professional insurance can be comprimised or you may face higher insurance rates as a result of your convinction.
Teachers, Schools, Administrators, Paraprofessionals and Other School Employees
Pennsylvania State Law requires teachers to complete a standardized form indicating whether the school employee has been convicted of a crimain offense or not. DUI is one of the offenses they are required to report. If the DUI involved drugs, a high BAC, or more than one DUI offense, you may lose your teaching or administrative license.
Many schools also require the disclosure of convictions on new employee applications, making it difficult to compete for a job in Pennsylvania’s highly competitive system.
There are many political aspects that can affect your standing as a teacher as well. Parent and political groups, such as MADD, will start letter-writing campaigns to the school board, which may force them to take harsh action against an employee charged with, or convicted of, a DUI in Pennsylvania.
A DUI conviction is handled internally within a police officer’s municipality. The degree of penalties and consequences resulting from a DUI conviction may depend on the type of DUI and the number of previous convictions. Like school employees, police officers are subject to politics in their field, which could lead to an officer’s suspension or termination.
A pilot is required to report a DUI conviction and any resulting driver’s license suspension to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Civil Action Security Division without 60 days. Otherwise, your pilot’s license is in jeopardy. Because of liability issues, some commercial airlines have been known to fire pilots charged with a DUI, even if it is a first-time offense.
A stockbroker is required to report any conviction to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Failure to disclose the DUI immediately could lead to your disqualification. Large brokerage firms typically require their stockbrokers to report DUI convictions. Your ability to obtain professional insurance can be comprimised or you could face higher insurance rates.
Hiring a DUI attorney is never an easy decision. You’ve probably seen numerous advertisements from attorneys today alone or at least throughout the week. If you’re reading this blog, you’re on the Internet, where you can find countless attorneys that practice in the same areas. Once you’ve narrowed your search down, you’re probably wondering “Can this attorney help me and how?”
Thus, we’ve made a list of the top 4 questions you should ask an attorney you’re looking to hire for DUI charges and added some bonus ones at the bottom.
1. How many DUI-related trials have you had in the last year?
This is a pretty easy one. If your lawyer is not actively trying cases, they are not going to get the best deal for you or be able to handle a complex trial as well as attorneys who are actively trying DUI charges. It’s only when the prosecution realizes they are going up against a trained adversary with a winning record, that the good deals get thrown on the table.
If you lawyer is not able to negotiate for you from a position of strength, then don’t expect any reductions, plea deals or even dismissals.
2. How many similar cases have you handled?
Just because an attorney had not had a case exactly like yours before, it doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified to handle your specific situation. A good attorney has mastered everything they need to know to get great results, regardless of the circumstances.
Your attorney should be familiar with the type of case with which you are charged. If you’ve been charged with a DUI and blood was drawn, your attorney must know all about Gas Chromatography and the science used to test your blood.
This means that your attorney should be certified in the fundamentals of Gas Chromatography, Enzymatic Blood Testing, Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Pharmacology, and Human Performance. They must have also attended training in a lab and be able to handle the complexities of these cases.
So be sure that your attorney has experience in the general type of case and make sure that he or she has the training necessary to deal with any science related to it before hiring them. You especially want an attorney who has actually used the machines that your blood is tested on, as they are intimately familiar with their faults.
3. What additional certifications do you have?
Is your prospective attorney trained in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests? Does he or she have certification in Chromatography? Do they attend training at local, state, and even national seminars? Have they actually taught at any seminars? Do they have a history of being a national speaker?
While checking with an attorney for additional certifications (a Jurist Doctorate isn’t always enough!), also be sure to check their ratings on trustworthy sites such as www.avvo.com. Avvo rates attorneys on a variety of factors, including their years of experience, engagement in the law community, and quality of client testomonials. Click here for Brian Manchester’s Avvo profile, where he is given a 5/5 rating.
4. What national, prestigious organizations do you belong to?
Does your attorney belong to any national organizations? Are any of the organizations by invitation-only? Does he or she teach at any of these organizations?
Attorneys who attend national organizations are the most likely to keep track of new developments in DUI defense. While the law is always changing, so to are defense practices. Attorneys who attend invitation-only events and even are asked to teach at events, are those who are recognized by their peers for their exceptional knowledge and history of trying cases.
Other Questions to Ask Your Attorney
1. Do you regularly take cases to trial across the state?
2. Have you ever operated the testing equipment used by the state and private labs?
3. Do you have the practitioner’s certification in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing?
4. Are you recognized locally and nationally?
5. Do other attorneys refer DUI cases to you?
6. Does you belong to any non-defense related scientific organizations?
7. Have you ever gotten any court decisions with a state-wide impact?
8. Does you have documentation (proof) of any of this?
What You Should Do After Being Charged with DUI
After you have been pulled over and charged with DUI, it is more than likely that several questions and concerns are going through your head. At Manchester & Associates, we commonly get the following questions:
- Am I going to lose my license?
- What do I do now?
- Do I tell my insurance company?
- Am I going to jail?
Thus, we thought it would be helpful to post this list outlining the first things you should do after being accused of DUI.
First – Lock Down Social Media
First, make sure that all of your social media profiles (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) are set to Private mode. Once on Private mode, do not accept any friend or follow requests from people you do not know. One of the most common ways for law enforcement to gather evidence today is to check your social media sites. Anything on those sites can and will be used against you, even if you don’t think that there is anything on your profile that would be considered evidence.
Keep in mind, the prosecution can take pictures and other postings from these profiles and attempt to present them to a jury out of context in a way that will damage your reputation and possibly convict you of a DUI charge. There is no reason to leave it to chance.
Second – Write Everything Down
Anything you remember from the traffic stop should be written down, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. Your memory will fade over time, and a small detail may be the difference between being found guilty or innocent of DUI. Things to write down include:
- When and where you were stopped
- Why the officer told you he was pulling you over
- What the officer told you about taking a BAC test
- What kind of BAC test did the officer give you
Third – Gather Witnesses
Third, talk to your friends, family, or anyone else who may have seen you right before, during, or after the traffic stop. All of these people are potential witnesses that may testify for you in court. Your attorney can take statements from each of them, as well as call them as witnesses, in an effort to show you were not intoxicated. This leads to the next step.
Finally – Stay Calm
Finally, stay calm. We know this may be a difficult and scary time for you. It is natural to want to obsess over the case. However, you should let an attorney like Brian Manchester handle the details that are necessary to properly fight for you. Brian will maintain a good line of communication with you to keep you in the loop about your case, and lift the burden off of you while you continue to live your normal life. For a free consultation we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.
Contact Brian Manchester at Manchester & Associates
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. As you can tell, Brian Manchester is an expert when it comes to defending clients from DUI charges, and he has been doing such for 18 years.