The Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Occupational Affairs oversees licensing certain professions, including Nursing, Medicine, Cosmetology, Real Estate, and others. They are also in charge of determining if action to suspend or revoke a professional license is necessary.
Currently, a DUI conviction may result in a professional license being suspended or even revoked. Starting at the end of December 2020 the Licensing Rules will change. A DUI conviction should only result in action on a professional license if the DUI is “directly related” to the person’s performance of their duties under the license or the nature of the DUI posses a “substantial risk” to the person’s performance of their duties. An offense is “directly related” if the nature of the criminal conduct for which the person was convicted has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform one or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to the profession, trade, or occupation for which the individual is licensed. A determination of whether an offense poses a “substantial risk” involves the board looking at 11 factors. They are:
1) Criminal conduct involved act or threat of harm, including property/reputation
2) Facts and circumstances around the conviction
3) Number of convictions
4) Increase in age/maturity since the date of conviction
5) Criminal history, if any, after conviction
6) Completion of education/training, including in incarceration
7) References from employers or others (including from incarceration)
8) Personal rehabilitation
9) Meets other licensing requirements
10) Criminal history while engaged in the occupation
11) Any other factor believed relevant to fitness
If you have a professional license and are charged with a DUI or any other criminal offense it is important to make sure you speak with a lawyer who understands both criminal law and the professional licensing laws that apply in your case.