You may have spent years or decades building up your career to where you are now. Whether you work as a Pennsylvania physician, nurse, pharmacist or more, you dutifully protect your license and your years of hard work to achieve it.
However, a DUI arrest can happen suddenly after an evening out in Philadelphia. After the arrest, you may fear not only criminal penalties and possible effects to your driver’s license, but also the potential consequences to your career and professional license. Should you report the offense to your governing board?
Penalties can vary in Pennsylvania
The criminal and administrative penalties you face can vary based on the DUI. A first-time DUI offense for a BAC level of .08 to .99 can lead to penalties including a $300 fine, alcohol safety education, up to six months’ probation and more. When you have a prior DUI offense on your record or your BAC level exceeds .99, the penalties worsen and can include a months-long suspension of your driver’s license.
Steps to take immediately after an arrest
In the aftermath of your arrest, you may feel confused and filled with uncertainty about the process to come. Take the following steps:
- Contact an attorney. When your medical license is at stake, work with an attorney to represent you even before you report to the Board.
- Report the offense. Pennsylvania law requires licensed professionals to report criminal offenses to the appropriate State Board.
- Fight the charges. An attorney can explore possibilities to dispute the charges you face while also advising you if you face a disciplinary hearing.
- Abide by restrictions. Follow any restrictions you receive, like required classes or the suspension of your driver’s license, to avoid harsher penalties.
Nurses, doctors, pharmacists and more must report disciplinary actions and convictionswithin 30 days to the appropriate Board. When you fail to disclose criminal charges or a conviction for a DUI, you may face penalties when it comes time to renew your license.
In many cases, you may not face substantial penalties to your professional license after a first-offense DUI. However, if this was a subsequent conviction or if injuries were involved, you could face disciplinary measures including probation or even the suspension or revocation of your license. Work with an attorney to abide by all critical deadlines and minimize possible criminal, administrative and professional penalties.