licensing rules

Protecting Your Professional License after a DWI Arrest

Every licensed professional must adhere to the standards of their industry to stay on the right side of the licensing board. A violation of ethics or malpractice while serving a client can result in a disciplinary action – whether that be a fine, suspension, or the permanent revocation of the license. Licensing standards do not just apply to an individual’s work activities, however. They can also concern the private activities of the license-holders.

Consequences of a DWI Arrest or Conviction

Driving while impaired (DWI) is an unfortunately common crime – often the result of a fateful error in judgment by an individual who has had “one too many.” Although being charged with a DWI seems unrelated to an individual’s ability to practice as a doctor, lawyer, nurse, etc., it can actually have significant ramifications with regard to the professional license of the accused.

Because licensing boards are tasked with protecting the public for whom the professionals serve, they are concerned with any factor that weighs on someone’s fitness to serve their clients. Although a first time offense is unlikely to result in permanent revocation of a professional license, it is important to take a proactive approach when dealing with the consequences of a DWI as regards to one’s professional license.

What to Do after a DWI Arrest

Of course, if you have been arrested for a DWI, you need a criminal lawyer to minimize (or avoid completely) any criminal repercussions of the arrest. Regardless of the strength of your case or the likelihood of conviction, you should also begin to think about protecting your professional license.

If you are arrested for any crime, even if not convicted, you are likely required to self-report to the licensing board that regulates your profession. Failing to self-report in a timely manner will likely make a bad situation worse, potentially leading to a more severe disciplinary action than would initially have been warranted.

When self-reporting a DWI, certain strategic choices can soften the licensing board’s stance on the matter: disclosure or nondisclosure of certain facts, demonstrating remorse for your actions, or showing affirmative steps to rectify the situation (such as joining an Alcoholics Anonymous group). It is wise to retain a lawyer to counsel you in self-reporting so as to maximize your chances of keeping your license in good standing.

Professional License Protection Lawyers in Minnesota

Your professional license represents your livelihood as well as your life’s work. Unfortunately, your ability to practice can be put in jeopardy by any number of occurrences, including the mistake of driving under the influence.

The professional license attorneys at Collins, Buckley, Sauntry & Haugh, PLLP, represent all types of professionals in Minnesota with regard to licensing issues. We regularly defend license-holders in disciplinary actions as well as private lawsuits, and we often counsel professionals with regard to self-reporting DWI arrests and other criminal matters.

For more information about professional license protection, please contact us online or call us at 651-227-0611.

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