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Will a DUI Stop Me from Getting a Professional License?

Do you have the intention of becoming a licensed professional? If so, it’s a worthy endeavor. By having a professional license you are gaining valuable, employable skills that will help you take care of yourself and your family. In California, there are a number of occupations that require a professional license to practice, including but not limited to:

  • Accountants
  • Attorneys
  • Acupuncturists
  • Chiropractors
  • Cosmetologists
  • Dentists
  • Optometrists
  • Physical therapists
  • Physicians and their assistants
  • Private investigators
  • Psychologists
  • Real estate salespersons
  • Registered nurses
  • Social workers
  • Teachers
  • Vocational nurses

Clearly, many of the occupations on this list offer lucrative careers. So, the question is, “If I’m convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), can it bar me from obtaining a professional license?” We’ll tell you right now that the answer is, “It’s possible.” It depends on the facts of the case, the licensing agency, and how recent the DUI was.

‘Honesty is the Best Policy’

Professional licensing organizations, such as the Medical Board of California, the California Board of Registered Nursing, the State Bar of California, the California Department of Real Estate and others will require that you disclose information about a DUI conviction, and possibly an arrest. If you are dishonest and you withhold information about a DUI arrest or conviction and the agency asks you about it, it could lead to the denial of your professional license so honesty is the best policy.

Even if you had your DUI expunged, please be aware that it’s likely still accessible to licensing boards. While it may be hidden from public view, professional licensing boards, law enforcement, and state and federal governments should still have access to your criminal records.

Related: Will a DUI Stop Me from Becoming a Realtor?

If you are facing DUI charges and you currently have a professional license or you’re in the process of getting one, we urge you to contact our firm to meet with an Orange County DUI defense attorney. A member of our legal team will be able to help guide you down the best path to protect your freedom and your career.