The Impact of a DUI Arrest on Your Professional License
Even though an arrest can have an impact on your professional license, a conviction is likely to have a greater impact. Some convictions can result in an automatic denial or revocation of licensure. As a professional licensee, you are subject to criminal and administrative proceedings after an arrest. You should seek the assistance of counsel immediately to help with defending any criminal charges that may result from the arrest. If you hold a professional license issued by the State of Florida and have been arrested, call Howell, Buchan & Strong Attorneys at Law (HBS) to review your case. The attorneys at HBS are experienced and understand the intricacies of defending criminal charges as well as protecting professional licenses.
Criminal Implications for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Arrests
Under Florida law, an individual can be arrested for a DUI if they are driving or in control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or with a blood-alcohol level of .08% or higher. Punishment for DUI under Florida law follows a tier system. The severity of the punishment depends on the number of prior DUI convictions as well as the other circumstances surrounding the incident.
The following are some of the penalties for first DUI offenses, according to section 316.193, Florida Statutes:
- Fines. A first conviction fine can be between $500–$1,000. If your blood alcohol level exceeds .15%, or you have a minor in the vehicle, the fine may be between $1,000–$2,000.
- Driver License Revocation. A DUI offense that does not include bodily injury is cause for revocation of your driver's license for a minimum of 180 days to a maximum of one year. A DUI with bodily injury is cause for a minimum of three years of revocation.
- Imprisonment. Imprisonment is at the discretion of the courts and is likely no greater than six months. However, blood alcohol can impact this penalty, if the blood alcohol level is .15% or higher, those convicted may be required to serve up to 9 months imprisonment.
The attorneys at HBS have experience in defending criminal DUI charges. If you are arrested for a DUI violation, call the attorneys at Howell, Buchan, & Strong to help assist you with crafting your defense.
Effect of DUI on Professional License
“I was arrested, but I was not convicted, the arrest won’t affect my professional license.” This is a common misconception many licensed professionals have. Florida regulatory agencies are strict when reviewing criminal activity and history. A simple arrest, regardless of conviction, may lead to revocation, suspension, or non-renewal of a professional license.
If you are convicted, Florida mandates that professional license holders report pleas and convictions to the governing agency within 30 days. Failing to do so is grounds for revocation, suspension, or non-renewal of a professional license.
Finding an Experienced Professional License Defense Attorney
The attorneys at HBS can assist with the criminal arrest, reporting convictions to the governing board timely, as well as with defending any subsequent action that is taken against your professional license. It is crucial that if you hold a professional license issued by the State of Florida and you are arrested that you seek guidance from a criminal attorney regarding the criminal arrest and a professional license defense attorney regarding your professional license. Here at Howell, Buchan, & Strong, we have both!
With over 50 years of combined experience, Howell, Buchan, & Strong attorneys can assist you in developing an effective defense against criminal charges and any investigations or administrative complaints initiated by the licensing agency against you.
At Howell, Buchan & Strong Attorneys at Law, we exhaust all avenues to help you keep your license and can help professionals with the exemption processes to provide eligibility for employment in the various industries.
Contact the law offices of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation at any one of our locations:
Orlando (407) 717-1773 | Tallahassee (850) 877-7776 | Tampa (813) 833-6726 | Sarasota (941) 779-4348