A Palm Beach DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Job, Reputation, and Livelihood

You expect a drunk driving conviction to affect your driver’s license, but it may also affect your professional license. Even if you find a way to get to work, you may be unable to do your job. Your ability to support yourself and your family may be in jeopardy. Experienced Palm Beach DUI defense lawyer Robert David Malove and his team understand how much is at stake and will fight to keep a drunk driving conviction from ruining your life.

A DUI Conviction Could Impact Your Professional License

In Florida, professional licenses are required to do specific jobs that require unique skills or a high level of trust. Each licensing board sets its own criteria for license suspension or revocation.  A board may suspend or revoke a license because of a DUI conviction, particularly if it is a second or subsequent drunk driving conviction or if there are other factors that reflect on your character or ability to do your job. A drunk driving conviction is a criminal conviction and could impact your ability to:

Practice Medicine

The Florida Department of Health regulates dozens of medical professionals. Many of these professions have their own board of professional licensure, and the rules for continuing to practice in your field after a DUI conviction vary. Some of the health care professionals who may have their licenses suspended or revoked include:

  • Medical doctors
  • Psychologists, clinical social workers, and other mental health professionals
  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Pharmacists

Practice Law

The Florida Bar requires attorneys to self-report felony convictions to the Bar. The Bar reviews each case and decides whether a suspension or disbarment is warranted.

Teach or Work in Education 

Educators have unique positions of trust. A criminal conviction could lead to suspension or forfeiture of an educator certification. Additionally, your contract with the school district may require termination if you are convicted of a felony, and you may be required to disclose a felony conviction on all future employment applications.

Drive a Commercial Vehicle

If you drive a commercial vehicle for a living, your drunk driving conviction could significantly impact your ability to continue working. Your first DUI conviction could result in a commercial license suspension of one to three years. Subsequent convictions may result in additional years of license suspension or a permanent commercial license revocation.

Fly a Plane or Work in Aviation

Pilots are required to report drunk driving convictions to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A Florida DUI conviction could result in a suspension or revocation of your pilot license.

Do Other Work

The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation also regulates or licenses professionals in more than 30 other industries, including but not limited to:

  • Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco
  • Architecture and Interior Design
  • Athlete Agents
  • Barbers
  • Certified Public Accounting
  • Construction
  • Cosmetology
  • Engineers
  • Farm Labor
  • Home Inspectors
  • Veterinary Medicine

A DUI criminal conviction may impact your ability to work in these professions.

Potential Consequences of Losing Your Professional License

Losing a professional license can have far-reaching and devastating effects on your life and career. Potential consequences include:

  • Inability to practice your profession. Without a valid license, you will be legally prohibited from working in your chosen field, which could result in a complete loss of income and financial stability.
  • Difficulty finding alternative employment. Many employers hesitate to hire individuals who have lost a professional license and have a criminal conviction.
  • Damaged reputation. A license revocation or disciplinary action can tarnish your professional reputation, making it challenging to rebuild your career even if your license is reinstated.
  • Loss of specialized skills and knowledge. If you cannot practice your profession for an extended period, your skills and knowledge may become outdated, making it harder to return to work when your suspension is lifted.
  • Emotional and psychological impact. Losing your career and means of supporting yourself and your family can lead to significant stress, anxiety, and depression.

3 Ways to Protect Your Professional License After a DUI Arrest

Being arrested for DUI does not automatically mean you will be convicted or lose your professional license. You are innocent until proven guilty or you reach a plea bargain. Therefore, taking proactive steps to protect your rights and future career is crucial. For example, you can:

1. Hire an experienced DUI defense attorney. A Palm Beach DUI defense lawyer can thoroughly investigate your case, challenge the evidence against you, and potentially get the charges reduced or dismissed. Robert Malove is a founding member of the National College for DUI Defense. Since the mid-1980s, he has represented hundreds of people accused of drunk driving in Florida and is Florida Bar Board Certified as an “expert/specialist” in criminal trial law. One of our clients had this to say about working with Robert, “Getting arrested for DUI is embarrassing. I really didn’t want this to get out in the community, so I couldn’t call anyone to ask for a recommendation. Like you, I turned to the internet for help. There were so many attorneys and I was overwhelmed by the choices. Thankfully, I found Robert Malove. I read what his clients had to say about him and liked what they said. I called Robert and met with him. Robert immediately put me at ease and gave me confidence. He thoroughly investigated my case. Within the first 50-days after I was arrested, Robert was able to convince the hearing officer at the DHSMV that I wasn’t impaired despite what the police had to say and I got my driver’s license returned without restrictions – a result that is virtually impossible to get.” You can read more about this client’s experience with Robert here.

2. Comply with all professional licensing board requirements. Many licensing boards require you to self-report a DUI arrest or conviction. Failing to do so could result in additional penalties or disciplinary action.

3. Demonstrate rehabilitation. If convicted, be prepared to demonstrate your commitment to rehabilitation and responsible behavior. This may include attending counseling, submitting to random drug testing, or other measures to prove your dedication to your profession.

Additional Steps to Take After a Drunk Driving Arrest in Palm Beach

The actions you take immediately after a drunk driving arrest can significantly impact the outcome of your case and the potential professional consequences you may face. After a drunk driving arrest in Palm Beach, we encourage you to:

  • Gather and preserve evidence. Retain all documentation related to the arrest, including the police report, citation, and blood-alcohol testing results.
  • Attend all scheduled court appearances. Your DUI defense attorney can represent you at certain court appearances, but your presence may sometimes be required. Failure to attend scheduled court appearances may result in additional fines or charges against you.
  • Understand the potential consequences of a DUI conviction. In Palm Beach, a DUI conviction can result in various penalties, including fines, probation, jail time, a suspended driver's license, and other consequences. If your BAC was 0.15 or higher, or if you have prior DUI convictions, the penalties can be more severe.
  • Explore potential defenses and strategies. Possible DUI defenses may include challenging the legality of the traffic stop, the accuracy of the chemical test, or the validity of the field sobriety tests. Your DUI defense lawyer will thoroughly review the details of your case to identify any potential defenses or weaknesses in the prosecution's case.
  • Maintain open communication with your attorney. Discuss any concerns or questions you may have openly and honestly.

Right now, you may be embarrassed and scared. However, you are not in this alone. Our experienced Palm Beach drunk driving defense lawyers are here to make sure your legal rights are protected.