DUI laws, or “Driving Under the Influence,” must be taken seriously in most American states. Consequences can be dire for DUI charges, especially if you’re a licensed medical professional.
When you’re certain you’ve done everything right and still get wrongfully accused of DUI, it’s only fair to fight back.
Whether considered a misdemeanor or criminal conviction, various cases of DUI often lead to consequences on your practice.
If you’re a medical student ready to apply for a license, a DUI record can cause hurdles in your application. Although not every state requires a criminal background check upon application, a state medical board will want to stay in the loop.
It’s no surprise that medical professionals get arrested for substance use. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 5.5% of healthcare practitioners have substance use disorders. In fact, the statistics are similar to regular laymen.
Here’s how getting DUI charges can impact your license and medical practice.
DUI Consequences on Medical Professionals
Many medical professionals are unaware of the severe consequences of a DUI lawsuit, criminally and administratively. If not addressed right, you and your career can be in jeopardy.
Getting professional help from experienced DUI lawyers is best under these circumstances. These cases can take a significant amount of time and effort, and may go on for years. You may experience severe stress, affecting your work and life on a whole. Every legal counsel has different expertise, and you could use one who’s experienced in drunk driving lawsuit settlements.
Is DUI a Felony?
DUI case law varies from state to state, but generally, a first-time offense is considered a misdemeanor. When repeated several times, it is then charged as a felony.
As is the case in other criminal cases, many circumstances play a role in cases of DUI. A few conditions or events constitute DUI/DWI as a felony:
- Often-repeated DUI incidences
- Three or more DUI misdemeanor charges within the past 5-10 years
- Drunk driving death lawsuit
- Causing another injury or bodily harm
- Getting DUI charges for driving with a suspended license or other restrictions
- High blood alcohol content (BAC)
- DUI with a child in the vehicle
These are just some of the many factors involved in a DUI becoming a felony.
Can You Get a Medical License With a DUI?
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your previous DUI lawsuit, the state medical board can deny your initial license application.
When this happens, you can file for an appeal and likely be given another go at your application. However, you can only get the results once the appeal has concluded. Otherwise, you (and your license) may be put on probation.
In appealing to get your medical license, be very intentional in your letter of explanation. Your prudent DUI lawyers can walk you through the specifics from the application process until the appeal.
Furthermore, a good lawyer can help you avoid unnecessary probation requirements to save time and money.
Know that honesty is the best policy when applying for a medical license. Talk to DUI lawyers even before reporting DUI charges to the licensing board.
Penalties for a DUI Lawsuit
The penalties vary for DUI charges depending on if it’s a misdemeanor (first offense) or a felony.
If it’s the former, the offender may face fines of up to $250, suspension of their driver’s license, or possible jail time. Meanwhile, the latter can lead to more serious penalties, such as indefinite revocation of driving privileges, more than $1000 in fines and mandatory jail sentences.
The penalties for DUI charges in medical professionals may be based on more than the facts of the case. It simply cannot be a matter of “yes” or “no” when many factors come into play, including the following:
- Whether or not the offense is directly related to your performance or actions within your professional field.
- Whether or not damage has been done to a person or property
- Whether or not you presented high BAC while on the way to work
It only makes sense to entrust your drunk driving lawsuit settlements to a legal professional. DUI lawyers know the right way to handle your conviction and fight for your reputation.
Bigger things are at stake when this battle is not fought appropriately. It could cost you more to reverse a decision or, worse, have your medical license suspended.
How Much Does a DUI Case Cost?
On top of the other financial obligations when facing DUI charges, the average costs range from $5000-$10,000. However, it varies significantly in different cases.
Drinking and driving is a serious criminal offense in the US because it is a danger to your life and others. A person or property could be in danger if no fine or penalty is imposed in these cases.
When broken down, the costs include legal fines, increased insurance fees, and legal representation, among others. The complexity of the DUI lawsuit also plays a huge role. Always ask for disclosure of the legal fees to expect as the case progresses.
A lot can be at risk because of a single event that can significantly change your life forever. If you have the option to control the damage, you’ll do whatever you can to achieve that. Even more so, if you can seek professional help from somebody with substantial knowledge of your case, do so without hesitation.
The benefits of hiring a DUI lawyer include having strong defense strategies, relevant and professional input, and legal representation.
You can’t change the past even if you want to. But the future – that you have a bit of control of. There are more opportunities for learning and improving for the better. You are built to last, and so should your character and career. After all, you earned it with sweat and blood.
People make mistakes all the time, but you can seek help. You are not alone in facing the battles of life.