A conviction for driving under the influence often has a significant impact on the life of an individual. The penalties can be severe, and they include jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspension. There are also social and professional consequences that can continue long after the criminal penalties end.
Beyond the punishments the courts will impose, a DUI conviction can impact the livelihood or people who require professional licenses to earn a living. Among them are physicians, physician assistants, acupuncturists, and others governed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board. If you are facing DUI charges, you need to contact a DUI lawyer in Atlanta to defend you.
How Your Georgia Medical License Could be Affected
If you get arrested, either your or your employer must notify the Medical Board. The board will then decide what steps to take next. You may have to undergo a mental or physical examination in order to determine the disciplinary action. You shouldn’t assume that your license will automatically be suspended or revoked.
The penalties will also be influenced in large part by the nature of the conviction. If it’s your first DUI offense, your license may not be permanently revoked. However, if you have multiple convictions, your future could look very different. In Georgia, the first two convictions are usually simple misdemeanors. However, the third conviction is considered a high and aggravated misdemeanor while the fourth in ten years is a felony. Felony convictions can also result from DUIs that involve child endangerment or serious injury by vehicle.
No medical professional ever wants to go before the board. It’s an intimidating experience since you’ll typically sit facing a judge, administrators, and your peers. Instead of sitting alone, you should have a lawyer by your side. This will help to ensure that you understand the procedures and that your rights are protected.
Penalties the Board Can Impose
The medical board will make a determination on whether you can continue to practice in your chosen field with a reasonable degree of skill and safety. A DUI on its own isn’t proof that you are addicted to drugs or alcohol or that you can’t be trusted with patients. However, if you have been convicted repeatedly or you’ve been convicted of a felony, your ability may be bought into question.
Possible penalties include:
- A fine of up to $3,000
- Private or public reprimand
- Medical education or corrective training
- Rehab or regular drug testing
Going before the medical board doesn’t always result in a career-ending decision. Some hearings end without any action being taken against the professional. However, probation is one of the most common types of disciplinary action. This can last for months or years depending on the circumstances. Each case is unique so you can’t really predict how your case will turn out. However, you can give yourself the best possible chance by hiring an attorney.
Getting Your DUI Charges Reduced or Dismissed
One way in which you can avoid putting your professional license in jeopardy is by beating the DUI charge. Your lawyer may be able to get the charge reduced to one of reckless driving. While your record wouldn’t be clean, this is a misdemeanor that merely results in four demerit points on your license. This is much better than a DUI conviction that stays on your criminal; record forever.
Your attorney will also look for ways to get the charges against you dropped. They may challenge anything from the initial traffic stop to the way your chemical test was conducted.
Possible defenses include:
- You weren’t driving the vehicle
- The police officer didn’t have reasonable grounds for the traffic stop
- The officer did not properly Mirandize you
- The arrest wasn’t lawful
- You were not intoxicated
Contact Howard & Arca DUI Lawyers Today for Expert Representation
A DUI conviction can change the course of your life and cause you to lose your livelihood. If you want to stay out of jail and keep your medical license, you need to beat the DUI charge. A charge is not a conviction so you shouldn’t assume all hope is lost. Talk to an Atlanta DUI lawyer at Howard & Arca and get started on building a strong defense against the charges. We know how stressful it can be to be in such a situation but we have a track record of successfully defending clients against DUI allegations. We will do everything we can to get you the best possible outcome. Book your consultation today.