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Licensed professionals face the prospect of serious consequences beyond criminal penalties if convicted of driving under the influence in California. Chiropractors must be licensed in order to practice in the state of California.
If a chiropractor ends up convicted of DUI, he or she can face disciplinary proceedings by the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Pursuant to the California Business and Professions Code, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners possesses the power to discipline a chiropractor convicted of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the practice of chiropractic medicine. A DUI conviction falls into this category.
The California Business and Professions Code Section also permits the Board to deny a chiropractic license to a person who has a criminal conviction, including one for DUI. Finally, the California Code of Regulations requires the Board to initiate disciplinary action against a licensed chiropractor, or an applicant for a license, when it appears that individual’s conduct endangers, or potentially could endanger, the health, welfare, and safety of the general public.
Arrest for Driving Under the Influence
When a chiropractor is arrested for DUI, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners is automatically notified. In most cases, the Board sends a letter to the chiropractor requesting a statement about the arrest. The Board usually also requests police reports and any court records.
A chiropractor who receives this letter from the Board must be proactive. He or she needs to report the correspondence to his or her Los Angeles DUI attorney immediately.
Oftentimes, the Board will agree to pursue further proceedings until the criminal case concludes. On the other hand, there may be extenuating circumstances that motivate the Board to action while a DUI criminal case is proceeding.
Penalties Imposed by the Board of Chiropractic Examiners
As a matter of routine, the Board typically does not impose severe penalties when a chiropractor is charged with and convicted for DUI the first time, if alcohol is involved. With that noted, if the defendant is accused of driving under the influence of drugs, the Board may not be lenient. In addition, if a chiropractor has a high BAC when stopped by the police, of if he or she was involved in a serious collision, the Board may pursue a formal disciplinary hearing and impose stiff sanctions. The Board may even elect to refer the case to the California Attorney General.
Applying for a Chiropractic License
A person applying for a chiropractic license must disclose any DUI conviction. This includes a conviction previously expunged.
A DUI conviction will not automatically preclude an applicant from consideration for a license. The Board will want to see the corrective measures the applicant took in response to the conviction, however. The Board will also desire to see that the applicant successfully completed all aspects of probation.
Protecting a Chiropractic License with a Los Angeles DUI Attorney
As mentioned previously, when a chiropractor is charged with DUI, taking a proactive stance to protect his or her legal rights is fundamental. A key step in this regard is retaining the professional services of a Los Angeles DUI lawyer.
The first step in retaining legal counsel is scheduling an initial consultation. In doing so, a chiropractor needs to confirm that the DUI attorney has experience in representing licensed professionals who face the prospect of sanctions above and beyond what might be imposed in criminal court.
During an initial consultation, a Los Angeles DUI attorney will provide a prospective client with a case evaluation. In addition, a lawyer will answer any questions, including about defending against disciplinary action by the Board. Typically, there is no charge for an initial consultation.