As we have discussed before on this blog, a conviction for DWI can affect many parts of your life. Losing your driver’s license to a suspension can make it tough for you to get to work or school or simply run errands. Even if the court leaves you partial driving privileges, the increase in your auto insurance premiums can be a major hit to your pocketbook. Not to mention the disruption and embarrassment that having to spend time in jail can cause.
These negatives impacts affect Syracuse residents of all walks of life. But for people whose jobs require a professional license, such as teachers and attorneys, a DWI conviction can permanently damage your career.
Professional license discipline in New York State
Despite the name of the department to which it belongs, the New York State Education Department’s Office of the Professions investigates and prosecutes incidents of alleged misconduct by all professional license holders, except for certain medical professions. They bring cases before the Board of Regents, which decides whether to suspend or revoke an individual’s license or hand out some other punishment.
Finding out that a licensed professional has been convicted of a crime like DWI is one cause for an Office of the Professions. So is an act of “gross incompetence or gross negligence,” as well as multiple incidents of simple “incompetence or negligence.” Depending on the circumstances, the Board of Regents could consider a single arrest or conviction for drinking and driving to be worthy of discipline.
A critical dimension to your DWI case
Obviously, without a valid license, it is impossible for you to do your job or earn a living in your profession. Your defense attorney should keep your professional status in mind when advising you on your defense. There could be much more than your driver’s license at stake.