Can a DWI Affect My Medical License?

No person should get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or partaking in drugs. But this is especially relevant for medical professionals licensed in New York State. This is because this may not simply be a criminal issue but also an issue with your medical license. Read on to discover whether a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction can affect your medical license and how one of the seasoned New York physician defense lawyers at Walker Medical Law can work to minimize the consequences you may be facing.

As a medical professional, what should I do if I am facing a DWI conviction?

If you are caught driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or more, you may have to defend against a DWI conviction in criminal court proceedings. With this, you may want to retain the legal services of a criminal defense lawyer who can work to dismiss your case altogether.

At the very least, you may want your lawyer to effectively defend your guilty plea to a violation rather than a misdemeanor or felony offense. This is because pleading guilty to a violation is not considered the same as pleading guilty to a crime. Therefore, your offense may not be considered unprofessional conduct amongst the New York State medical community. This may allow you to maintain your current employment. Or, if you are seeking new employment, you may not have to answer “yes” to the commonly asked background question, “Have you ever been found guilty of a crime?”

Is it possible for my DWI offense to affect my medical license?

Unfortunately, your criminal defense lawyer may resolve that you have no choice but to plead guilty to a misdemeanor or felony DWI offense. This is when you may need to pivot to the legal services of a physician defense lawyer.

This is because, in this case, you may expect to almost immediately receive a notice from the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) or Office of Professional Discipline (OPD). This notice may be a censure and reprimand, in which the OPMC or OPD imposes required fines, community service hours, or continuing medical education classes.

However, the OPMC’s or OPD’s level of punishment may be more severe if this is your second, third, or even fourth DWI offense. Undoubtedly, you may have your medical license revoked or at the very least suspended. In the meantime, you may be expected to attend intensive rehabilitative therapy programs, which you must pay for out of your own pocket. And even if you do get your medical license reinstated, you may be expected to submit to random urine tests for approximately five years.

When in doubt, someone at Walker Medical Law will look into your case. So please retain the legal services of one of the competent New York physician defense lawyers today.