One of the most common questions we get at Brett Willis Law is, “What is the effect of a DUI and nursing license?” When nurses get charged with DUIs, they come to us very concerned about their nursing licenses. This is an understandable question, and with the Georgia Nursing Board's regulations, there is some cause for concern. In this blog post, we'll take a look at what the ramifications of a DUI charge are and how they might affect your career as a nurse.
How the Georgia Nursing Board Treats a DUI and Nursing License
If you're charged with a DUI and have a nursing license, the Georgia Nursing Board requires nurses to notify them about it. You'll do this when you have to renew your license, which is every two years. On the renewal application, it will say, “Were you charged with a crime?” and you'll have to list your DUI charge there.
From there, the Georgia Nursing Board can either grant or refuse your license renewal at their discretion. This also applies to first-time nursing license applicants. You're still required to disclose your DUI. In some cases, a DUI may prevent you from getting a nursing license entirely.
What Is the Typical Experience for Someone with a DUI and Nursing License?
In our experiences seeing nurses who have gotten convicted of DUIs, the Georgia Nursing Board generally didn't refuse first-time applicants or nurses who were getting their licenses renewed. The main reason for refusal is if there's a clear pattern of DUIs and drug use in the nurse's criminal history. For a first DUI, though, you generally won't have issues.
Of course, this is not always the case. It's a good idea to talk to an experienced DUI lawyer if you've been convicted of a DUI. A lawyer can write a letter to the Georgia Nursing Board explaining the situation. They'll let them know why your DUI isn't something that should rise to the level of getting your license revoked.
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Could a DUI Lead to Automatic Denial of a Nursing License?
In the Georgia Nursing Board regulations, they have conditions for automatically refusing license renewal applications. These include getting convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude.
Crime of Moral Turpitude
The Georgia Nursing Board doesn't specifically list out what a crime of moral turpitude is. Instead, crimes of moral turpitude are defined by state courts. Felonies and misdemeanors are defined as crimes of moral turpitude if they are believed to show lacking morality, honesty, and sense of justice. Some examples of these types of crimes are murder, tax evasion, rape, aggravated assault, and more.
Fortunately, a DUI is not considered a crime of moral turpitude. Because of this, having a DUI and nursing license won't cause automatic dismissal of your license renewal. It may still get refused for other reasons, but there is at least a chance you'll get to keep your nursing license.
Your license application also may get denied if you have a felony conviction on your criminal record. DUIs are classified as misdemeanors, not felonies. The only exception to this is if you've been convicted of four or more DUIs in a 10-year timespan.
Call a Georgia DUI Lawyer Today
Inside and outside of court, criminal defense lawyers can help you navigate all the complexities of DUI charges and convictions. At Brett Willis Law, we specialize in DUI law and have written many letters to the Georgia Nursing Board. We can give you the best chance of keeping your license so you can still do your job. If you have more questions about the effect of a DUI and nursing license or you need a lawyer,