If you receive a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) conviction in Louisiana, you can end up being affected by the consequences of the charges for the rest of your life. And this is especially true if you work in the field of nursing or you want to work in that field.
That’s because you need a professional license to be a nurse. You also need to continually report your criminal record to the licensing board.
In this article, we’ll go over the impact of a DWI conviction on your nursing license and what to do if you happen to face a nursing license suspension. So keep on reading to find out more.
Application for a Nursing License With a Pending DWI
If you get arrested in a city like Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a DWI offense, you will need to disclose that arrest when you are applying for a nursing license. In fact, a pending DWI case can temporarily stop you from taking your NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination).
In order to be allowed to take the NCLEX, you can’t have any pending criminal charges currently held against you. In support of the application, you will have to submit to a criminal background check, which is going to show both your arrest and your pending case.
If were recently arrested for a DWI, then you will have to wait to apply to take the NCLEX until a judgment is rendered or the case is dismissed. You want to spend this time focusing on defending yourself against the charges so that you don’t end up with a conviction.
When you hire an experienced DWI attorney in Louisiana, they can negotiate with the prosecutor to get your case dismissed or at least work to lessen the charges.
Applying to Be a Registered Nurse With a Past DWI Conviction
A prior DWI conviction is not going to prevent a person from applying to become a registered nurse. However, you might be denied approval to take the NCLEX and could be denied a temporary permit if you have prior DWI convictions. The Board might also delay your approval to take the exam for a certain amount of time.
In some instances, it is mandatory that your application to take the NCLEX is denied. If an applicant has at least two misdemeanor crime convictions that show an inability to properly practice nursing, then the application needs to be denied for at least five years.
Even if you only have just one DWI conviction, the application can be denied if there are aggravating circumstances, such as a problem with drug or alcohol abuse.
Will You Lose Your Nursing License?
If you’re a registered nurse in a city like Livingston, LA, then you’re required to report any new conviction that you have to the Board. Even if you get convicted for a DWI outside of the state of Louisiana, you need to report the conviction to the Board if you’re an RN in Louisiana.
The Board is then going to review the record to decide if the facts show that the incident was an isolated one or if you happen to have an ongoing problem with alcohol abuse.
The Board might demand that you go through an alcohol or drug evaluation. Depending on what the results are, you might be subjected to a period of monitoring. You also might need to take part in a treatment program.
If this is your first DWI conviction, then you’ll probably need to undergo an evaluation. However, it is not likely that you’ll lose your nursing license. If the circumstances related to the DWI were especially egregious or it seems that you have an addiction to alcohol, then you might lose your nursing license.
You will likely face restrictions or even a suspension of your nursing license if you end up having subsequent DWI convictions. If the Board decides that you aren’t able to practice your job because of drug or alcohol abuse, then your license will be suspended.
If you do not disclose your DWI conviction to the Board, then you’ll be subject to the same consequences that you would have if you disclosed the conviction. However, you will also face additional penalties and also a fine.
What to Do If You Are a Nurse Who Was Charged with a DWI Conviction
If you’ve been arrested for a DWI in Louisiana, then it’s very important that you take every step that you can to present a strong defense against the charges. The best way to protect your nursing license is to fight the DWI charge made against you.
A reputable and experienced DWI defense attorney will be able to challenge the admission of evidence. They also might be able to get all of the charges dismissed.
The Importance of Knowing About Nursing License Suspensions and DWI Convictions
Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better idea of how a DWI conviction could lead to a nursing license suspension, or worse. If you find yourself being charged with a DWI, then it is very important that you hire the best DWI defense attorney at your disposal. This way, you can effectively fight the charges made against you.
Are you looking for a reliable and experienced DWI attorney? If you are, then contact us today! We would be happy to review your case and see what we can do for you.