A firefighter, a nurse and a lawyer walk into a bar...

by | Jul 16, 2013

A firefighter, a nurse and a lawyer walk into a bar…

Why Retain a Professional License Defense Firm for a DUI Case

By Jennifer Coalson-Perez 

A firefighter, a nurse and a lawyer walk into a bar… wait- what, you haven’t heard this one?

That is because it isn’t really a joke. If the firefighter and the nurse get nabbed for a DUI, they may lose their careers if they don’t have the right lawyer defending them.

When the majority of the population gets arrested for a DUI, they can hire any DUI lawyer to represent them. They can choose the smarmy guy on the billboard on the freeway or the guy who’s paid for the first page of Google. They can choose the cheapest, working-out-of-their-mom’s-basement, lawyer around because it won’t really matter. But it will matter for Nurses, LVNs, EMTs, and Paramedics; they should not hire that guy- they are going to need to dig a little deeper.  A licensed health professional is going to need a law firm that specializes equally in 2 areas of law: Criminal for the DUI and Administrative for the Professional License, because at the end of the day, what really matters is the professional’s career and their professional license.

With each passing year, the licensing entities under the California Department of Consumer Affairs and the 32 LEMSAs, impose harsher disciplines for DUI arrests and convictions.  The Board of Registered Nursing is by far the harshest, with revocation as the recommended discipline for a first time DUI. The EMSA issues a notice to the Paramedic before they even go to their arraignment and the BLVNPT is considering imposing up to 32 probation requirements for a first time Misdemeanor DUI.

For a licensed health professional like an RN, EMT or Paramedic, the DUI is the least of their concerns. The real concern is how the DUI conviction will impact the licensee’s professional health care career. That is why it is so critical for a licensed nurse, EMT or Paramedic to hire a DUI defense attorney who understands how the DUI will impact the professional license.  For example, a nurse who is arrested for a .11% BAC should find a lawyer to fight tooth and nail to get the charge reduced to a Wet and Reckless, because the BRN will only impose a citation and fine of a few hundred bucks for a W&R. The same RN who pleads no-contest DUI conviction will be placed on probation for 3 years and have to comply with 19 probation requirements which can cost $15,000.00  AND  pay up to $4000.00 in cost to the BRN.

A paramedic or EMT who also needs to drive for their job, needs a lawyer who knows the loopholes in a DMV hearing and how that impacts a Class A driver’s license. The DUI lawyer needs to know that a conviction will eventually cause a paramedic’s professional license to be suspended for 2- 6 months. If a valid paramedic license is a condition of employment, the ignorance of the DUI attorney could cost the Paramedic their job.

Because we work with licensed health professionals, I’ll use a medical analogy. Let’s say Joe has a multi-million dollar tennis career but his elbow is acting up and the arch in one foot has issues. Would Joe go to the podiatrist for the elbow knowing that his career is dependent on an expert for both issues? Of course not! He would see a podiatrist for the foot and an orthopedist for the elbow and would be very selective about each doctor and would gladly pay a little more for “the best”.  I’m certain if Joe stumbled upon a One Stop Shop practice with an expert podiatrist and an expert orthopedist, his choice would be pretty simple.

Here’s a newsflash: Nurses and Firefighters with EMT or EMTP certifications, Dentists and Doctors all have multi-million dollar lifetime careers and knowing that career can be jeopardized by not having an expert in each area is something to be aware of. Fortunately, Goyette & Associates, Inc. has experts in both Criminal Law,  DUI Defense and Administrative Law, Professional License Defense… making us that very rare, One Stop Shop. And while you may pay slightly more for a criminal defense attorney with a stellar 27 year career than you would for smarmy-billboard-guy, we can virtually guarantee that the little extra on the front-end will save you that amount ten times over on the back-end. The $1000.00 is not a bad gamble when there is a million dollar career at stake.

If you are a California Registered Nurse, a Licensed Vocational Nurse, a California Firefighter,  an EMT or EMT-P and have been arrested for a DUI, contact us right away and we will get you the expert representation that you need.  

Papers used by a Sacramento Wage Claim Lawyer

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