DUI and a Teaching Credential


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DUI and a Teaching Credential

DUI and teaching license

DUI and a Teaching Credential – What happens if you’re arrested for a DUI?

If you are arrested for a DUI, and if you have a teaching credential in California, or have a DUI on your record and are applying for a teaching credential, you may wonder what the effects of a DUI on your career as a teacher might be.

There is not a duty to disclose DUI arrests.  The Commission on Teacher Credentialing of California can start an investigation at any time, however, and if notified of a particularly bad DUI case. Note that there is, however, a duty to disclose convictions, especially convictions for crimes that show you are unfit for a teaching credential.

The CTC gets notified through official records from the Department of Justice, or any law enforcement agency, any state or federal court, a California state agency, or another state agency. It is nearly impossible to hide a conviction once entered from the agency.

When you apply for or renew a license, you are required to disclose any convictions.  Failing to disclose a conviction, by itself, is grounds to revoke your license.  So it pays to be honest.

DUI and a Teaching Credential – what happens if you are convicted of a DUI?

Under California law, the Commission cannot issue  any credential to and requires the Commission to revoke a credential already issued to a person that is convicted of certain crimes, as follows:

  • anyone who has been convicted of any sex offense defined under Education Code Section 44010;
  • anyone who has been convicted of any narcotics offense defined under Education Code Section 44011;
  • anyone who has been convicted of any crime listed in Education Code section 44424;, or
  • anyone who has been found to be insane by a federal or state court;
  • anyone who has been judicially determined to be a mentally disordered sex offender under the law.

Luckily, a DUI is not a category of crime that fits any of the above. Our Orange County DUI Attorney reports that in most circumstances, a DUI conviction would not be a problem.  If the facts show that the incident occurred was on school grounds, during school hours, or involved students in the car, that may be a huge problem, however.

Official records from the Department of Justice, any law enforcement agency, any state or federal court, a California state agency, or another state agency are used to establish the facts involved in your DUI. Your self-disclosure on your application or renewal is also used in considering your case.

A Second DUI and a Teaching Credential

A second time DUI case is a bigger problem, according to Orange County DUI Lawyer Robert Miller.  For a second DUI conviction, the CTC has the authority to revoke, suspend and/or deny any application based on such causes as persistent defiance and unfitness of service (Education Code Section 44421).

That Education Code section also makes specific reference to persons that are “addicted to the use of intoxicating beverages to excess.” The Commission is allowed to make the determination as to whether or not that applicant is addicted to alcohol, after looking at the facts involved. (Education Code Section 44345(c)).

Rehabilitation is important if there are any prior DUIs, to show fitness for the applicant for the teaching credential.

DUI and a Teaching Credential – will an expungement help?

An expungement in California is a petition to have the court dismiss your charges from the court record, and thus change your criminal record.  It does not change your driving record, however, and part of the expungement laws in California, Penal Code section 1203.4, instructs that even with an expungement a licensee still must disclose the conviction to any state or federal licensing agency.  That includes the Commission on Teaching Credentialing.

Teaching Credential and Felony Convictions – Rehabilitation

California Education Code 44830.1(g) states that if you were convicted of a serious, but not violent, felony you cannot be denied a teaching position or be terminated from your current teaching position if you can prove to the court that sentenced you by clear and convincing evidence that you have been rehabilitated for a year.

DUI and a Teaching Credential – will a DUI prevent you from being licensed?

For the reasons having to do with the conviction section above, probably not.  Our firm is a law firm of Orange County DUI Attorneys.  But for your license, you should meet with a licensing attorney to go over the facts of your conviction, and anything else on your record.  And disclosure is a key – failure to disclose, by itself, will cause your application to be denied.

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Contact us if you need help from our Orange County DUI lawyers to make sure your conviction doesn’t cause problems, or for a referral to an Orange County licensing attorney or if you have questions about DUI and a Teaching Credential.


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