DUI and Real Estate Brokers
How will a DUI affect a California Real Estate License?
When someone is arrested for DUI, or is convicted of DUI, a professional license can be affected. In fact, certain State of California licenses, or Federal licenses, have mandatory reporting requirements for those applying for the license, or holding the license. That mandatory obligation to report means that failure to report, by itself, can be sufficient justification for taking action against your license.
The process of getting a California Real Estate License includes a background check, which includes your entire criminal history. During any State licensing process your background history (including criminal/DUI arrests and convictions) will be checked. When you go in to apply for your real estate license you will have your fingerprints taken and the Department of Licensing will run your fingerprints through the Department of Justice database, as well as the California Live Scan criminal database. At this point the DOJ will report back to the California BRE (California Bureau of Real Estate) if you have ever been arrested, convicted, or charged with a crime.
The California BRE will look through your criminal history and determine if you may have any “substantially related” criminal history. Substantially related means any criminal history that may affect the performance of your job. It is important to note that any crime you have not been convicted of cannot be used against you in your licensing. Only crimes that you have been convicted of can be used against you. Once you have a license, however, there is a mandatory reporting requirements – if you are convicted of a DUI and have a California Real Estate License you have to notify the California BRE within a certain time period after conviction.
Just because a criminal history can be used against you during the application for your real estate license does not mean it will. One DUI typically does not constitute grounds for your real estate license to be denied or revoked. What will affect your California Real Estate License is if your criminal history shows a history of substance abuse. A history of substance abuse can include two or more DUIs in a 10 year period, which may be, in the eyes of the licensing board, evidence of an addiction problem.
It all comes down to whether or not the California Bureau of Real Estate believes that your DUI will compromise the integrity of the license you hold, as issued Real Estate Bureau, or your ability to perform the job . If they suspect that the conviction is any indication of a larger problem that may threaten the consumer, they may deny a license application, or might take action to suspend, monitor (via probation) or terminate your license. Our attorneys are experienced in the effects of a DUI arrest, or conviction, on a California Real Estate License, and can answer any questions you may have about the law or procedures.