Because of their profession, a licensed medical professional must adhere to a strict code regarding the use of alcohol and controlled substances. Licensing boards must ensure that licensees aren’t abusing their access to medication. Diverting medication from its intended use is a severe violation. Moreover, a medical professional who’s under the influence is a danger to a patient. Even DUI arrests can cause consequences in this field. These are among the reasons it’s critical you speak with an attorney for medical professionals if you believe you might be facing charges.
As a profession that takes an oath to do no harm, assaultive conduct is also viewed as highly reprehensible. Avoiding a conviction for these common offenses can make a difference between a valid license and a suspended one.
Impact: A conviction for drunk driving is an early indicator of a potential substance abuse issue. While a conviction may not trigger life-altering consequences, it’s important to consult with someone who can direct you to the best possible counselor. Taking control of any potential substance abuse issue will satisfy LARA while also ensuring no future convictions. However, a second OWI will lead to a loss of your driver’s license and possibly your medical license.
Penalties: Up to 93 days in jail for the first offense, $300 – 500 fine, plus costs. License sanctions depending on the conviction. Probation with drug/alcohol testing. Substance abuse counseling.
Impact: Any assaultive conduct is a red flag for someone who works closely with the public. Potential professional licensing sanctions may result depending on the facts of the case and the ultimate conviction. The odds of LARA involvement increase if you were under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances at the time.
Penalties: Up to 93 days in jail for a first offense. Additionally, some form of counseling and/or anger management may be ordered. If alcohol or controlled substances are involved, random testing will occur for those substances. Additionally, you will be barred from accessing a firearm.
Impact: For a medical professional, this is an incredibly devastating offense. The future of your professional license will be in jeopardy if the controlled substance you were in possession of was diverted from its intended medical purpose. This will always require reporting to LARA, and enrollment in a substance abuse program is highly advised.
Penalties: Most possession of controlled substances cases will result in felony charges. The penalty can vary between two years and decades in prison. This is especially relevant due to a medical professional’s access to controlled substances. Your attorney can advise you of the possible penalties related to the specific substance involved.
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