Lawyers and other legal professionals have access to a program for rehabilitation much like health professionals. The Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program (LJAP) is a Michigan Bar Association sponsored organization. LJAP is designed to assist legal professionals who suffer from substance abuse or mental health issues. Participation includes support group meetings, counseling, drug/alcohol testing, and mandatory reporting to a case manager and peer mentors.
In fact, MCR 9.114 authorizes participation in LJAP in lieu of formal sanctions. Therefore, participation could literally be the determining factor in keeping or losing your license.
Knowing Your Rights
You have the right to a competent and effective defense. Often times, professionals allow themselves to be pushed around for fear of losing their license. However, defending yourself from criminal charges is the best way to avoid sanctions from a licensing board.
Even if your case is dismissed, many licensing bodies may still require arrest reports. If your offense involves controlled substances or alcohol, you must address the underlying issues surrounding your arrest.
Hiring a law firm to guide you from arrest to recovery is the most important decision you can make. While you will never be penalized for exercising your rights, neglecting to exercise these rights could mean the end of your professional license.