Can I become a teacher in California with a DUI? 12 Answers as of May 16, 2011

I am in a teaching credential program and plan on becoming a high school teacher within a few years. I made a terrible decision and was arrested for a DUI this weekend. Is this going to ruin my chances of becoming a teacher? If it is, then I guess I will need information on DUI expungement.

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
A DUI should not prevent anyone from becoming a teacher unless there are multiple prior convictions. In any case, however, an expungement does not help as licensing board are able to consider expunged convictions.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/16/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
A misdemeanor DUI probably will not stand in the way of obtaining a credential and getting a teaching position in California. It does vary from district to district, therefore, we recommend an expungement or if there is any chance of beating the charge, perhaps you should consider going to trial and letting a jury decide.

Our office is very experienced in handling these matters. For more information or to be represented, please call us.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2010
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
A DUI conviction should not disqualify you. However, it is one of the rare crimes that can not be expunged.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/5/2010
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
Rather than focusing on an expungment you should be focusing on your current case. Many times an attorney is able to find defenses that you would not notice on your own. Most attorneys will provide a free consultation. Also make sure you contact the DMV within 10 days of your arrest to set up a DMV hearing to preserve your license.

To answer your question directly, will it prevent you from becoming a teacher; most likely not. There are many people that are professionals: doctors, lawyer, and teachers that have a DUI on their record. Will it make finding a job more difficult, yes. This is why you should focus on trying to defend your current case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/5/2010
Hale Law Group
Hale Law Group | Joshua D. Hale
You need an attorney first for this DUI. Call my office immediately. I handle these cases throughout the state of California.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/24/2010
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    I cannot speak for certain on exactly how a prospective employer would react to a DUI conviction. If you were just arrested this weekend then you have not been convicted of a DUI yet, and there is still time to fight it (unless under some unusual circumstance you already went to court and pled "no contest" or "guilty" to the charge). If you have already entered a plea and have been convicted, then expungement is a good alternative. I would be glad to speak to you in more detail about both once I have the particulars of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    If convicted of any crime, you will have to fully disclose that on your application for teaching credential. The licensing agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from licensing and employment because of your conviction. You should talk immediately with your schools guidance counsel or similar person.

    What can you do now? Defend the charges. Go to court, enter your not guilty plea if appropriate, arrange bail or OR, set up and attend your court hearing[s] and trial date, file your motions as applicable, go to trial if you cannot resolve it with a plea bargain. You can raise all your defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments for plea bargaining or at trial. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. If you do not know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does, and can likely get a decent plea bargain for you. If serious about doing so, feel free to contact me.

    Keep in mind: When you are arrested for DUI, upon release from jail or booking, you were given documents that include a notice from DMV that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of the automatic one-year suspension of your license. Contact DMV and do so, timely. You can hire an attorney for that hearing as well.

    As to expungement the general rules are:

    A DUI like many felony and misdemeanor convictions [not infractions] can sometimes be expunged by proper application and Petition to the court, but only if there was no prison time served or even sentenced, if it was not for certain sex and Domestic Violence crimes, if all terms of sentencing and probation [and at least one year of probation] are completed and finished, and if there are no new charges pending. If successful, the conviction would be retroactively withdrawn and the charges dismissed. That does not remove the conviction, but merely changes the record to show conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement. If expunged, you would be able to say no to conviction on most private employment applications. However, the conviction is still a prior for purposes of repeat offense, and must be disclosed on any application for government and professional licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc. The agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from licensing and employment because of your conviction. If you are serious about doing so, and you think you qualify, feel free to contact me for the legal help you will need.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2010
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    A DUI is a misdemeanor. You should have no trouble.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2010
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    A DUI is never a good thing to have on your record, but there is no rule set in stone saying someone with a DUI cannot become a teacher.

    If you were recently arrested, you should worry about how to find a good lawyer to defend you against the charge, and not "expungement," which is what someone who has already been convicted should be looking at.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/23/2010
    The Okorocha Firm
    The Okorocha Firm | Nicholas C. Okorocha
    I highly doubt a DUI conviction would prevent you from becoming a teacher, although you would need to check with the licensing board to be sure. Also, do not ignore the possibility for fighting the case. You should probably consult an attorney to review the case. Something as simple as an invalid stop leading to the DUI arrest could make the outcome entirely different for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/23/2010
    Steven Mandell
    Steven Mandell | Law Offices of Steven Mandell
    What you need right now is representation on your DUI. Expungement is years away, and the DUI is NOW. You have only 10 days from the arrest to take some major steps to protect your rights, so you must move immediately. You need to talk to a criminal lawyer experienced in DUI and DMV matters. I would be happy to talk to you about this matter. I can answer many of your questions and tell you things you need to know right now. Feel free to call me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/23/2010
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