Will a DUI reduced to a reckless driving affect teaching credentialing in California? 9 Answers as of May 13, 2011

I was arrested for a DUI, however I went to court and it was reduced to a reckless driving with no DUI conviction. I'm applying for teaching credentials in California and they ask to disclose the details of any misdemeanors. This would require me to expose my arrest for this offense. I was under the impression that although the CTC is a government agency, they cannot access arrest records pertaining to an offense of this nature, therefore, is it possible that my arrest may not necessarily be applicable and it would be best not to disclose that information? Regardless, will this hinder my ability to obtain a teaching credential if I choose to disclose? Please advise.

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Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Do you mean you were only convicted of a DRY reckless? If so, this is a charge that is completely non-alcohol related. A WET reckless is equivalent to a DUI. Applications always ask for disclosure of convictions. If you have successfully completed probation you may have the conviction expunged. Arrests do not show up in background searches, convictions do. Many people take their chances and simply do not disclose convictions. I cannot advise you on regarding your teaching credential but my guess is that it would hinder you. Your first line of attack is to obtain an expungement. Feel free to contact our office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/13/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Of course it will. Every arrest and conviction will affect you. However, a minor misdemeanor conviction like this is less damaging than a serious felony.

Despite what you mistakenly think, ALL convictions MUST be disclosed on any application for government and professional employment and licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc. The licensing agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from licensing or employment because of the arrest or conviction. And YES, they will check your record, and yes, they will see all your arrests and convictions. If you lie and withhold on the application, it is perjury, for which you can be criminally charged, and can be barred from govt employment, or terminated immediately when they find the truth.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/10/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
Be truthful on the application. Failure to disclose or false disclosure will hurt you far more than disclosing the information. There are many teachers that have DUI's on their records.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/10/2011
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson | Michael Stephenson
As a matter of employment law, you should never make a false statement on an employment application. I cannot speak to teaching credentials, but in my experience, professional credentialing is typically not barred by a single reckless driving charge.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/9/2011
Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law
Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law | Tracy L. Henderson
I suggest you call the credentialing board and confidentially discuss the matter with them. I had a client who was charged with nasty felonies based on a false accusation by a recanting witness. For personal reasons, he pled to a misdemeanor trespass which is pretty innocuous. However, when I contacted the credentialing board prior to his plea, they advised me that they will look at every police report in every case no matter what the ultimate conviction was and make a decision regarding a credential. It is better not to lie. It would be better to disclose it and write a letter of explanation and file a petition to withdraw your plea of guilty and have the case dismissed after completing probation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Although I am not sure what the CTC is, if your are referring to the state agency that controls teaching licenses, while they may not have direct access to your criminal history, they have a right to ask you about it and if you do not tell the truth, you will likely be in much greater trouble than if you reveal it. A DUI or wet reckless is unlikely to affect your getting your credentials. On the other hand they can assess your moral character so multiple DUI's may reveal a problem they have a right to consider in assessing your character in being licensed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    I believe that you must disclose the conviction as part of your application for a Teaching Credential. I do not believe that it will prevent your credentialing. You might have to explain yourself, however. Review the application carefully.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Is the question asking you for arrests? or convictions? If it's asking for convictions, then you don't need to report the DUI charge (but potentially the reckless driving conviction). Pertaining to your teaching credential issue, you should discuss this with an employment law attorney, or someone who specializes in licensing issues. Additionally, you should consider petitioning the court to get the conviction expunged. This is beneficial when applying for jobs. Contact me through my website if you would like to discuss expungements in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Instead of worrying, you should hire an attorney to file a petition for expungement (assuming you are eligible). If granted, then nothing will show up in a background check.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
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