As a medical professional, you studied for many years to get where you are. Regardless of your job title, you dedicated your efforts, time and resources to earn the privilege of practicing medicine. But could one wrong move make you lose it all?

Although working in the medical field might be your life’s dream, to some extent it could seem like you have many restrictions. You might feel like you’re not able to enjoy something as common as a night out with friends during your free time for fear of an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI), which could affect your medical license. However, that is not necessarily the case.

Will a DUI automatically cost you your medical license?

There’s no definitive answer to whether you will lose your medical license because of a DUI, as each case is handled individually. However, in instances where your misconduct directly relates to your job function, the Medical Board of California may take disciplinary action for unprofessional conduct.

When making a determination about your medical license related to an arrest or conviction, the board will take the following into consideration:

· The circumstances which surrounded your arrest

· Any previous arrests and convictions

· When your arrest occurred

· Your compliance with the terms and conditions established by the court

If you are a physician or physician assistant facing criminal accusations, whether for a misdemeanor or felony offense, you must report your conviction to the board within 30 days. Failure to do so will result in a fine up to $5,000.

You don’t have to fight your charges alone

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be wise to explore your options in establishing your defense. You’ve dedicated your life to your career, but in many cases, you shouldn’t have to lose your medical license for a mistake you made while trying to enjoy your life.