Being convicted of DWI can have life-altering consequences for anybody, but can you lose your medical license for a DWI in Texas? Yes, you can. If you find yourself facing repeat or felony DWI charges, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) has the ability to refuse to issue a license to practice medicine or to take disciplinary action against those who already have licenses.
Why? Because the Texas Medical Board places what they believe protects the reputation of the profession as a whole over the livelihood of the people who have dedicated their lives to it. If you are a medical practitioner that has been arrested for DWI and you want to protect your medical license, you need to get the best DWI lawyer in Texas that you can possibly find to start building your case.
Mark Thiessen is the only lawyer in America who is 4x Board Certified in DWI.* If you need someone to fight for you in a court of law and win, you need Mark Thiessen. Call Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000 for a free consultation.
*Mark Thiessen’s board certifications include:
- Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- DUI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense as approved through the American Bar Association
- DUI Law by the DUI Defense Lawyers Association
- Board Certified Advocate in Criminal Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy Foundation
What happens if a doctor gets a DWI?
According to the Medical Practice Act, the Texas Medical Board cannot penalize a medical professional for a DWI arrest alone unless that DWI is a felony DWI because first-offense DWIs are misdemeanors and are not categorized as crimes of moral turpitude. Good news, right? Kind of.
A DWI first offense in Texas alone will not get a medical license suspended or revoked, but it will trigger an independent investigation by the Board. This is done to determine if there was sufficient unprofessional conduct involved to punish the professional. During this investigation, the board will determine:
- If the DWI coincided with endangering a patient’s life
- If the DWI is part of a pattern of drug or alcohol addiction
- If during the arrest the arrestee was too impaired to have performed medical duties
- If the DWI coincided with unprofessional behavior like drug use or other overlapping crimes
If you are arrested for DWI and it leads to a felony conviction, whether that be because it was your 2nd DWI in Texas or there were aggravating factors present, then the Board does not have to conclude the investigation and can choose to punish you as they see fit.
The best way to protect your medical license is to not get convicted. How do you do that? By hiring an attorney that knows how to defend DWI charges at trial and has the know-how to use the law and the science behind DWI convictions to form a complete case.
Do you have to report arrests to the Texas Medical Board?
In Texas, doctors with DWI charges are required to report all arrests to the Texas Board. It is important to note that the arrest itself is what triggers an independent investigation by the Board, so even if your charges are dropped or the case is dismissed, you could still be looking at punishment if the Texas Medical Board believes that they have uncovered unprofessional conduct.
A “not guilty” verdict is more compelling than a mistrial in the eyes of the TMB. This is why it is doubly important to hire an attorney who knows how to win cases at trial and doesn’t just settle with the state.
How to prevent disciplinary action from the Texas Medical Board
For doctors with DWI charges, there are often two cases being brought against them simultaneously: one by the state and one by the Board. Both entities will be looking for evidence, but the Board will be looking for evidence of a different kind — evidence that proves that you are a trustworthy, transparent professional. Evidence appropriate for the Texas Medical Board would include:
- A thoughtful personal statement
- Statements of character from patients
- Statements of character from family
- Personal statements written by others in the profession, including colleagues or industry leaders
- Examples and evidence of ways in which the community and profession are served by the defendant
Of course, all of these statements and letters of recommendation should be vetted by your lawyer, who will know what should and should not be included while a state charge is pending. Your attorney can also speak to the Medical Board on your behalf, offering counsel and information about the ongoing case.
Can you be a nurse with a DWI in Texas?
While a DWI charge does not disqualify someone from being a nurse in Texas, it can complicate things for doctors. Can you get a medical license with a DWI? If you have a previous DWI conviction on your record, you can still be licensed by the Texas Medical Board, but it might be more challenging to do so — especially for those with felony DWI or repeat DWI convictions.
And for those who may be thinking, how long does a DWI stay on your record in the state of Texas? If you are convicted of DWI, that conviction will stay on your record forever. This is why you need to hire an attorney who will fight to have your charges dismissed before they can even become convictions.
Continue reading: Can you be a teacher with a DWI in Texas?
Protect your medical license with an experienced DWI attorney
Can you lose your medical license for a DWI in Texas? You sure can. Outside of the risk of penalties such as DWI cost and jail time, the secondary penalties and reduction in life opportunities from DWI can cost you more than you could possibly imagine — even for non-medical professionals — but for doctors whose livelihoods depend on their ability to practice and their reputations, they can be catastrophic.
Experienced and aggressive representation is your best chance at defending your practice and your freedom, and Mark Thiessen knows how to take a DWI case to trial and win. Call Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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