California Teachers & DUI CHarges

A DUI is a criminal offense in California and can put your teaching credential at risk. After a DUI conviction, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing may call for revocation or suspension of your license. A DUI conviction also becomes part of a teacher’s criminal record and is visible to any current or future employers conducting criminal background searches. Teaching candidates with DUI convictions may have difficulty in securing positions for which they are otherwise qualified.

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)

Under the California Education Code, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is charged with evaluating and imposing discipline on Teachers. A teacher is required to report any criminal conviction whenever he or she renews or applies for a teaching credential. The CTC will be made aware of any arrest of a teacher when the arrestee’s fingerprints are entered into the state’s Live Scan database.

Reduced DUI Charges – Wet Reckless

A “wet reckless” is a plea bargain from a California DUI. It is a lesser crime than a DUI. The benefit to a teacher is that a wet reckless conviction can result in less severe disciplinary penalties by the CTC. Hiring an experienced DUI Defense attorney can help a teacher minimize the impact of DUI arrest by negotiating for a non-dui related offense like reckless driving.

Substitute Teachers and DUI

In most 1st offense misdemeanor DUI cases a teacher will not lose their Teaching Credential. However, we have had situations where substitute teachers who work with different school districts and must apply for positions get denied work because the background check shows a pending DUI arrest or DUI conviction.

The CTC will find out about your DUI Arrest

California Teachers undergo Live Scan fingerprinting at the time of licensure. When a teacher is arrested and fingerprinted for a DUI, the Department of Justice automatically notifies the CTC of the arrest.

Credentialed Teacher Reporting Requirements

If you are a credentialed teacher and are not actively applying for a credential or position, there is no independent reporting requirement.  In particular, the CTC website has information on “Educator Misconduct” — activity that can lead to the suspension or revocation of a credential.

Teacher conviction for DUI

Anytime a teacher self-reports a DUI conviction, the CTC will see if there is a connection between the criminal conviction and the person’s job function. For many first-time DUI convictions, no correlation may be found except in cases when the teacher’s blood-alcohol concentration was high (0.15 or higher), there was an accident, or the teacher was arrested for a DUI during school hours, at a school function, or driving a school vehicle.

CTC Disciplinary Action

There are certain offenses that result in automatic denial, suspension, or revocation of a license, but a single DUI unaccompanied by an accident, injury, death, property damage, hit and run, or a child in the vehicle is not considered to be an offense that triggers mandatory discipline.  There may be a discretionary review, but action will not be taken against you automatically.  In more serious cases, the CTC may take disciplinary action (suspension) against a teacher’s credentials. In more serious cases. the CTC can permanently revoke or suspend teaching credentials or deny a prospective teacher’s application.

Teacher Rehabilitation

While expungement of a teacher’s DUI conviction can sometimes provide evidence of an educator’s rehabilitation, it is the educator’s burden to show evidence of rehabilitation. The CTC will review the severity of the offense, the relation of the offense to teaching, whether this has been a recurring problem, whether the teacher has complied with court orders and whether the teacher has taken steps towards rehabilitation.

Renewing Teacher License with a DUI Conviction

If you apply for renewal, or issuance of any additional certificate, you will be asked to disclose prior convictions. You will be required to submit an explanation, a copy of the arrest report and certified copies of the court documents.  It is best to have a professional licensing attorney assist in this disclosure to minimize both disclosure mistakes and disciplinary repercussions.

Applying for A Teaching Credential

When a person initially applies for a California teaching credential, he or she will be fingerprinted and a criminal history will be reviewed.  The application will ask if the person has ever been convicted of a crime (misdemeanor or felony). You must answer this question truthfully. In addition, if you are arrested or convicted at any time after the initial application is received by the CTC, the CTC will receive notification from the Department of Justice.

You don’t have to plead guilty, contact our office today for a free same day consultation

Because you have so much to lose with your Teaching Credential, you need the most experienced and aggressive DUI Defense attorneys on your side. Whether it’s defending you in trial or negotiating for dismissal or reduced charges, you can count on us. Our experienced and aggressive negotiating efforts usually result in better outcomes for our clients including reduced charges, lesser jail days, and smaller fines. Call our office today at (916) 939-3900 to speak directly to an attorney about your Teaching Credential and DUI case. We are open 24/7/365 to answer your questions.