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Florida Nurses: Safeguard Your License and Livelihood DUI Defense Strategies




Understanding the Impact of a DUI Charge on Florida Nurses

When a nurse in Florida is charged with a DUI, it can have severe repercussions on their professional and personal life. This section will cover the immediate consequences, including the potential for license suspension, the impact on employment, and the requirement to report the charge to the Board of Nursing within 30 days. Understanding these implications is crucial for safeguarding your career and livelihood.

Immediate Consequences of a DUI Charge

Upon being charged with a DUI, nurses must navigate both legal and professional challenges. This includes the risk of losing their nursing license, facing disciplinary actions from the Board of Nursing, and potential job loss. Additionally, the stigma associated with a DUI charge can affect future employment opportunities and professional reputation.

What are the immediate consequences of a DUI charge for nurses in Florida? Immediate consequences include the risk of license suspension, disciplinary actions from the Board of Nursing, and potential job loss.

Under Section 456.072(1)(x), Florida Statutes, you must report the DUI charge to the Board of Nursing within 30 days of being found guilty or entering a plea. This requirement applies regardless of whether you plead guilty, nolo contendere, or no contest. Even if the court reduces the charge from DUI to reckless driving and withholds adjudication, the plea must still be reported.

Failure to report the plea can lead to disciplinary action, which may include license suspension or revocation. Additionally, not completing an Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) treatment program, if required, or failing to comply with an IPN contract without just cause can result in further disciplinary measures.

The goals in a DUI case for a nurse would generally include:

  • Contesting the administrative suspension: Demand a formal review hearing within ten days of the arrest.
  • Avoiding a DUI conviction: Aim to get the charges dropped or at least reduced to reckless driving, preferably with a withhold of adjudication so the criminal history record can be sealed.
  • Complying with reporting requirements: Send the required information to the Board of Nursing within the 30-day deadline.

Our attorneys are familiar with the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) requirements and ways to avoid certain time-consuming and expensive mandates that might otherwise occur. We can also help you comply with the reporting requirements for the Board of Nursing.

Remember, the Board of Nursing (BON) monitors nurses with alcohol or substance abuse issues and reviews complaints, initial and renewal applications for the nursing license, and handles any disciplinary action against the nurse. A background check will be conducted even for people initially applying for a nursing license. Any criminal charge can lead to a Board Review before the nursing license is approved.

For more information on how DUI charges can affect your professional license, you can read about the impact of DUI on professional licenses.

Effective legal strategies are essential for nurses facing DUI charges in Florida. This section will discuss the importance of hiring an experienced DUI attorney, the process of contesting the administrative suspension, and the steps to avoid a DUI conviction. Legal representation can help in reducing charges and mitigating the impact on your nursing license.

DUI accident scene

Contesting the Administrative Suspension

Nurses charged with DUI should demand a formal review hearing within ten days of the arrest to contest the administrative suspension of their driving privileges. This step is crucial in maintaining the ability to drive, which is often essential for fulfilling job responsibilities.

Contesting the administrative suspension involves challenging the evidence presented by the arresting officer and the results of any field sobriety or chemical tests. An experienced DUI attorney can scrutinize the procedures followed during the arrest and identify any errors or inconsistencies that may weaken the prosecution’s case. This can include questioning the calibration and maintenance of breathalyzer devices, the accuracy of blood or urine tests, and the legality of the traffic stop itself.

What is an administrative suspension? An administrative suspension is the temporary loss of driving privileges imposed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) following a DUI arrest.

By demanding a formal review hearing, nurses have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony that may counter the DHSMV’s decision to suspend their license. This hearing is separate from the criminal court proceedings and focuses solely on the administrative aspects of the DUI charge.

Avoiding a DUI Conviction

Avoiding a DUI conviction is paramount for nurses, as a conviction can have long-lasting effects on their professional and personal lives. One of the primary goals in a DUI case is to get the charges dropped or reduced to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving. This can be achieved through various legal strategies, including:

  • Challenging the legality of the traffic stop: If the initial stop was not based on reasonable suspicion or probable cause, any evidence gathered during the stop may be inadmissible in court. This can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case.
  • Questioning the accuracy of chemical tests: Breathalyzers and other chemical tests are not infallible. Factors such as improper calibration, maintenance issues, and operator error can lead to inaccurate results. An experienced DUI attorney can scrutinize these aspects to challenge the validity of the test results.
  • Scrutinizing the officer’s observations and procedures: The observations and procedures followed by the arresting officer are critical components of a DUI case. Any deviations from standard protocols or inconsistencies in the officer’s report can be used to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.

In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a plea deal that results in a reduced charge of reckless driving. A withhold of adjudication on a reckless driving charge can allow the nurse to seal their criminal record, thereby minimizing the impact on their professional license and future employment opportunities.

Complying with Reporting Requirements

Compliance with reporting requirements is essential for nurses charged with DUI. Under Section 456.072(1)(x), Florida Statutes, nurses must report the charge to the Board of Nursing within 30 days of being found guilty or entering a plea. This requirement applies regardless of whether the plea is guilty, nolo contendere, or no contest. Even if the court reduces the charge from DUI to reckless driving and withholds adjudication, the plea must still be reported.

Failure to report the plea can lead to disciplinary action, including license suspension or revocation. To ensure compliance, nurses should prepare a professional and comprehensive report that includes all relevant documents, such as the discovery, charging document, and a certified copy of the final judgment and sentence. The report should be sent via a reliable delivery method that provides tracking and proof of receipt.

Our attorneys are familiar with the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) requirements and ways to avoid certain time-consuming and expensive mandates that might otherwise occur. We can also help you comply with the reporting requirements for the Board of Nursing.

Legal representation is crucial in navigating the complexities of a DUI charge and protecting your nursing license. By employing effective legal strategies, nurses can contest the administrative suspension, avoid a DUI conviction, and comply with reporting requirements, thereby safeguarding their career and livelihood.

Reporting a DUI Charge to the Florida Board of Nursing

Reporting a DUI charge to the Florida Board of Nursing is a mandatory requirement that must be done within 30 days of the plea or conviction. This section will explain the reporting process, the importance of professional legal assistance, and the potential consequences of failing to report. Proper reporting can help in minimizing disciplinary actions and maintaining your nursing license.

Preparing a Professional Report

When reporting a DUI charge, it is essential to prepare a professional and comprehensive report. This includes a typewritten letter with all relevant documents, such as the discovery, charging document, and a certified copy of the final judgment and sentence. The report should be sent via a reliable delivery method that provides tracking and proof of receipt.

The following steps are crucial in preparing your report:

  1. Gather all necessary documents: Include the discovery, charging document, and a certified copy of the final judgment and sentence.
  2. Write a comprehensive letter: The letter should describe the date, city and state, charges, and final results. Additionally, include a personal description of the circumstances surrounding the arrest or criminal accusation.
  3. Send via reliable delivery: Use a method that provides tracking and proof of receipt to ensure the Board of Nursing receives your report.

What is the importance of reporting a DUI charge to the Florida Board of Nursing? Reporting a DUI charge within 30 days is crucial to avoid disciplinary actions and maintain your nursing license.

Professional legal assistance can be invaluable when reporting a DUI charge to the Florida Board of Nursing. An experienced attorney can help you prepare a thorough and accurate report, ensuring all necessary documents are included and the information is presented clearly. This can significantly reduce the risk of disciplinary actions and help maintain your professional standing.

Our attorneys at Leppard Law are familiar with the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) requirements and ways to avoid certain time-consuming and expensive mandates that might otherwise occur. We can also help you comply with the reporting requirements for the Board of Nursing.

Potential Consequences of Failing to Report

Failing to report a DUI charge to the Florida Board of Nursing can lead to severe disciplinary actions, including license suspension or revocation. Under Section 456.072(1)(x), Florida Statutes, nurses must report the charge within 30 days of being found guilty or entering a plea, regardless of whether the plea is guilty, nolo contendere, or no contest. Even if the court reduces the charge from DUI to reckless driving and withholds adjudication, the plea must still be reported.

The consequences of failing to report can include:

  • License suspension or revocation: The Board of Nursing has the authority to suspend or revoke your nursing license for failing to report a DUI charge.
  • Disciplinary actions: You may face other disciplinary actions, such as fines, mandatory counseling, or additional monitoring.
  • Professional reputation: Failing to report can damage your professional reputation and future employment opportunities.

It is essential to comply with the reporting requirements to protect your nursing license and career. If you need assistance, our team at Leppard Law is here to help you navigate the complexities of the reporting process and ensure your compliance with the Board of Nursing’s requirements.

Proper reporting and compliance can help in minimizing disciplinary actions and maintaining your nursing license. By following the steps outlined above and seeking professional legal assistance, you can safeguard your career and livelihood.


Board of Nursing Investigations and Disciplinary Actions

After reporting a DUI charge, nurses may face an investigation by the Florida Board of Nursing. This section will cover the investigation process, potential disciplinary actions, and the importance of being proactive. Understanding the Board’s procedures and requirements can help in mitigating the impact on your nursing license and career.

Proactive Measures and Compliance

Being proactive and compliant with the Board of Nursing’s requirements can lead to better outcomes. This includes seeking substance abuse counseling if necessary, undergoing an alcohol and drug evaluation, and following up with treatment and random testing. Proactive measures can shorten the period of supervision and help in closing the case more quickly.

What are proactive measures for nurses facing DUI charges? Proactive measures include seeking substance abuse counseling, undergoing alcohol and drug evaluations, and following up with treatment and random testing.

When facing an investigation, it is essential to demonstrate your commitment to addressing any underlying issues. The Board of Nursing may impose certain requirements, such as:

  • Substance abuse counseling: Engaging in counseling can show the Board that you are taking steps to address any substance abuse problems.
  • Alcohol and drug evaluations: Undergoing evaluations can provide a clear picture of your current state and help in creating a treatment plan.
  • Random testing: Participating in random drug and alcohol tests can demonstrate your commitment to staying sober and compliant with the Board’s requirements.

By being proactive, you can often shorten the period of supervision and get the case closed out more quickly. It is essential to be proactive if your nursing license records show any prior emergency actions, discipline cases, or public complaints.

Understanding the Investigation Process

The investigation process by the Florida Board of Nursing can be rigorous. It typically involves a thorough review of the nurse’s criminal history, employment records, and any previous disciplinary actions. The Board will also consider the circumstances surrounding the DUI charge and any efforts made by the nurse to address the issue.

The investigation process generally includes the following steps:

  1. Initial review: The Board reviews the initial report and any supporting documentation provided by the nurse.
  2. Background check: A comprehensive background check is conducted to assess the nurse’s criminal history and any prior disciplinary actions.
  3. Interviews: The Board may conduct interviews with the nurse, their employer, and any witnesses to gather additional information.
  4. Evaluation: The Board evaluates the findings and determines whether any disciplinary actions are warranted.

Understanding this process can help you prepare and respond appropriately. It is crucial to be honest and transparent during the investigation, as any attempts to conceal information can lead to more severe disciplinary actions.

Potential Disciplinary Actions

The Florida Board of Nursing has the authority to impose various disciplinary actions based on the findings of their investigation. These actions can range from mild to severe, depending on the circumstances of the DUI charge and the nurse’s history.

Potential disciplinary actions may include:

  • Reprimand: A formal reprimand may be issued, which becomes part of the nurse’s permanent record.
  • Probation: The nurse may be placed on probation, requiring them to comply with specific conditions set by the Board.
  • Suspension: The nursing license may be temporarily suspended, preventing the nurse from practicing for a specified period.
  • Revocation: In severe cases, the nursing license may be permanently revoked, ending the nurse’s ability to practice.

It is essential to understand that the Board’s primary goal is to protect the public and ensure that nurses can provide safe and effective care. Therefore, demonstrating your commitment to addressing any issues and complying with the Board’s requirements can significantly impact the outcome of the investigation.

What are the potential disciplinary actions by the Florida Board of Nursing? Disciplinary actions can range from a formal reprimand to probation, suspension, or even permanent revocation of the nursing license.

Navigating the investigation process and potential disciplinary actions can be challenging without professional legal assistance. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights, prepare for the investigation, and present your case effectively to the Board.

At Leppard Law, our attorneys are familiar with the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) requirements and ways to avoid certain time-consuming and expensive mandates that might otherwise occur. We can also help you comply with the reporting requirements for the Board of Nursing and provide guidance throughout the investigation process.

By seeking legal assistance, you can ensure that your case is handled professionally and that you have the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome. Our team at Leppard Law is dedicated to helping nurses protect their licenses and livelihoods.

In conclusion, understanding the Board of Nursing’s investigation process and potential disciplinary actions is crucial for nurses facing DUI charges. Being proactive, compliant, and seeking professional legal assistance can help mitigate the impact on your nursing license and career. Remember, your commitment to addressing any issues and complying with the Board’s requirements can significantly influence the outcome of the investigation.


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How does a DUI affect a nurse’s license in Florida?

A DUI charge can have severe implications for a nurse’s license in Florida. The penalties for nurses charged with DUI may include license suspension, mandatory reporting to the Board of Nursing, and potential disciplinary actions. The Board of Nursing may require substance abuse counseling, alcohol and drug evaluations, and random testing.

What steps should a nurse take after being charged with a DUI in Florida?

After being charged with a DUI, a nurse should take several steps to protect their license and career. These steps include:

  • Hiring an experienced DUI attorney.
  • Contesting the administrative suspension within ten days.
  • Reporting the charge to the Board of Nursing within 30 days.
  • Seeking substance abuse counseling and undergoing evaluations if required.

What are the potential consequences of failing to report a DUI charge to the Florida Board of Nursing?

Failing to report a DUI charge to the Florida Board of Nursing can result in severe disciplinary actions. These consequences may include license suspension or revocation, additional fines, and mandatory participation in the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN). It is crucial to comply with the reporting requirements to avoid further penalties.

Can a nurse continue to work while their DUI case is pending?

Yes, a nurse may continue to work while their DUI case is pending, but it depends on the specific circumstances and the employer’s policies. Some employers may place the nurse on administrative leave or require them to undergo evaluations and counseling. It is essential to communicate with your employer and comply with any requirements set by the Board of Nursing.







Florida Nurses: Safeguard Your License and Livelihood DUI Defense Strategies

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Florida Nurses: Safeguard Your License and Livelihood DUI Defense Strategies

Take the First Step to Protect Your Future

What does it look like to have a personal relationship with your attorney? Someone who has your back when things get tough? A lawyer that knows you as well as they know your case?

At Leppard Law, we treat our clients like family. We always put their best interests first, and fight for the best possible outcome for their case. But you don’t have to take our word for it – experience it for yourself. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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Why Choose Leppard Law?

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Dealing with a DUI charge can be overwhelming and stressful. But you don’t have to go through it alone. At Leppard Law, we’re here to help you navigate this challenging time with compassion and expertise. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and take the first step towards safeguarding your license and livelihood.

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Phone: 407-476-4111


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Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Experienced Florida DUI Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into triumphs. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your DUI case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

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