DUI AND TEACHING CERTIFICATION
Teachers at Florida’s public schools and most of the state’s private schools must have a Florida Educator Certification. This goes for all classroom teachers, school administrators, guidance counselors, and other support specialists.
There are many requirements you must meet to obtain your professional teacher certification, including:
- Having a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Completing a professional preparation and education program
- Passing your selected Mastery Subject Area Knowledge exam
- Passing the Mastery of General Knowledge exam
- Completing the Mastery of Professional Preparation and Education Competence requirement
- Having your fingerprints cleared
Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh recognizes the amount of hard work teachers put in to receive their teaching certification. While obtaining a teaching certificate is no small feat, the real work comes in the classroom, teaching our youth. The last thing anyone wants is for a mistake to jeopardize this rewarding career.
WILL YOU LOSE YOUR TEACHING LICENSE WITH A DUI CONVICTION?
Though some crimes will automatically make you ineligible to hold a teaching certificate, particularly child abuse and other violent crimes, a DUI will not. However, teachers are required per Rule 6A-10.081 of the Florida Administrative Code to self-report any “conviction, finding of guilt, withholding of adjudication, commitment to a pretrial diversion program, or entering of a plea of guilty or Nolo Contendere for any criminal offense other than a minor traffic violation within forty-eight (48) hours after the final judgment.” After reporting a DUI, the Office of Professional Practice Services will launch an investigation to determine what penalty will be issued. This could mean a revocation of your teaching license depending on the circumstances surrounding your case; a referral to Recovery Network Program, which assists with substance abuse issues; or you could face no penalty at all.
If you are a teacher and get a DUI, do not risk facing career-altering consequences. Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh has experienced DUI attorneys that can help you with your case. Hiring an attorney from the start to thoroughly investigate your case is vital, and it could even mean not having to report your DUI to your employer at all.
CAN YOU GET A TEACHING CERTIFICATE IF YOU GET A DUI?
It depends. As previously stated, getting a DUI does not automatically make you ineligible to have a teaching certificate in the state of Florida. However, when filling out the legal page on your application, you must disclose if you have a criminal history (which includes a DUI). Even if your case has been sealed, expunged or was juvenile, you are still required to acknowledge the record. If you answer “Yes” to having a criminal history, your application is sent to the Office of Professional Practice Services for review. However, if you have had a DUI and answer “No” on your application, you may face a denial. The Office of Professional Practice Services reviews all state and federal records, so a false answer of “No” would be considered application fraud, resulting in disciplinary action.
While your application is in review, you may be requested to provide supporting documents or a personal statement regarding your DUI. If you get a DUI while working to become a teacher, it is important to have a DUI attorney by your side to assist you with this process. Our DUI attorneys at Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will help you with your case and ensure you have the best possible chances of being approved for a teaching certification. Call us for a free strategy session at (561) 295-5825.