Los Angeles DUI and Accountants
For various professionals who are required to carry licenses to practice within the State of California, a conviction for driving under the influence can trigger unforeseen consequences from the relevant licensing board. Certified Public Accountants in California are required to be licensed by the California Board of Accountancy and this Board is also responsible for imposing disciplinary action when necessary. A CPA who is convicted of a DUI offense may find him or herself facing scrutiny from the Board and could potentially be disciplined as a result of the conviction.
As one would expect, the types of convictions that the Board of Accountancy is most interested in are those for theft offenses, white collar crimes or other criminal acts directly related to the accountant’s practice. However, the Board does not ignore DUI convictions and there are circumstances where the Board of Accountancy will take disciplinary action against licensees whose DUI conviction or convictions are substantially related to the licensee’s ability to function professionally.
Both those already licensed by the Board of Accountancy and those who are new applicants to be CPAs could be affected by a conviction for DUI. Anyone renewing a license or submitting an application for the first time would be required to disclose any criminal conviction that may have occurred, other than minor traffic infractions. Failure to disclose a DUI conviction during this process would be grounds for denying the license or license renewal application.
The Board of Accountancy will typically launch an investigation whenever a licensee has been convicted of a DUI or other criminal offense. The Board will look at factors such as the nature and severity of the underlying crime, the defendant’s prior criminal record, the amount of time that has elapsed since the commission of the underlying offense, the defendant’s compliance, or lack thereof, with his or her terms of the sentence and any evidence of rehabilitation. The fact that an applicant may have had his or her previous DUI conviction expunged by filing a California Penal Code Section 1203.4 PC motion could be considered evidence of rehabilitation.
When dealing with a DUI, the Board of Accountancy will be particularly wary of any aggravating factors that may have been present. These would include multiple prior convictions for DUI, a blood alcohol content that was significantly higher than the legal limit (0.08 percent), a traffic collision, the involvement of a narcotic or a number of other factors.
Ultimately, the Board can suspend or revoke an accountant’s license if it deems this action to be justified after completing its investigation. In addition, the Board can deny the license application for those who are applying to be a CPA in California or can refuse to grant existing licensee’s renewal applications.
In addition to whatever disciplinary action is taken by the Board of Accountancy, a CPA who has been convicted of DUI would also face a host of other potential criminal penalties and administrative consequences.
If convicted of DUI in court, an accountant can face a number of different penalties including jail time, a required alcohol education program, programming such as the Hospital and Morgue (“HAM”) or MADD Victim Impact Panel (“VIP”), community service or community labor, restitution if there was an accident, steep fines and any other conditions of probation that may be appropriate.
For those whose DUI convictions occurred in Los Angeles County, a conviction would result in the Department of Motor Vehicle’s requiring the defendant to install and maintain an Ignition Interlock Device (“IID”) in his or her vehicle for a period of at least five months. This is because of Los Angeles County’s participation in the DMV Pilot Program which is testing IIDs for those convicted of DUI offenses in the participating counties.
If you are a Certified Public Accountant or will one day be applying to be a CPA and have been charged with DUI, it is critical that you consult with an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Lawyer Michael Kraut is highly acclaimed by those in the legal community for his knowledge of DUI laws and litigation skills. Mr. Kraut works hard to ensure his professional clients receive the most thorough defense possible.
For more information about Los Angeles DUI and Accountants, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.