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Career Consequences

Driving while intoxicated doesn’t only carry criminal penalties. The stigma behind driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions could endanger your career. Many licensing agencies conduct thorough background checks when hiring or administering a license. You could have your professional license suspended or revoked because of your DWI.

The majority of licensing agencies don’t tolerate professionals with criminal convictions. It’s likely you could face disciplinary action because of your DWI. In some cases, you will still face disciplinary proceedings even if pleading guilty was the best option for you.

If your career doesn’t require a specific license, this doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Employers can access your public records if you’re convicted of DWI. Texas is an “employment-at-will” state, meaning you could be terminated at any time unless your employment contract has a specific written agreement.

Don’t take chances when it comes to your career. If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Attorney for DWI Career Consequences in Harris County, Texas

DWI is normally a victimless nonviolent crime, but it could still negatively affect your job. Your employer or licensing agency could lower your standing, your pay or suspend your license, which is why it’s critical that you  contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. aggressively defends people accused of DWI and other related crimes. We are familiar with licensing board hearings and their rules. Call us today at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a free consultation.

The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accept clients throughout the greater Harris County area including Houston, Bellaire, Tomball and West University Place.

Overview of DWI Career Consequences in Texas


Types of Licensed Professionals in Harris County, Texas

The primary state-licensing agency in Texas is the Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). TDLR regulates licensing for the majority of businesses, industries and other positions overseen by the state. Any professional licensed by TDLR is susceptible to disciplinary action if they’re convicted of DWI.

Listed below are the positions and industries licensed by TDLR.

  • Staff leasing service provider;
  • Service contract provider;
  • Property tax consultant;
  • Speech language pathologists;
  • Real estate inspector;
  • Boxing promoter;
  • Water well driller;
  • Transportation network companies;
  • Massage therapists.
  • Boiler inspector
  • Cosmologists;
  • Athletic agents;
  • Tow truck operators;
  • Dyslexia therapists;
  • Mold Assessors;
  • For-Profit legal services;
  • Orthotists and Prosthetists;
  • Podiatrists;
  • Used auto parts recycler;
  • Auctioneer;
  • Driver safety educators;
  • Water well pump installer;
  • Barber;
  • Vehicle protection product warrantor;
  • Owners for vehicle storage facilities;
  • Talent agents;
  • Dietitians;
  • Elevator inspectors;
  • Court interpreters;
  • Athletic trainers;
  • Air-conditioning or refrigeration contractor;
  • Pawnbrokers;
  • Electricians;
  • Underground storage tank installers;
  • Polygraph examiners;
  • Licensed breeders; and
  • Laser hair removal specialists;
  • Midwives;
  • Property tax collectors and assessors;
  • Prepaid legal services provider;
  • Registered accessibility specialists

TDLR handles the majority of employment licensing, but some occupations have their own professional boards. These licensing boards utilize their own conduct codes and disciplinary procedures when a professional has a criminal conviction.

Listed below are some careers with their own licensing boards.

  • Attorneys – Board of Law Examiners
  • Registered Nurses (RNs) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) – Texas Board of Nursing
  • Police officers and law enforcement – Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
  • Public Accountants – Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
  • Pharmacists – Texas State Board of Pharmacy
  • Doctors – Texas State Board of Medical Examiners
  • Occupational Therapists – Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners
  • Insurance Agents and Adjusters – Texas Department of Justice
  • Court Reporters or Stenographers – Court Reporters Certification Board
  • Chiropractors – Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners
  • Psychologists – Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists
  • Social Workers – Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners
  • Plumbers – Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
  • Veterinarians – Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
  • Land Surveyors – Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying
  • Public Health Safety Careers – Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Investment Advisors or Security Dealers – State Securities Board
  • Professional Counselors – Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors
  • Landscape Architects, Architects, and Interior Designers – Texas Board of Architectural Examiners
  • Deaf Interpreters – National Registry of Interprets for the Deaf (RID) or the Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI)
  • Firefighters – Texas Commission of Fire Protection
  • Hospice Nurse Aids or Administrators – Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
  • Security guards or private investigators – Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Aqua-culturists and Pesticide Applicators – Texas Department of Agriculture
  • Funeral directors or morticians – Texas Funeral Service Commission
  • Dentists or Dental Hygienists – Texas Board of Dental Examiners
  • Child Care Administrators – Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services
  • Professional Engineers – Texas Board of Professional Engineers
  • Teachers – State Board of Educator Certification

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Can I Lose My Professional License from a DWI?

Texas has laws which outlining the consequences of how a criminal conviction can affect a person licensed by TDLR. Texas Occupational Code § 53.002 states a licensing agency can suspend, revoke, disqualify or deny you from taking a licensing exam if your DWI reflects any of the following:

  • The occupation’s duties and purpose; or
  • The profession’s duties or purpose, but the offense was committed less than five years before you applied for a license by TDLR

If you have a career outside of TDLR, then the disciplinary actions for your DWI will be handled internally. Each licensing agency handles criminal convictions differently. However, the majority of them model their rules from Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupational Code.

Listed below are possible outcomes from a DWI conviction if you’re not licensed by TDLR.

  • Fines;
  • Disqualification from taking a licensing exam;
  • Required educational courses
  • License suspension;
  • License revocation; or
  • Added conditions to your license

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DWI Consequences for Non-Licensed Careers

If your job doesn’t require a professional license, you could still be subject to disciplinary action. Texas is an “employment-at-will” state, which means an employer can terminate an employee whenever they deem appropriate. The only way to bypass this if you have a written agreement within your employment contract that addresses termination.

Thankfully, Texas’s at-will employment doctrine has some limits. Employers cannot terminate employees for discriminatory bias such as race or gender. However, criminal convictions including DWI are enough grounds for termination.

Listed below are some possible consequences from DWI by your employer.

  • Lowered pay;
  • Change of status or position;
  • Pending or denial of pay raise;
  • Pending or denial of a promotion;
  • Suspension; or
  • Termination

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Additional Resources

TDLR Occupational Code – Visit the official website of Texas state laws to learn more about the occupational code for TDLR careers. Access the laws to learn more about the consequences of a DWI conviction, disciplinary hearings and more.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to learn more about occupations licensed TDLR. Access the site to find more information about how to file a complaint, how licenses are regulated and court-ordered programs for TDLR professionals.


Lawyer for Licensed Professionals in Houston, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s vital you gain legal representation. Your career or professional license could be in danger. Employers and licensing agencies aren’t fond of people with criminal convictions. It’s important you start your defense plan early so you could protect your livelihood.

Contact an attorney at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. will exhaust all available resources to provide a durable defense for you. Call us today at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a case evaluation.

Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the greater Houston area and surrounding communities including Pasadena, West University Place, Bellaire and Tomball.


This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.

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