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...Educators and
Other Licensed Professionals.

Unfortunately, Licensed Professionals Face More
Serious Consequences Than Most DUI/OVI Defendants.

Virtually All Ohio Licensing Boards Have the
Power to Discipline Their Members For a DUI/OVI.

Above and Beyond Any Punishment
Imposed by the Court.

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DUI and Educators

Many licensed professionals, including Ohio educators/teachers, wonder if they need to report a DUI case to their respective governing boards, in this case the Ohio State Board of Education. They also wonder what will happen to their Ohio teaching license if they report a DUI/OVI conviction. The Ohio State Board advises that teachers are required to report any “criminal offense” but the Board doesn’t elaborate on the meaning of the phrase “criminal offense.” If you have an Ohio DUI case, you should consider talking to a top Ohio DUI lawyer to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The penalties on these pages only apply to drivers who are convicted of DUI/OVI. An experienced Ohio DUI lawyer may be able to prevent that from happening.

Is an Ohio DUI/OVI considered a criminal offense or a traffic offense? This is difficult question and even the best Ohio DUI attorneys have different opinions on the topic. A DUI conviction in Ohio certainly has criminal penalties, including mandatory jail time, substantial fines, and a mandatory Ohio DUI driver’s license suspension, even on a first offense. In addition, a defendant facing an Ohio DUI charge enjoys the same constitutional rights as a criminal defendant, including the right to a DUI lawyer, the right to a jury trial, the right to have their DUI lawyer subpoena and call witnesses, and the right to testify (or not) at trial. Further, if an Ohio DUI defendant has prior convictions on his record, he may be facing a felony DUI charge which could include a maximum prison sentence of ten years. Nobody could credibly argue that a felony carrying a potential penalty of ten years in prison isn’t a criminal offense.

That being said, the Ohio drinking and driving statute is contained within chapter 45 of the Ohio Revised Code, which deals primarily with traffic offenses such as speeding, reckless operation and failure to control a vehicle. Even more interesting, in 2015, the Ohio Department of Education specifically reported that “a conviction for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OMVI) or driving under the influence (DUI) is a traffic offense and therefore does not have to be reported on an application.”

So which is it? Top Ohio DUI attorneys recognize that it is a combination criminal and traffic offense and it’s often referred to as a quasi-criminal offense. If you had to choose one, experienced Ohio drinking and driving attorneys would classify a DUI as a criminal offense. However, if you’re an educator and you report to the State Board of Education, it might be best to follow the Board’s lead and NOT report the DUI, classifying it as a “traffic offense” instead. The decision whether to report a DUI conviction to the Ohio State Board of Education should only be made after full discussion with an experienced Ohio DUI lawyer.

Following are some other questions commonly asked by Ohio educators and teachers facing a DUI/OVI charge:

What if I am already licensed and working as an educator when I get a DUI conviction?

You may face disciplinary action if you’re convicted of a DUI while you’re licensed and employed as an Ohio educator. Ohio Revised Code section 3319.31 allows the Ohio State Board of Education to pursue disciplinary action against any licensed educator who engages in conduct that is considered immoral or unbecoming of an Ohio educator, or if an educator is convicted of a felony offense. The phrase “immoral or unbecoming of a teacher” is a capricious phrase that could be interpreted for, or against, a teacher with an Ohio DUI/OVI conviction.

When applying or renewing my Ohio Educator’s License , do I have to report old DUI/OVI convictions from when I was in college?

The Ohio educator’s application asks whether an applicant has EVER been convicted of an offense and sets no time limit as to the age of the offense. Therefore, Ohio teaching applicants should be sure to report all convictions, not just convictions from the past few years. The Office of Professional Conduct investigates an applicant’s full criminal record, which will include all criminal offenses in the Ohio educator’s life, regardless of the length of time since the offense.

Do I have to report a conviction to the Ohio state board of education if it has nothing to do with children, drugs or sex offenses?

The Ohio State Board of Education states that all convictions must be reported regardless of the nature of the conviction. Note, however, that the question reads “any misdemeanor, other than traffic offenses, and any felony.” This means that all of an applicant’s criminal record, misdemeanors and felonies, should be reported to the Board. However, pursuant to the State Board of Education’s 2015 declaration, a DUI does not necessarily need to be reported, depending on the circumstances. The decision whether to report a DUI conviction to the Ohio State Board of Education should only be made after consultation with an experienced Ohio DUI lawyer.

How do I answer the question if I have had my record of conviction sealed and expunged?

If you have a sealed or expunged record, the question of whether you have ever been convicted of a criminal offense should be answered with a “no.” However, when you are asked whether you have ever had a conviction sealed or expunged, you must answer “yes.” As of the time of this writing, DUI convictions in Ohio are not eligible to be sealed and expunged.

What if I pled “no contest”?

A pleading of no contest to a DUI charge, or any other charge, will generally result in a finding of guilt and a conviction by the court. However, in rare circumstances, a no contest plea to a DUI, or any other charge, will result in an acquittal or not guilty finding by the court. It is important to check the records to determine what happened in your specific case. If you have any questions about what occurred in your Ohio drinking and driving, contact a top Ohio DUI/OVI defense attorney for help in figuring it out. The decision whether to report a DUI case to the Ohio State Board of Education should not be made lightly.

What disciplinary actions can the Ohio State Board of education take against me?

There are several types of disciplinary actions that the Ohio State Board of Education can pursue to eliminate unprofessional conduct from the teaching profession. The type of disciplinary action the Board pursues is based upon the nature of the allegations and whether a teacher’s conduct results in a criminal conviction. The Ohio State Board of Education relies heavily on the information gathered during its investigation.

  • Letter of Admonishment: A letter that details an Ohio educator’s/teacher’s misconduct and formally admonishes the educator that the behavior constitutes conduct unbecoming of the teaching profession. Like all Ohio educator/teacher disciplinary documents contained in this list, a letter of admonishment is a public record and remains a part of the educator’s or teacher’s disciplinary record.
  • Consent Agreement: A formal settlement agreement between an Ohio teacher/educator and the Ohio State Board of Education. A consent agreement is designed to address specific teacher conduct and to establish the educator’s/teacher’s efforts at rehabilitation. Terms and conditions of consent agreements vary widely depending on the educator’s/teacher’s conduct, but can include a suspension of the teacher’s license. Like all Ohio teacher/educator disciplinary documents contained in this list, a consent agreement is a public record and remains a part of the educator’s/teacher’s disciplinary file.
  • Suspension: A formal disciplinary action that suspends an Ohio educator’s license for a specified period of time, but no more than five years. During the period of suspension, the educator is prohibited from performing any educational activities or duties that require a license issued by the Ohio Department of Education. After the period of suspension is complete, the Ohio educator’s license is reactivated if the teacher can demonstrate compliance with all conditions contained in the Ohio State Board’s order of suspension. In addition, the educator/teacher must ensure that the original expiration date of the license did not occur during the period of suspension. Like all educator/teacher disciplinary documents contained in this list, an Ohio license suspension is a public record and remains a part of the teacher’s disciplinary file.
  • Limitation: A formal disciplinary action that imposes limitations on an Ohio teacher’s license. The Ohio State Board of Education can limit the location and type of educational activities an educator/ teacher can perform. Like all teacher/educator disciplinary documents contained in this list, a license limitation is a public record and remains a part of the Ohio educator’s disciplinary file.
  • Revocation: A formal disciplinary action that revokes an Ohio teacher’s license. If the teacher’s license is revoked, the Ohio State Board of Education may establish a minimum period of time before a teacher is permitted to apply for a new license. In the alternative, the State Board may determine that a teacher is permanently ineligible to apply for any license. Like all teacher disciplinary documents contained in this list, an action revoking an Ohio educator’s license is a public record and remains part of the teacher’s disciplinary file.
  • Denial of Application: A formal disciplinary action that denies an Ohio educator’s application for licensure. If an Ohio educator’s application for licensure is denied, the Ohio State Board of Education may establish a minimum period of time before an educator can re-apply for a license. The State Board may also determine that an educator is permanently ineligible to apply for any license. An action denying an educator’s license is a public record and remains part of the Ohio educator’s permanent disciplinary file.

Common Mistakes in Ohio DUI/OVI Investigations

No Ohio DUI/OVI/drinking and driving arrest is perfect and the best Ohio DUI/OVI lawyers knows this. Most Ohio DUI/OVI investigations include a number of witnesses, including police officers and the personnel who collect, store and test chemical samples.  These witnesses are human and they make mistakes. Further, most Ohio DUI/OVI investigations include a breath testing device or other testing equipment that is not always maintained according to current Ohio DUI/OVI regulations.

Do You Want Award-Winning Ohio DUI/OVI Representation?

There are over 1 million laws in the United States. I am a top Ohio DUI/OVI defense lawyer who devotes his entire practice to ONE. Because of my experience and concentrated focus, I know the Ohio DUI/OVI laws better than most attorneys in the state. I am passionate about Ohio DUI/OVI defense and I get results, however, I only accept a limited number of clients. If you’re serious about your case and want a top Ohio DUI/OVI lawyer on your team, call me, the Ohio DUI Dude at 1-844-DUI-DUDE.

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