Friday, September 11, 2009

Ithaca Cortland Lawyer Discusses Teacher Certification After a New York State DWI

One of the many DWI questions I field is, "can I still be a "blank" after my DWI conviction?"

Well there is no simple answer to that question. Each and every profession/occupation/job has criteria and policy for hiring decisions/licensing decisions/certification decisions. While there are some general parameters, nothing is absolutely certain within this area. Generally these days in most states you will have an FBI background check with full prints before getting (or keeping) a teaching position.

see my blog posts here:  Why Get a DWAI Violation Letter of Explanation (legal opinion)?

How to get a job after a prior criminal or non-criminal drug charge here:

People overcome adversity every single day. Now that said, becoming a school bus driver after multiple DWIs is very unlikely. Just like being a children's daycare worker would not be in your future if you were a level three convicted sex offender.

So what criteria and factors would be considered for getting a teacher certification in New York State following a DWI conviction?

New York State Department of Education law sections 752 and 753 establish the policy and factors looked at for teacher certification.

Firstly, section 752 states that there shall be (must be) no unfair discrimination in receiving employment and/or a license merely based upon your past criminal convictions alone.

What type of convictions and offenses were there? How are they potentially related to the employment position and/or licensure that the applicant is seeking? How could they (these prior issues) potentially impact the health, safety, and/or welfare of the public and/or specific people if a license is granted (as in certification) or employment is permitted.

Secondly, section 753 provides:

"the public agency or private employer shall consider the following factors:
(a) The public policy of this state, as expressed in this act, to encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses.
(b) The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the license or employment sought.
(c) The bearing, if any, the criminal offense or offenses for which the person was previously convicted will have on his fitness or ability to perform one or more such duties or responsibilities.
(d) The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.
(e) The age of the person at the time of occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.
(f) The seriousness of the offense or offenses.
(g) Any information produced by the person, or produced on his behalf, in regard to his rehabilitation and good conduct.
(h) The legitimate interest of the public agency or private employer in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

And lastly, in making a determination pursuant to the section 752, the public agency or private employer shall also give consideration to a certificate of relief from disabilities or a certificate of good conduct issued to the applicant, which certificate shall create a presumption of rehabilitation in regard to the offense or offenses specified therein."

If you are planning on looking for any employment after any New York State misdemeanor and/or felony conviction you would be advised to obtain a certificate of relief from disabilities or a certificate of good conduct from the Court that convicted you.

In addition, I think it is necessary and wise to bring to a potential employer and/or agency in which you seek licensure a current drug/alcohol evaluation by an OASAS certified evaluator. Just like you would want to know about the current state of a house before buying (an inspection report), or a dog before buying (a vet check up) or a car before buying (a Carfax), you would naturally want to be aware of any current problems with drugs and/or alcohol with someone before giving them a job or a license.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., Esq.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law

Ithaca, NY  14850