Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: New York DWI Arrest, Criminal Charges, and Your Teaching Certification


Teachers must beware following a DWI arrest or any criminal charges for that matter. There are always collateral affects from a DWI, and placing your certificate to teach in jeopardy is one of them.

What happens to a Teacher after an arrest in NYS?

The Initial Letter is Scary but Remember It is a Form Letter for ANY Arrest 

You will get a letter from the State Education Department/ The University of the State of New York, specifically from OSPRA: The Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability.

OSPRA is notified of your DWI arrest (or any arrest) by the division of criminal justice. Any criminal arrest will potentially trigger a review because they are concerned with your stability and your risk to students.

OSPRA is then required to notify your employer. Your employment clearance (risk level) and certification to teach is now under review. Pending the outcome of your matter, you may or may not have cause for concern.  

This is according to SAVE legislation (education law section 3004- b(1))  and the Commissioner's  Regulations  (8 NYCRR 87.6) and OSPRA.

New York State Criminal Misdemeanors Trigger a Teacher's Review 

For instance, any criminal misdemeanor can potentially affect a teacher's certification. Any licensed (certified) teacher will get notice, or more like be put on notice that their license is subject to revocation because of a pending criminal charge.

With a DWI case, the importance of a drug/alcohol evaluation aka the assessment cannot be downplayed, it is paramount to assuring the authorities you are NOT a risk. Not a risk to yourself, to the community, and most importantly to the children you are teaching.

In addition, the following factors can affect their final determination:

1. Your mental health, have you had a mental evaluation/assessment?
2. Your final court disposition (what final charges, crimes or violations did you plead guilty to i.e. what were you convicted of?)
3. What were you sentenced to? Remember sentencing guidelines in NYS have wide diversity. Were you given leniency? Were you or are you subject to any conditions by the court? Did you receive a conditional discharge or were you placed on probation (community monitoring and supervision)?
4. Have you obtained any help/treatment/counseling for any diagnosed problem or issue?

How you answer questions, respond to their inquiries, and accept responsibility will become a permanent part of your personnel file. This information and this event will follow you from position to position and job to job, make sure you consult with an attorney prior to engaging with the state authorities.

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses. I am an attorney, former chiropractor, coach, advisor, and professional speaker.

My online materials include over 500 + blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 500 + informative videos on my youtube channel. I have authored and co-authored numerous books and articles on law both universal and man-made.

I was selected by Super Lawyers as a Upstate New York 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI Defense based on my experience, contributions, and professional standing.