December 22, 2020 | DUI Defense
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) regulates the licensure of teachers in Ohio. The ODE Office of Professional Conduct investigates reports relating to criminal convictions or “conduct unbecoming the teaching profession.”
In addition to the criminal penalties you face after a DUI, educators may also face professional consequences. If you have a teaching license in Ohio, you may be discouraged and in despair wondering how does a DUI affect your teaching license in Ohio? Different rules apply depending on whether you are an applicant for initial licensure or a current educator.
Initial applicants get a Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation background check. On the background check application, applicants must disclose all convictions, including DUI convictions.
While DUI is not an absolute bar to licensure in Ohio, it may have an impact on your license. Absolute bar offenses are the same for both initial applicants and current educators.
How Convictions Affect Initial Applicants
The ODE maintains a list of offenses eligible for rehabilitation. To qualify for rehabilitation, the initial applicant must meet the rehabilitation criteria. Among the list of offenses eligible for rehabilitation, the ODE includes “any felony offense not listed previously.”
If an initial applicant has a conviction, guilty plea, or judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for a felony DUI, they may need to meet rehabilitation benchmarks.
How Convictions Affect Current Educators
If you are a current educator, it can be helpful to understand the educator discipline process. There are five possible processes a case may take in the educator discipline process.
- Initial Review
- Review of Investigations
Not every case will undergo all five processes. The path a specific educator’s case takes depends on the circumstances of the case.
When a current educator is convicted of any offense that’s not an absolute bar, the ODE launches an investigation. If the results of the investigation do not warrant disciplinary action, the case is closed.
If the results of the investigation do warrant disciplinary action, one of the following will be taken:
- Letter of Admonishment A letter of admonishment states the misconduct of the educator. It formally admonishes for conduct unbecoming the teaching profession.
- Consent Agreement A consent agreement is a formal agreement that handles specific conduct of an educator. It also outlines the educator’s rehabilitation efforts.
- Suspension of Licensure Formal disciplinary action in which a license is suspended. Suspension is for a period of time not to exceed five years. During the suspension, the educator cannot perform educational activities that require a license.
- Limitation on Licensure Limitation is a formal disciplinary action that sets limitations on a license.
- Voluntary Surrender In a voluntary surrender, the educator agrees to surrender their license.
- Revocation of License If an educator’s license is revoked, there may be a minimum period of time before they are permitted to apply for a new license. In some cases, they may be deemed permanently ineligible for licensure.
All of these disciplinary acts are public record and remain part of the educator’s permanent disciplinary record.
How a Teacher Can Protect Their License
If the State Board intends to suspend, limit, or revoke an educator’s license, or to deny an applicant’s application for licensure, they must give written notice to the educator or applicant. An educator, once notified of the intended disciplinary action, has the right to ask for an administrative hearing to challenge the proposed action.
Teachers have a right to legal representation in their driver’s license suspension proceedings, educator disciplinary proceedings, and criminal defense proceedings. An experienced attorney may be able to challenge DUI arrests based on DUI blood tests or DUI urine tests. If you have a teaching license in Ohio and you are facing a DUI, you have options to protect yourself.
Contact the Cincinnati DUI Lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202