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What happens to attorneys with multiple DUIs in California?

Attornies who violate the law are often subject to discipline by the State Bar of California. While a single driving under the influence conviction may lead to just a warning, multiple DUI convictions may result in more serious penalties.

What happens when a California attorney gets a second DUI conviction?

Disciplinary process

The State Bar receives notices of criminal convictions and charges per California Business and Professions Code §§ 6101 and 6102. Once the bar receives notification, it opens an investigation. Attornies must self-report in several circumstances:

  • Indicted or charged with a felony
  • Convicted of a felony
  • Convicted of a misdemeanor that involves a client or the practice of law
  • Convicted of a misdemeanor for a crime that involves moral turpitude, dishonesty or an attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit a crime

Penalties for multiple DUI convictions

The bar may revoke an attorney’s license or take other disciplinary actions based on a substance abuse problem if an attorney receives more than one DUI conviction. Attornies seeking to avoid discipline need to demonstrate evidence of rehabilitation or acknowledge their substance abuse problem and cooperate with rehabilitation steps outlined by the bar.

Because the state has a duty to protect the public, without evidence of rehabilitation, attornies with substance abuse problems may have difficulty retaining their licenses. For this reason, attornies with prior DUI convictions may need to seek assistance when facing a second DUI conviction. It is critical to avoid making the problem worse by not properly complying with the requirements of the bar and to begin building a case that demonstrates rehabilitation.

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