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I’m a CPA and I got a DUI

Certified public accountants in Arizona are governed by the Arizona State Board of Accountancy. This organization’s duty is to “protect the public from unlawful, incompetent, unqualified or unprofessional” CPAs “through certification, regulation, and rehabilitation.” People who want to be accountants must go to school for years and pass an exam to become an accountant. If you are an accountant or want to be one, it’s important that you know how a DUI might impact your professional life.

Can I Become a CPA if I have a DUI in my Past?

Maybe. The Board may refuse to grant you a CPA license if you have a felony conviction on your criminal record. In Arizona DUI, extreme DUI, and super extreme DUI are all misdemeanors. Aggravated DUI is a felony. If you are convicted of aggravated DUI, the Board might not give you a license. If you have a felony DUI on your record, the Board will review your file and make a determination based on your unique circumstances.

Will I Lose my License if I get a DUI while I’m a CPA?

Maybe. The Board may revoke or suspend your CPA license if you get a felony conviction. You will not lose your license if you get a misdemeanor DUI, but you might if you are convicted of a felony aggravated DUI. The Board, however, must provide you with an opportunity for a hearing before it will revoke or suspend your license. You can present your case to the Board as to why they should not revoke or suspend your license at that time.

The Board will investigate your conviction and its effect on your ability to be a CPA. If the Board does not revoke or suspend your license, they might issue a letter of concern if there is insufficient evidence to warrant a revocation or suspension but they have concerns about your behavior.

What If I Plead “No Contest” to the DUI Charge?

The Board views pleading “No Contest” to a felony DUI charge the same as a felony conviction.

If my License if Revoked or Suspended because of my DUI, Can I get it Back?

Yes. You must reapply for a CPA license and show that all your civil rights have been restored.

If I Get a DUI, Can I Put Off Jail Time until After Tax Season?

Maybe. If you are convicted of any DUI in Arizona, you will face mandatory jail time. You may submit a request to the court to delay the date you’re required to report to the jail until after Tax Day.

Can I Still Drive to Work with a Suspended Driver’s License?

When you get a DUI, your driver’s license will be suspended for ninety days. You may not legally perform any job functions that involve driving while your license is suspended. After the first thirty days of your suspension, you may apply for a restricted driving permit to restore some of your driving privileges.

You will be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for at least six months after the reinstatement of your driving privileges. If you are caught driving a vehicle without such a device, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for an additional year.

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an attorney for DUI at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your DUI case.

Photo credit: Tracy O from Flickr