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How Will an OWI Arrest or Conviction Affect My Medical License?

Posted on in DUI / OWI

Milwaukee, WI Professional License Defense AttorneysBy Attorney Kristen Nelson

Being arrested for operating while intoxicated is scary. The first thing most people worry about is how the arrest and subsequent conviction will affect their driver’s license and their ability to drive. They hire an attorney who is experienced with OWI cases. But, if you are a healthcare professional in Wisconsin, you also need an attorney who is experienced with professional licensing defense.

Depending on your professional license, you may or may not need to report your OWI conviction to the licensing board that granted you your license. If you are renewing your license while the case is pending, meaning after your arrest but before the case is resolved, you will most likely need to report the arrest on your renewal application.

The Medical Examining Board and the Nursing Board in Wisconsin do not require you to report an OWI conviction immediately; however, you will be required to report it on your licensing renewal. The circumstances surrounding your conviction will determine if the licensing board will take action against your license. It could also delay the licensing renewal process. Consulting with a professional licensing attorney will help you decide if you should submit a self-report of the conviction prior to renewing your license.

Another concern for physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners is how an OWI arrest and/or conviction will affect credentialing and privileges at a hospital, clinic, or medical group. Some credentialing committees require disclosing an arrest, others only require reporting a conviction, while others may not require either. Unnecessarily reporting an arrest could result in serious consequences, as could not reporting an OWI arrest. Potential reporting to the National Practitioner Data Bank is another concern that requires legal counsel.

Additional complications arise when you are arrested for an OWI in a state other than Wisconsin. The same holds true if you have an OWI conviction and have a healthcare license in another state or want to become licensed in another state. Some states view an OWI conviction as a traffic offense, while other states consider an OWI conviction a criminal offense. Understanding if and when you need to disclose the OWI arrest or conviction is critical when trying to obtain a professional license.

Convictions for an OWI second and subsequent offenses require automatic reporting to the various licensing boards. A failure to report the convictions within 48 hours could result in additional disciplines and limitations being placed on your license. Consulting with an experienced professional licensing attorney could help limit the exposure to a public discipline of your professional license.

If you are a healthcare professional in Wisconsin and are arrested for an OWI, you need an attorney who understands the nuances of defending your driver’s license AND your professional license. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP, we have attorneys that are experienced in both. Contact a Milwaukee professional license defense attorney at 414-271-1440.




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