If you are a LPN, RN, or APRN and this is your first, second, three, or fourth DUI, OVI, or DWI charge, listen up.
1. Hire a criminal defense attorney who specializes or "limits" his or her practice to traffic and driving offenses or find an attorney with years of experience in criminal defense including DUI cases.
There are attorneys who practice nothing but traffic and driving law like:
Chuck Strain, the DUI Guy, here in Cincinnati.
2. Talk to and more importantly listen to a license defense attorney to determine IF there are any licensure or regulatory implications.
3. If you are diagnosed with a chemical dependency, follow the recommendations. If even you were not diagnosed with a CD and you think you have a problem, then you have problem.
4. Its important to talk to friends, family, and colleagues but when you are licensed professional and something legal slaps you in the face, consult with an attorney. Having a state issued license distinguishes you from your neighbor, who has a "good job" but isn't licensed. Licensure is another ball of wax.
Something as simple as the following:
Let's say you are out celebrating and you have too much to drink at a local bar. You are a Respiratory Therapist and RN and you have to be at work at 7am and its 1am. You do this 1x a week and you know your limit. Your plan is to get home by 2am, sleep until 6am, and request a light assignment at work the next day because of your asthma.
You are a good nurse. Recently divorced but in a good relationship now. One child. You were elected to the school board several months ago. You come from a good hardworking middle to upper class family involved in public service and fundraising.
Good student in undergrad. You are a working on your masters in nursing and will finish next semster with your Acute Care NP. You work on an adult med-surg and telemetry unit and have worked on the same unit for 12 years. You also work prn at the local childrens hospital. You are also in the Hospital's elite float pool and you can float anywhere and practice: from the ICU to the ER without issue. You just received your CNIII and received the Hospital's award for nurse of the year two years ago.
You have to urinate but you are unsteady to go back into the bar and wade through the herd so you decide to urinate outside towards the back of the bar.
You fall asleep while taking care of business. Your friends leave as they assume your cab picked you up because they don't see you. You awake after being handcuffed by two police officers who found you after a report was called in by a bar employee emptying the trash.
You are arrested and charged with:
1. Public Intoxication;
2. Disorderly Conduct;
3. Lewd Conduct; and
4. Incedent Exposure; and
5. Having the tongue on your right gym shoe out and your shoe lace untied in public.
WTH! The County Prosecutor thinks you are a sexual offender and is pissed because her kids elementary school is less than a block from the bar; a bar she and several citizens have wanted to close for years because of bar fights, crime, and a homicide last year. This may be the sensational story needed to revoke the bar's liquor license and campaign is being mounted by a local but very active citizens value group.
The charges made the local newspaper and radio as someone from the bar recognized you as a school board member and a nurse from the hospital.
A complaint is filed with the Nursing Board because of the seriousness of the charges and that you work in a pediatric hospital.
The childrens hospital takes you off the schedule until the case resolves.
At your primary position, you are meeting first with your union rep, the union president, and the union's labor attorney after your release from jail. Later that afternoon you are meeting with HR, your manager, and the CNO.
The School Board has called an emergency meeting and wants to meet with you and your attorney.
You are still in a daze thinking how did it come to this?