The Rewards of Pharmacy Practice
Pharmacists occupy a position of great care and trust. They hold the health and even the lives of their patients or customers in their hands. Pharmacists must use their doctoral education competently, with skill, diligence, and dedication, if they and those whom they serve are to prosper from their practice. Pharmacy practice can indeed be a rewarding position and career, personally, professionally, and financially. You had compelling reasons for pursuing pharmacy practice, like helping people get well, the great and constant demand for pharmacists, job mobility and security, and the satisfaction of a healthcare career. Keeping those reasons in mind when facing a DWI charge can motivate you to take the right actions. Retain premier DWI Specialist attorney Doug Murphy to preserve and protect your pharmacy practice and career against DWI charges. Get the special help you need as a pharmacy professional facing DWI charges.
Risks of a Texas DWI Charge to Pharmacy Practice
A DWI charge places a pharmacy position and career at risk. A DWI charge can interfere with pharmacy practice directly, especially if the charge results in a criminal conviction, incarceration, supervised release, loss of a driver's license, and other restrictions. Even a first Texas DWI conviction can result in up to 180 days in jail, while a second Texas DWI conviction can result in up to twelve months in jail, two years of supervised release, and two years without a driver's license. Texas felony DWI charges for crimes like intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, DWI with a child passenger, and a third or subsequent offense, can result in much longer periods of incarceration, larger fines, and greater restrictions. These penalties could result in your practical inability to make it to work to maintain your pharmacy practice. Even if you avoid incarceration and other crippling restrictions, your DWI conviction could contribute to your employer's decision not to retain you or not to advance you into positions you seek and otherwise deserve. A DWI charge, though, is not a conviction. Retain leading Texas DWI Specialist attorney Murphy for the best outcome to your DWI charges. Beating the DWI charge can go a long way toward preserving and protecting your rewarding pharmacy practice.
Risks of a Texas DWI Charge to a Pharmacy License
But the pharmacist who faces a Texas DWI charge should also beware of the potential effects of the charge on the pharmacist's professional license. A DWI charge can have more than just direct effects on your freedom. A DWI charge can also lead to pharmacy license discipline affecting your ability to practice. Licensed professionals of all kinds, but especially those within the healthcare professions, could lose their professional license relating to a DWI charge. Licensing disciplinary officials know that the unfitness of a healthcare professional can threaten the health and lives of patients. Those disciplinary officials will investigate DWI charges for indications of unfitness, including substance abuse, addictions, and recklessness relating to the health and safety of others. License discipline could result in loss of pharmacist employment. Indeed, DWI charges alone could impact your employment if not properly handled. As a licensed practicing pharmacist, you need not only a successful defense of DWI charges but also skilled and experienced DWI Specialist administrative representation protecting your pharmacy license. Retain DWI Specialist attorney Murphy for your coordinated dual defense of both DWI criminal court charges and pharmacy license disciplinary proceedings.
Collateral Consequences for Pharmacists Facing DWI Charges
The pharmacist facing a DWI charge has even more at stake than the potential criminal penalties and potential pharmacy license discipline. Pharmacists, like the rest of us, have other personal interests that DWI charges can impact. Loss or restriction of driving privileges can have its own crippling impact. Texas DWI laws generally permit the DWI defendant to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing to preserve at least some driving privileges. But you must generally invoke the ALR hearing, or you'll lose those privileges. And you must make a sound showing at the ALR hearing of why you should not lose your driver's license, best done with a skilled DWI Specialist's help. Other potential collateral consequences of a pharmacist's DWI conviction can include a loss or restriction of child custody, loss of firearms licenses or security clearances, and restrictions on travel privileges. Retain DWI Specialist attorney Murphy for the skilled and experienced representation you need to avoid as many of these consequences as possible.
Licensure Qualifications for Texas Pharmacists
Depending on its circumstances and outcome, a Texas DWI charge could disqualify a pharmacist for professional licensure. Texas Occupations Code Section 558.001 requires all individuals practicing pharmacy in the state to hold a valid license. Pharmacists licensed in Texas are generally familiar with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy licensure requirements. Those pharmacy licensure requirements include fingerprinting for checks of state and national criminal history databases. Texas Occupations Code Section 559.003 requires licensed pharmacists to renew their licenses annually, a process that updates the pharmacist's initial application, including criminal history information. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy concerns itself with criminal history because of the potential unfitness for pharmacy practice that serious crimes could indicate. Licensing ensures not only the competence of Texas pharmacists, having earned the doctoral degree and passed the licensing exams, but also the fitness of Texas pharmacists. Fitness has to do with the pharmacist's mental and physical capability, character, and disposition, to perform safely and competently. DWI charges implicate these qualifications when indicating recklessness toward the safety of others, repeated and flagrant disregard of the law, or addictions or other conditions affecting the applicant's capacity for safe and competent practice.
License Discipline for Texas Pharmacists Facing DWI Charges
DWI charges don't just potentially disqualify a pharmacist from obtaining or renewing a license. DWI charges could also result in discipline against an active license. Texas Occupations Code Section 565.051 authorizes the State Board to suspend, revoke, or restrict a pharmacist's license, refuse to issue or renew a license, impose administrative penalties, reprimand the pharmacist, or place the pharmacist on probation as professional discipline. Under Texas Occupations Code Section 559.003, the State Board may discipline an applicant or license holder on any of these grounds potentially relating to a DWI charge, depending on its circumstances:
- violating the pharmacy code or a board rule;
- engaging in unprofessional conduct as defined by board rule;
- engaging in gross immorality as defined by board rule;
- developing an incapacity that prevents or could prevent the applicant or license holder from practicing pharmacy with reasonable skill, competence, and safety to the public;
- being convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or under certain provisions of the Health and Safety Code or the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act;
- being convicted of a felony; or
- using alcohol or drugs in an intemperate manner that could endanger a patient's life.
When DWI Charges Result in Pharmacy License Discipline
You can see from the general nature of the above disciplinary grounds that not every DWI charge will necessarily result in pharmacy license discipline. A felony conviction, though, is disciplinary grounds. And DWI crimes like intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, DWI with a child passenger, and a third or subsequent offense are felony crimes. Your effective defense of DWI felony charges can thus be critical to your professional license disciplinary outcome. But Texas Administrative Code Rule 281.62 states other aggravating and mitigating factors that may, in the end, determine whether you face pharmacy license discipline for a misdemeanor or felony DWI charge. Retain DWI Specialist attorney Murphy to help you avoid or minimize aggravating factors while gathering and presenting evidence of mitigating factors.
Factors Aggravating a DWI Charge Against a Licensed Pharmacist
Texas Administrative Code Rule 281.62 names these aggravating factors meriting an increase in the severity of disciplinary sanctions imposed against a licensed pharmacist:
- "extent and gravity of personal, economic, or public damage or harm," such as whether the DWI incident caused personal injury or property damage;
- "vulnerability of the patients," such as whether the DWI circumstances suggest the potential for pharmacy practice while intoxicated;
- "willful or reckless conduct … as opposed to negligent conduct," such as whether the DWI circumstances reflect a flagrant disregard for safety;
- "pattern of misconduct that serves as a basis of discipline," such as whether the DWI is a second, third, or subsequent offense;
- "prior disciplinary actions," whether or not related to a prior DWI;
- "attempted concealment of the conduct which serves as a basis for disciplinary action," such as a failure to disclose on license renewal; or
- "violation of a board order," such as the failure or refusal to comply with evaluation, counseling, or other terms of license probation.
Factors Mitigating a DWI Charge Against a Licensed Professional
Texas Administrative Code Rule 281.62 names these mitigating factors meriting a reduction or decrease in the severity of disciplinary sanctions imposed against a licensed pharmacist:
- "isolated incident that serves as a basis for disciplinary action," such as when the pharmacist DWI defendant was not a habitual drinker;
- "remorse for conduct," such as when the pharmacist DWI defendant acknowledges the alleged conduct's seriousness;
- "interim implementation of remedial measures to correct or mitigate harm from the conduct," such as when the pharmacist DWI defendant voluntarily seeks evaluation, counseling, or other education before any discipline;
- "remoteness of misconduct, when not based on delay attributable to actions by the respondent," such as when the DWI incident bore no relationship to pharmacy practice whatsoever;
- "extent to which respondent cooperated with board investigation," such as when the pharmacist DWI defendant makes full and complete disclosures;
- treatment or monitoring of an impairment," such as when the pharmacist DWI defendant has professional assistance with any related health condition; and
- "self-reported and voluntary admissions of the conduct which serves as a basis for disciplinary action," such as when the DWI defendant notifies disciplinary authorities before license renewal requires disclosure.
Professional Disciplinary Proceedings Against Pharmacists
The Texas Occupations Code not only authorizes discipline against a pharmacist's license, potentially relating to DWI charges. The Code also authorizes the procedures for license discipline. Under that legislative authority, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy adopted Texas Administrative Code Rules 281.20-35. Those rules provide for a complaint procedure and informal resolution of appropriate cases. Contested cases go before the State Office of Administrative Hearings, where the State Board of Pharmacy bears the burden of proving the disciplinary charges. The responding pharmacist, though, bears the burden of proving mitigating factors. Each side has the power of subpoena to compel witnesses to attend the contested hearing. Texas Occupations Code Section 565.052 also authorizes disciplinary officials to require the pharmacist to submit to a mental or physical examination by a physician the State Board of Pharmacy chooses, for evidence of incapacitation, addiction, or other issues affecting pharmacy practice. Don't attempt to navigate an administrative licensing procedure on your own. Instead, for your best outcome of a pharmacy license proceeding, retain premier DWI Specialist attorney Murphy to represent you. Attorney Murphy has successfully represented many professionals in disciplinary proceedings relating to DWI charges.
Defending DWI Charges Against a Licensed Pharmacist
A licensed pharmacist benefits from skilled DWI Specialist representation to avoid a crippling license disciplinary proceeding. But for the best outcome to that license proceeding, the pharmacist also needs skilled and experienced DWI Specialist representation in the criminal court case. DWI procedures may give your DWI Specialist multiple good opportunities to help you defend and defeat DWI charges. Prosecutors must, for instance, prove every element of the DWI charge beyond a reasonable doubt when skilled representation may help you effectively challenge blood alcohol test results. Arresting officer must also have reasonable suspicion to make a DWI stop and probable cause for a vehicle search or breath or blood test. Your DWI Specialist's motion to suppress may bar the incriminating evidence. Don't assume the worst. Instead, retain the best available DWI Specialist for the best outcome of both your criminal case and license proceeding.
DWI Specialist Available for Pharmacist Defense
Premier DWI Specialist attorney Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas attorneys holding both DWI Board Certification and Criminal Law Certification. Houston area lawyers voted attorney Murphy the Best Lawyers in America 2021 and 2023 Houston Lawyer of the Year for DWI Defense, published in U.S. News & World Report. Retain the best available DWI Specialist defense attorney for your best results. Call (713) 229-8333 or go online now.