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California Teachers & DUI – CTC Reporting Requirements
California teachers who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) often ask us about their reporting responsibilities to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). The short answer is that a teacher who is already certificated does not necessarily have to report a DUI conviction at the time it is entered on the record, but a bit of background is helpful.
First of all, when a person initially applies for a California teaching credential, he or she will be fingerprinted and a criminal history will be reviewed. A question on the application form will inquire if you have ever been convicted of a crime (misdemeanor or felony). It is usually question 3(b). You must answer this question truthfully.
In addition, if you are arrested or convicted at any time after the initial application is received by the CTC, the CTC will receive notification from the Department of Justice.
Furthermore, if you apply for renewal, or issuance of any additional certificate, you will again be asked to disclose prior convictions. You will be required to submit an explanation, a copy of the arrest report and certified copies of the court documents.
But if you are already a credentialed teacher and are not actively applying for a credential or position, there is no independent reporting requirement. In particular, the CTC website has information on “Educator Misconduct” -- activity that can lead to the suspension or revocation of a credential.
There are certain offenses that result in automatic denial, suspension or revocation of a license, but a single DUI unaccompanied by an accident, injury, death, property damage, hit and run, or a child in the vehicle is not considered to be an offense that triggers mandatory discipline. There may be a discretionary review, but action will not be taken against you automatically.
Our firm regularly represents individuals who have issues with their professional licenses, including teachers and school administrators. If you have a problem in this area, by all means, feel free to give us a call.