I am a NY lawyer living in CA. If I get convicted of DUI in CA, will I be suspended from the practice of law in NY?

Asked over 1 year ago - New York, NY

On the road I registered a .11 BAC. At the precinct, I registered .10 BAC.

If I will not be suspended from the practice of law, would there be other effect on my NY license?

Additional information

No one was hurt. I was parked (waiting for my alcohol level to go down) when the police approached me.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Michael Steven Pollok

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    Answered . This is a difficult question that really no one can predict with total certainty at this point. However, if handled properly, you can maximize the chances that your license will be not be suspended.

    New York has a Lawyer's Assistance Program that encourages attorneys with drug, alcohol or mental illness issues to seek to have their disciplinary matters related to lapses due to a substance abuse problem or mental illness treated with mitigation.

    I handled this very issue recently (a NY attorney convicted of DWI in California and resulting disciplinary action in the First Department) and I would be willing to speak with you while obviously maintaining all confidences of my prior client. Alternatively, I suggest you start reading about what the NY LAP has to offer and how it works:

    http://www.nysba.org/Content/NavigationMenu/For...

    845-876-3024 ext2

  2. Lawrence A. Newman

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . Under NYS Education Law 6509 (5) (a) (1), any violation of law (anywhere) is professional misconduct. Any DWI or other misdemeanor would be considered a violation and therefore an instance of professional misconduct.

    For further reading under New York State Education
    ยง 6530 there are 48 Definitions of Professional Misconduct.

    http://www.health.state.ny.us/professionals/off...

    My colleague is correct, you must self report within 30 days as an attorney (not other professionals) or else that is a separate crime.

    You will likely face a review, and a hearing to determine the circumstances revolving around your life and your DWI conviction. You will likely need a drug/alcohol evaluation to determine a diagnosis, prognosis, and needs assessment.

    Of note is the burden of proof at NYS administrative hearings: The State's burden of proof to suspend, revoke, or censure a professional license is far less than the criminal standard of "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt." It is in fact less than the "Clear and Convincing" standard required to take someone's kids or declare someone mentally incompetent. It is called, "substantial evidence" which is something a little higher than the civil standard for money damges, "Preponderance of the Evidence" or the little more than 50%. An excellent and interesting New York case highlighting the burden administratively is Shuman v. New York State Racing and Wagering Board: http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/cases/racing/shu...

    Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D. Attorney at Law Doctor of Chiropractic Licensed in NY, PA, NJ, & FL... more
  3. Jeffrey Bruce Gold

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    Answered . It depends on what exactly you plead to or are convicted of. If no one is hurt and you plead to a misdemeanor, you might be suspended in NY, but then again you might not. It depends on which Department you are registered in, and what the rest of our career looks like. If you plead to a felony or are convicted of one, you'll be disbarred. I read the discipline decisions in the law journal, and I can't recall a suspension over a single misdemeanor dwi confiction.

    If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore,... more
  4. Marco Caviglia

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . I recall that under the NYS Judiciary Law, you face suspension or censure since not a "serious crime." However, you are required to self-report within 30 days of the conviction or face separate disciplinary charges on that basis. You should confirm this with your own review of the Judiciary Law and/or consult with a disciplinary attorney in NY.

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