I agree that you should file your application now. However, you might still have problem whether you get your license before a DUI conviction, or whether you are convicted while you are still an applicant. However, the regulations of Dept of Real Estate do mention TWO convictions, as opposed to one. DRE Reg 2910(a) says:
(a) When considering whether a license should be denied, suspended or revoked on the basis of the conviction of a crime, or on the basis of an act described in Section 480(a)(2) or 480(a)(3) of the Code, the crime or act shall be deemed to be substantially related to the qualifications, functions orduties of a licensee of the Department within the meaning of Sections 480 and 490 of the Code if it involves:
(11) Two or more convictions involving the consumption or use of alcohol or drugs when at least one of the convictions involve driving and the use or consumption of alcohol or drugs.
The DRE applications are each processed individually and assessed individually. They do have a DRE reg which lays out the criteria for "rehabilitation" of an applicant or licensee who has a conviction. It is Reg 2911.
There are also ways of getting a restricted license for a while. You can find those regs at 10156.5.
You really need to discuss this with your attorney. The possible consequences to your future career could very well inform the strategy of how you defend your DUI charge.
The two should not be related. Especially without a conviction you should get your license application in now.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.
When the DRE does the DOJ check on your background, they will see either a pending DUI, a dismissal or a conviction. So they will know about the incident in any event. I agree with the other attorney that it "Should have nothing to do with it." Sadly, many professional licensing boards are not so sensible. The California State Bar for example LOVES to discipline lawyers for DUI's (No, NOT me.) even though it has nothing to do with their professional behavior or performance.
Even if you are convicted it will not necessarily defeat your application, but it will be considered. Unless you are pretty sure you are going to beat the charge, I agree that applying now before any conviction is probably best. Good luck.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and legal advice about DUIs.