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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116154
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I recently enrolled in real estate courses to finally be

Customer Question

I recently enrolled in real estate courses to finally be able to start the career I've always wanted as a real estate agent. However- I was talking with a friend last night who told me that I may not even be able to get my real estate license because of previous DUI! My first one was 8 years ago (2008) in which i had a .08 BAC and the circumstances were completely unfair (if I had been able to afford an attorney at that point, the case surely would've been dropped.) The second DUI was in 2014 in which I was sitting in my Parked car (not driving)! (BAC was 1.0)
I completed all court mandated requirements since then and have had my restricted license for over a year. I will be officially able to get my full license back at the end of this month. I also don't have a single other thing on my record. I've just had some extremely bad luck and want so badly to put it behind me- and get on a great career path! My question for the attorney would be- is this true about me not being able to get a real estate license of I've had DUI convictions? Do the circumstances behind what happened in those cases matter? Do I have to disclose them? My car insurance agent is a good friend of mine who knows about both DUi convictions- and he informed me that when he ran my background Check that only the 2014 DUI showed up- but not the one from 2008! So would It be ok to only disclose the more recent one?
I'm not sure if I'm asking the correct type of lawyer... Or if I should maybe just be asking a real estate agent instead of a lawyer? Please help me! Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Under Buisness and Professions Code 10177 , the Bureau of Real Estate can suspend or revoke a license holder’s license if they
“Entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendre or been found guilty or been convicted of a felony or a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a real estate licensee.”
The BRE can deny a license for a DUI because a DUI conviction can be found to be substantially related to the license holder’s duties/functions if it shows an underlying substance abuse problem, such as multiple DUI convictions(2 or more) within the last 10 years.
Unfortunately, you have to disclose ALL of the DUI convictions, because even though the 2008 conviction did not show up on a background check, since CA law says anything more than 7 years will not be disclosed on a background check, it would be able to be accessed by government entities such as the BRE. Thus, if you fail to disclose they will reject you for not being truthful in your application.
The circumstances behind your arrests are not really a consideration for the BRE if you were convicted on them (or plead guilty) when it comes to whether or not you have to disclose them. Just because you believe they were unfair does not allow you to arbitrarily not disclose them. You would need to disclose them to the BRE and you can write an explanation to the BRE to try to explain the circumstances and ask for them to consider them and issue the license, but you cannot fail to disclose both of them or that will guarantee your denial as BRE will be able to see your entire criminal record as a government entity.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok but my main question was when I disclose, even though I've already completed my courses at that point, do you think that having 2 convictions in 10 years will most likely mean that they will not issue me a license?
I am the last person that anyone who knows me would ever say has a substance abuse problem- i hardly ever even drink! I guess I just have extremely bad luck :(
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

It is a good chance that if you explain the circumstances to them to try to mitigate the two convictions they would at least consider your mitigating factors, but this is solely going to be up to the investigator who gets your application.

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