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Len, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 444
Experience:  15 years practice in criminal and employment law.
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Is DUI considered a criminal offense?

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is a DUI considered a criminal offense, specifically for applying to become an educational teacher?

Already Tried:
DUI is pending and I hope to get accepted into an ARD program, which I believe results in all matters being expunged after a successful 6-month probation period. I'm not sure if this is possible since my alcohol level was about 0.15 or 0.16. I am hoping to apply to become a Teacher and the application for certification requires that I answer that: "I have not been convicted of a criminal offense nor do I have any criminal charges pending."

Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

1. When were you convicted of the DUI?

2. Any other convictions?

3. Have you actually been turned down due to the DUI?

4. What state are you in?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

1. DUI occurred on late November. Trails is set for late December.
2. No other convictions.

3. I have not applied for the teacher certification program due to the question about "not been convicted of a criminal offense nor do I have any crimimal charges pending."

4. I am applying for teacher certification in the state of NJ and the DUI occured in PA (Philadelphia, PA).

OK. Well, yes, a DUI is a criminal offense.

You will need to discuss with your attorney whether something short of a straight conviction is possible. That is going to be difficult as DUI restrictions have become tighter every year, but it might be possible. Of course, the best option here would be to have the charges dismissed due to problems in the arrest and procedures followed by the police.

For now, don't file the application, even if it means missing a semester of teaching. The certifying authority, school district, will run your criminal history, and it will show up as a pending case with an arrest.

I'm going to do some research on whether the DUI is an "offense" contemplated by the NJ school authorities. It might take a while.

Len and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

That was like pulling teeth, but I finally found the magic statute. It can be found at N.J.S.A. 18A: 6-7.1, and here is a link:

DUI is not listed as automatically disqualifying you. However, notice that there are a couple of other statutes referenced. You would need to also check those.

Finally, as noted above, don't go through this without an attorney's assistance. You would want a lawyer that specializes in employment law with experience in the education code.

For now, wait until you can speak with a local attorney and fight the DUI charge.

I hope this has helped. Take Care.

Len and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you