Most people know that a DUI conviction in Arizona carries some pretty severe penalties, but the consequences of a DUI conviction don’t necessarily end when the case is over and you've completed your sentence. A DUI can cause major problems with employment, including professional licensing. In this post, we’ll focus on real estate professionals and the effects of a DUI on your Arizona real estate license.
Real estate agents (salespeople) and brokers are licensed by the Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE). To get an Arizona real estate license, applicants have to get a valid standard fingerprint clearance card from the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). This, of course, requires a background check that will include a review of the applicant’s criminal history. Although a DUI conviction will appear on a background check as a criminal conviction, it doesn’t necessarily preclude an applicant from obtaining a clearance card.
Aside from the clearance card requirement, the ADRE requires applicants to report any prior felony or misdemeanor DUI convictions. So what if you're charged with DUI and you already have an Arizona real estate license?
Arizona Department of Real Estate Reporting Requirements For DUI
If you’re already a licensed sales agent or broker, the ADRE has some continuing reporting requirements. Fortunately, unlike health professionals, real estate professionals are not required to report being arrested or charged with a DUI. However, the ADRE does require that you report any DUI conviction in writing within 10 days. If you are renewing your license, you will have to report it anyway on the Disciplinary Actions Disclosure Form.
A DUI charge used to require that a driving restriction notification be placed on any fingerprint clearance card. This prohibited agents from driving clients. Recently, however, this law was changed to exclude most real estate professionals (other than those employed by certain government agencies) from this restriction.
Once you have disclosed a DUI conviction, the ADRE may require you to submit additional documents for its review. Disclosing a DUI conviction may not affect your Arizona real estate license. However, if you are convicted of a felony and are incarcerated, paroled, or under community supervision, the Arizona Department of Real Estate will not renew your license.
Driver's License Consequences For An Arizona Real Estate Salesperson
Even if you’re able to keep your real estate license after a DUI conviction, you will still face substantial but temporary obstacles to making a living as a real estate agent in Arizona. A DUI charge will usually result in a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license unless you successfully challenge the suspension through the MVD.
A conviction will not only also result in a suspension of your driver’s license, but will usually require you to equip your vehicle with an ignition interlock device for at least 6 months. Although some interlock companies have developed fairly discreet looking interlock devices, having to blow into such a device in the presence of a potential home buyer is certainly not conducive to a professional image.
The potential impact of a DUI on your Arizona real estate license is just another reason you need to take any DUI charge very seriously. It is important that anyone charged with DUI in Arizona do some research, get professional help, and do what they can to avoid or minimize the negative repercussions. This is especially true if your livelihood depends on professional licensing and your driver's license.
* This blog is published by Tucson DUI and criminal defense lawyer Nathan D. Leonardo. Nothing on this website is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided herein does not constitute legal advice, but is for general information purposes only. If you have a legal question, you can contact us online or call (520) 314-4125.