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Career Collateral Consequences

A conviction for driving while intoxicated obviously carries statutory penalties. However, for some there may be additional consequences from a DWI. Those whose career requires licensing by a professional licensing agency may face additional career-related punishments.

Depending on the outcome of the licensing evaluation, a professional may face disciplinary such action such as a license suspension or revocation. In some cases, a simple guilty plea can be enough to derail a person’s whole career, even if the plea was the best available option for their sentencing.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DWI and is a licensed professional, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Houston Attorney for Licensed Professionals in TX

The career-related consequences of a DWI may be more detrimental than the statutory penalties. You could lose your standing, face lowered pay, and have have your license suspended or even revoked. It’s important that you act now to save your career. Call Matthew Horak for a formidable defense to protect your occupation today. 

Matthew Horak aggressively defends clients accused of DWIs or other related crimes. He has attended numerous licensing board hearings to advocate for his clients. With Matthew Horak, you will have a legal partner to fight for your profession. Call today at (713) 225-8000 and receive a free consultation surrounding your DWI charges today.

Horak Law defends those facing disciplinary action from licensing agencies throughout the greater Harris County area and surrounding counties including Waller County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, and Fort Bend County.

Overview of DWI Career Consequences in Texas

Different Types of Licensed Professionals in Texas

The Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) serves as the primary state-licensing agency in Texas. TDLR oversees most industries, businesses, and most state-regulated occupations. All professionals licensed by the TDLR are susceptible to disciplinary action by the agency if he or she is convicted of a DWI. The following are the industries and occupations that are licensed by the TDLR. 

  • Real estate inspector;
  • Boxing promoter;
  • Water well driller;
  • Water well pump installer;
  • Barber;
  • Vehicle protection product warrantor;
  • Owners for vehicle storage facilities;
  • Talent agents;
  • Used auto parts recycler;
  • Auctioneer;
  • Staff leasing service provider;
  • Service contract provider;
  • Property tax consultant;
  • Property tax collectors and assessors;
  • Prepaid legal services provider;
  • Registered accessibility specialists;
  • Elevator inspectors;
  • Court interpreters;
  • Athletic trainers;
  • Air-conditioning or refrigeration contractor;
  • Pawnbrokers;
  • Electricians;
  • Underground storage tank installers;
  • Polygraph examiners;
  • Athletic agents;
  • Tow truck operators;
  • Used auto parts recycler;
  • Boiler inspector
  • Cosmologists;
  • Dyslexia therapists;
  • Driver safety educators;
  • Dietitians;
  • Licensed breeders;
  • Laser hair removal specialists;
  • Midwives;
  • Sanitarians;
  • Speech language pathologists;
  • Transportation network companies; 
  • Message therapists;
  • Mold Assessors;
  • For-Profit legal services;
  • Orthotists and Prosthetists; and
  • Podiatrists.

TDLR serves as an umbrella organization for the majority of employment licenses. However, other occupations are managed by their own professional boards. Most professional boards have their own conduct codes and handle disciplining professionals with DWIs or other criminal convictions internally. The following are a list of licensed careers that have their own boards and professional rules. 

  • Attorneys – Board of Law Examiners
  • Registered Nurses (RNs) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) – Texas Board of Nursing
  • Police officers and law enforcement – Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
  • Public Accountants – Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
  • Professional Counselors – Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors
  • Landscape Architects, Architects, and Interior Designers – Texas Board of Architectural Examiners
  • Child Care Administrators – Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services
  • Professional Engineers – Texas Board of Professional Engineers
  • Teachers – State Board of Educator Certification
  • Pharmacists – Texas State Board of Pharmacy
  • Doctors – Texas State Board of Medical Examiners
  • Occupational Therapists – Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners
  • Insurance Agents and Adjusters – Texas Department of Justice
  • Court Reporters or Stenographers – Court Reporters Certification Board
  • Chiropractors – Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners
  • Land Surveyors – Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying
  • Public Health Safety Careers – Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Investment Advisors or Security Dealers – State Securities Board
  • Deaf Interpreters – National Registry of Interprets for the Deaf (RID) or the Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI)
  • Firefighters – Texas Commission of Fire Protection
  • Hospice Nurse Aids or Administrators – Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
  • Security guards or private investigators – Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Aqua-culturists and Pesticide Applicators – Texas Department of Agriculture
  • Funeral directors or morticians – Texas Funeral Service Commission
  • Dentists or Dental Hygienists – Texas Board of Dental Examiners
  • Psychologists – Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists
  • Social Workers – Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners
  • Plumbers – Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
  • Veterinarians – Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Career Consequences for a DWI

Texas law outlines the consequences of a criminal conviction to a person licensed by TDLR. Texas Occupational Code § 53.002 sets forth the grounds for a licensing agency to disqualify, suspend, revoke, or even deny a person who’s wishing to take a licensing exam.

According to Texas law, a licensing authority has the discretion to revoke, suspend, or disqualify a person from taking a TDLR licensing exam if their DWI conviction reflects any of the following:  

  • It directly relates to the occupation’s duties and purpose; or
  • It didn’t relate the profession’s duties or purpose but was committed less than five years before the date the alleged offender applied for a license.

Each career handles criminal convictions differently. However, most model off the rules from Chapter 53 of Texas Occupational Code. Professional boards can suspend, revoke, or disqualify an applicant according to their codes and internal regulations.   

The following are some possible outcomes from a DWI conviction for professions that aren’t licensed by the TDLR.

  • Fines;
  • License suspension;
  • License revocation;
  • Disqualification from a licensing exam;
  • Additional education courses;
  • Board hearings; and
  • Administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing. 

Possible DWI Conviction Consequences for Non-Licensed Jobs

The majority of professions aren’t licensed. However, this doesn’t mean you are off the hook if you’re convicted for a DWI. Texas is considered at “employment-at-will” state. Unless there is a written agreement that addresses termination, an employer can terminate an employee whenever they deem appropriate.

There are some limitations to Texas’s at-will employment doctrine. An employer cannot terminate an employee based on some sort of discriminatory bias such as race or gender. On the other hand, when it comes to criminal convictions Texas considers that enough grounds for termination.

At-will employers can do a variety of things if you’ve been convicted of a DWI. The following are some possible career consequences for those with a DWI on their record.

  • Suspension;
  • Denial of a promotion;
  • Denial of a pay rise;
  • Less pay;
  • Change of position; or
  • Termination

Additional Resources

Texas Occupational Laws -Visit the official website for Texas state laws regarding jobs that require professional licenses. Find more information about the TDLR, penalties for those who are criminally convicted, guidelines for licensing hearings, and more. 

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation – Visit the official website for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Find more information about which licenses fall under TDLR, how they are regulated, court-ordered programs, how to file a complaint and more.  

DWI Lawyer for Job Consequences in Harris County

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a DWI, it’s crucial that you start taking steps for your defense now. Licensed professionals may be held responsible by a professional board and at-will employees face the risk of termination or suspension. Contact Matthew Horak to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney today.

Attorney Matthew Horak has handled many DWI cases in Texas criminal courts for years. He understands the possible consequences for licensed professionals or other careers. Using his knowledge and resources, Matthew Horak wants to help you retain your financial stability.

Call us today at (713) 225-8000 to set up a free consultation. Horak Law practices law throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area including West University Place, Missouri City, Humble, and Bellaire.

This article was last updated on November 27, 2018.


  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization | Criminal Law
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Laywers
  • Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association
  • Matt Horak has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer Legion