If you are facing criminal charges, you are naturally concerned about the potential legal and financial consequences of a conviction. However, as a nurse, even a charge of certain offenses may lead to professional consequences as well.
The state requires that licensed nurses report any convictions that involve a felony offense, controlled substances or irresponsible use of alcohol or drugs to the Georgia Board of Nursing. If charged with such a crime, the board may suspend or revoke your professional license.
1. Felony offenses
Any felony offense may automatically be cause for license revocation, even if you avoid an actual conviction by pleading “no contest” to a first-time charge. Other than drug-related violations, felony crimes in Georgia may include theft, forgery, arson, aggravated assault or unintentional vehicular homicide that involves a serious traffic offense.
2. Driving under the influence
In Georgia, DUI offenses are not usually charged as felonies. However, a DUI conviction may indicate to the Board of Nursing that you have a substance abuse problem that could impact your ability to perform your professional duties with reasonable skill and safety.
3. Violating controlled substance laws
The Board also takes drug-related charges very seriously, including illicit use or distribution of prescription medications. A conviction for violating any state or federal laws concerning controlled substances may jeopardize your license. Even a misdemeanor charge for possessing a small amount of marijuana could lead to disciplinary action, and a felony conviction may result in mandatory license suspension or revocation.
When facing a criminal charge that could threaten your professional license, an attorney may be able to help by either reducing the charge or minimizing the impact of disciplinary actions taken by the Board of Nursing.