DUI Consequences for Realtors
The California Bureau of Real Estate is responsible for the licensing and disciplining of Realtors in California .
Section 10186.2 of the Business and Professions Code was amended to require self-reporting to the Department of Real Estate (“DRE”) after January 1, 2012 for the following (including misdemeanor DUI):
(a)(1) A licensee shall report any of the following to the department:
- The bringing of an indictment or information charging a felony against the licensee.
- The conviction of the licensee, including any verdict of guilty, or plea of guilty or no contest, of any felony or misdemeanor.
- Any disciplinary action taken by another licensing entity or authority of this state or of another state or an agency of the federal government.
(2) The report required by this subdivision shall be made in writing within 30 days of the date of the bringing of the indictment or the charging of a felony, the conviction, or the disciplinary action.
Failure to make a report required by this section shall constitute a cause for discipline.
Concurrently, the Department of Justice of the State of California maintains a database of fingerprints submitted through “Live Scans” and will notify regulating agencies of arrests on their licensees. You should expect that the DRE will be notified of your arrest within a week. The consequences vary from being placed on probation to termination or revocation of your professional license. Failing to disclose can exacerbate the problem and cause more serious and more recent disciplinary results.
NOTE: It is the failure to report that violates the law! The DRE has created Form RE-238 for use in reporting these matters, but use of the form is not mandatory and any form of written communication will satisfy the notification requirement.
Petropoulos v. Department of Real Estate (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 554, superseded by later amendments to B&P §§490 and 10177, held that B&P §490 did not independently authorize the DRE to suspend or revoke a license based on the conviction of a crime, and that only B&P §10177(b) did (which at the time required that a misdemeanor be one that involved moral turpitude).
Establishing that a misdemeanor conviction involved moral turpitude is no longer required. However, “[a] determination that a licensee’s conviction justifies discipline ‘requires a reasoned determination that the conduct was in fact substantially related to the licensee’s fitness to engage in the profession.’” Robbins v. Davi (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 118, 124, quoting Donaldson v. Department of Real Estate (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 948, 955. The DRE does not have “unfettered discretion,” (Id.) and must adhere to the following criteria established by it:
When considering whether a license should be denied, suspended or revoked on the basis of the conviction of a crime, . . . the crime . . . shall be deemed to be substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a licensee of the Department .
Cal. Code Regs, Title 10, §2910(a)(8).
For the DRE’s published criteria for rehabilitation, see Cal. Code Regs., Title 10, 2911.
A positive outcome for the Real Estate professional is obtainable and the reporting to the DRE of a single DUI will not likely preclude you from selling real estate. As soon as you report your alcohol-related event, a case will be activated and the review process begins. If the reporting is timely and there aren’t any conflicting reports and assuming there are no aggravating circumstances to the offense, your privileges will likely remain in tact. If this is not your first offense, further evaluation will follow and the DRE will put you under more intense scrutiny.
If you are a Realtor or Broker, or intend to seek licensure through the California Department of Real Estate, and you have a pending DUI or other misdemeanor and/or felony charge, you need a qualified attorney who not only specializes in DUI defense, but also has the necessary training, experience and qualifications to represent you before the California Department of Real Estate.
Your best chance to avoid license discipline by the California Department of Real Estate is to have the best qualified lawyer to represent you for your DUI case. At the Law Office of Barry T. Simons you can be assured of the strongest commitment to the defense of your DUI charge coupled with experienced representation before the DRE if necessary. Our goal is to avoid discipline by avoiding a conviction.
Call 949-497-1729 for a free confidential consultation
By Barry T. Simons: “It is my honor and privilege to fight for my clients; challenge unjust laws; protect our Constitution and to be a thorn on the side of injustice”.