Real estate brokers are real estate agents who have completed additional training and licensing requirements. Brokers are able to work independently and hire other agents to work for them, whereas real estate agents must work for a sponsoring broker or brokerage firm. Real estate brokers work extremely hard to achieve their broker status, but if they are to be arrested for driving under the influence, could that single charge cause them to lose their license to work?
What Happens to a Real Estate Broker’s License If They Are Arrested for a DUI in Florida?
In Florida, real estate broker licenses are governed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Upon applying for your license with the DBPR, you will be required to submit to a criminal background check. Once you are fully licensed, any convictions that appear on your record must be reported to the DBPR within a specific time period.
Although a mere arrest likely would not result in a real estate broker losing their license, a conviction could lead to a suspension or revocation imposed by the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). How the FREC will handle your case will depend on the nature of your conviction and the circumstances surrounding your case. Note as well that it does not matter if the crime was related to your profession.
What Penalties Could a Real Estate Broker Face from the FREC After a DUI Arrest?
Generally, a first or second driving under the influence (DUI) violation is prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense in Florida as long as there are no “aggravating factors” such as the bodily injury or the fatality of another person.
Florida Statute 475.25 allows the FREC to discipline real estate brokers convicted of any crime, regardless of whether it is a felony or misdemeanor. The FREC may punish real estate brokers convicted of a DUI in Florida through various options, such as:
- Suspending their real estate broker’s license for up to 10 years
- Revoking their real estate broker’s license
- Charing administrative fines of up to $5,000 per offense
The FREC can suspend a real estate broker’s license for 30 days or more and charge fines of $250-$1,000 per offense for first-time offenders. Second and subsequent offenses can risk fines of up to $5,000 and revocation of their license.
Protect Your Florida Real Estate Broker License with a West Palm Beach DUI Attorney
If you are a real estate broker that has been arrested for driving under the influence, do not try to fight your case without professional legal guidance. When your livelihood is on the line, experienced criminal defense attorney Brian Gabriel could be the difference between having to disclose your DUI with the board or not.
Contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel today for a free consultation of your case and to discover how attorney Brian Gabriel may be able to defend your rights and keep you working. Call (561) 622-5575 for a free consultation or complete a contact form for more information.