Education professionals are human and capable of making mistakes. Their influential positions, however, put them at a higher level of scrutiny. In the state of Georgia, there are very specific stipulations for incoming and incumbent faculty. If you’ve been charged with DUI, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is hire a lawyer for DUI defense in Athens.
Georgia DOE Policy and Procedure
The Georgia Department of Education has created a list of specific points in their background and fingerprinting policy to specifically address any prior crime-related activity, as well as current investigations.
In the personnel files of every educational employee in the state of Georgia, there must be a background check and a fingerprint report conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
When becoming an applicant for a job with a state school in Georgia, it is the responsibility of the applicant to disclose the following information:
- Any and all arrests
- Any and all charges brought against them
- Any convictions for any crime committed with the exception of minor traffic crimes where there was a fine of $35.00 or less
All of these include the following offenses:
- DUI, DWI, Public Intoxication
- Drug-related charges
- Pleas for a first offense
- Pleas of not guilty
- Anything that may have been expunged
These may seem like harsh stipulations to place on an applicant for a job. Being a teacher isn’t just any job though, teachers are responsible for hundreds and even thousands of kids each year.
If there is a criminal charge on the record of a teacher that could potentially lead to them making a mistake with a child present, it isn’t just the teacher who would be sued, it would be the school too.
Previous Criminal Charges
All employees incoming and present have to sign a form disclosing all of the possible derogatory items on their criminal background check that states they have disclosed them to the best of their knowledge. Means of immediate candidacy dismissal are:
- Any felony conviction
- Simple battery, minor victim
- Sexual offenses
- Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
- The criminal attempt of any of the above crimes
Current Criminal Charges
If a candidate applies and they have current criminal charges pending or investigation ongoing, they will not be hired by the Georgia Department of Education.
Any current employee of a state school must submit in writing a report of current pending criminal charges to the human resources department of the Georgia Department of Education. Another report must be submitted at the disposition of the charge has been made.
Failure to comply with the reporting of a pending or current criminal charge can result in disciplinary action up to termination. Hiding the fact that there is a criminal charge that exists or pending can be immediate grounds for termination as well.
If the charges consist of the ones previously specified, the employee will be immediately terminated.
When you’re dealing with DUI defense in Athens, make sure that you are reporting it to the Georgia Department of Education following the rules outlined below. Make sure that your Athens DUI lawyer is aware that felony charges could result in your termination.
Procedure for State School Employees to Report Criminal Charges
- By the end of the next business day following the arrest, the school employee must fill out Section I of the “State School Employee Report of Criminal Charges” and return it to their personnel technician.
- The school the employee is employed by will keep the original form and will fax a copy to the Georgia Department of Education human resources department.
- It is the job of the personnel technician to track the employee’s court date.
- After the final disposition of the charges in question, the employee must meet with their personnel technician and fill out Section II of the “State School Employee Report of Criminal Charges”.
- The original document, completed, must be sent to the Georgia Department of Education human resources department by the state school or personnel technician.
- The “State School Employee Report of Criminal Charges” will then become a permanent part of the employee’s personnel file.
Going through an investigation by an employer can be intimidating, especially if you work for the state. The last thing you want is for the parents of the children you teach to find out that you made a mistake like a DUI.
If you find that you are facing charges for a DUI, a law firm that does DUI defense in Athens, Georgia can handle your case quickly and discretely so that you can do your due diligence and get back to teaching.
For help with DUI defense in Athens, Georgia, call our law firm right away.