The Pennsylvania's Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 9124 controls how public and private entities use Pennsylvania criminal arrest and conviction records. CHRIA controls how potential employers and Pennsylvania's licensing boards may use prior criminal convictions in application and disciplinary matters. CHRIA also governs Pennsylvania's expungement process. CHRIA allows private lawsuits for illegal dissemination of expunged criminal histories. Two recent developments involving CHRIA are noteworthy.
A DUI arrest can be a big problem for a licensed professional in Pennsylvania. Not only can their arrest threaten certain rights and privileges that they enjoy under the laws of the state, but it can also threaten their capacity to retain their license to do their job. Defending a DUI charge can cost more than money: if it is not successfully done, it can cost a person their career.
A DUI can be a costly problem for any Philadelphia resident. A person facing such a charge may be forced to endure a long process of collecting evidence, preparing a defense, and fighting for their rights in court in order to overcome charges that threaten their driving privileges and even their freedom. A DUI conviction can change the way that a person approaches their everyday tasks, as it may be required of them to give up their ability to drive.
Newspaper trumpet the legalization marijuana in several states. Articles track implementation of medical marijuana production, products, and sales in states with existing medical marijuana laws. Everyone is investing in marijuana producers and distributors. On November 12, 2018 the Philadelphia Inquirer reports with fanfare there are 84,000 Pennsylvanians registered as medical marijuana patients. The article emphasizes medical marijuana is not treating the medical condition stated on the licensee's card. Rather it is used to control medical symptoms of the 21 different serious medical conditions. Importantly, medical marijuana is replacing opiates to control pain and other disruptive physiological manifestations that originate from a diagnosed medical condition. This is success.
It can take years of hard work for a Pennsylvania resident to complete their educational and professional requirements to become a licensed doctor. While their dream may be to serve others and to offer assistance to individuals suffering from medical ailments, the realities of their lives may put their chances of practicing medicine into jeopardy. This is often the case when a doctor is charged with drunk driving or another alcohol-related offense.
Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (A.R.I.D.E.) is the forefront of drunk driving enforcement in the age of legal and medical marijuana. State Troopers are trained to identify impaired drivers by substances other than alcohol. These officers receive training on Standard Field Sobriety ("FST") and other field tests, and eye tests involving the convergence, pupil size, and reaction to light as well as methods of determining ingestion of the substance and classification of drugs (illegal and legal) by the type of impairment.
Many professionals consume alcohol in a moderate and temperate manner. Reasonable, social alcohol consumption that results in a driving under the influence criminal charge is an unfortunate event. The criminal consequence and interactions with the justice system are necessary impediments to excessive drinking.
When a person makes the mistake of driving after they have been drinking, they sometimes get caught. Philadelphia law enforcement aggressively prosecute those who have received a DUI. But, for some who hold professional licenses, like pharmacists and other medical professionals, their career may be on the line.