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  1. Hello, I'm writing a post that I was hoping I wouldn't have to write, but I am here seeking advice. I understand there are strong opinions about the topic, but I hope that those who choose to reply will do so because of a desire to help. I am currently a first year PA student, and about six months before starting my program I made a terrible decision and was subsequently charged with a DUI; it appears now that the charge will become a conviction (I hired a lawyer in the hopes of having the charge reduced, though I was completely willing to submit to the same punishments as a DUI if the DUI itself wasn't placed on my record). I had a break before PA school (after having been accepted -- and my school is aware of the situation) and made a really bad decision after a night out. I don't drink often, and this likely played a role. I understand how selfish and irresponsible my decision was, and I assure you, I am paying for my mistake. I am ashamed of my decision and take full responsibility for my actions, but want to be clear that this incident is not indicative of my character; it was my first (and last) run in with the law. The purpose of starting a thread here is to ask for advice about how this may potentially affect me later with licensing and sitting for the PANCE. As I mentioned, I am already in PA school and am performing well, so licensing is what worries me most since I don't want to slog through PA school just to find out I cannot get a license to practice in any state. I know that I can be a solid practitioner in future, but I worry about roadblocks due to this legal issue. From what little I can find on the topic, it appears others have had similar issues before and have come out okay, but I don't know what specific details came into play with each case. I am here simply asking for advice from those who have experience with this type of issue (preferably PA-Cs who have navigated state licensure before, even better if they have first hand experience with having a conviction on their record or how the boards that control licensing approach these issues, but anyone who wants to help is welcome to reply).
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