Unfortunately, criminal arrests not only lead to criminal records, legal consequences and other personal hardships, but they can also affect one’s ability to work. Criminal arrests and convictions can greatly affect the status of a professional license. The state has the authority to report criminal conduct to licensing boards and the licensee may be required to report any arrests, convictions, or DUI charges to the licensing board on their own. Licensees that are arrested or convicted can not only risk losing their license but can also risk their license by simply not reporting it to the licensing board.
Who Can Be Affected?
Criminal charges can affect a professional license is nearly every single profession that requires a professional license. Professional license holders are held to a high standard because obtaining a license means that the licensing board felt that the licensee achieved or possesses the knowledge, skill, professionalism, and ethics to be responsible for working in a particular profession. Having unprofessional or unethical workers in fields that require a professional license is grounds for license revocation, and criminal charges may be enough to show that a person cannot be professional or ethical. Some of the professions that are most likely to be affected by criminal charges include:
Surgeons, chiropractors, podiatrists, therapists, nurses, paramedics, acupuncturists.
Embalmers and funeral directors.
Barbers, hairdressers, cosmeticians.
Teachers and daycare workers.
In addition to these professions, there are certain businesses that can lose their licenses if an individual that is connected to the business is convicted of a felony. This includes:
Sales finance companies.
Small loan lenders.
Check cashing businesses.
Money transmission businesses.
Debt adjusters and negotiators.
Consumer collection agencies.
Any professional that is licensed with the State Board of Education is at risk to lose his or her license for certain convictions. These convictions include:
Any Class A felony.
Any Class B felony excluding larceny, computer crimes, or vendor fraud.
Risk of injury to a minor.
Deprivation of human rights
Assault to the elderly or disabled.
Enticing a minor.
Crimes involving child pornography or enticing a minor or abuse or neglect.
Possession of drugs or firearms on or off school grounds.
Facing License Issues
The general rule is that if the criminal conviction or charge is substantially related to the job duties of the profession that the licensee has a license in, it could be grounds for loss of license. In some cases, any felony conviction will result in loss of license. For professions that work with children, people with disabilities, and the elderly, violent criminal convictions are almost always grounds for losing a license. In professions that work with medications, DUIs and drug offenses are taken very seriously and likely to lead to loss of license.
A licensing board may have its own discretion to apply disciplinary action to licensees that have been convicted of a crime and this is not limited to loss of license. Other disciplinary action includes warnings, citations, fines, diversion programs, substance abuse treatment, education classes, submission to drug tests, supervision, restrictions, and probation.
A common misconception regarding criminal records and professional licenses is that those who get a pardon that erases one’s criminal conviction still must be disclosed to the licensing board. Erased criminal convictions are not required to be disclosed to employers nor can these charges be used against a person to deny them employment or discharge them. A pardoned criminal conviction does not need to be disclosed on an application, even if the application requires criminal history information because the arrest and conviction are essentially considered never to have happened legally.
Defending Your License
If you have questions or concerns regarding your criminal charge or arrest and your professional license or you are trying to obtain a professional license with a criminal history, contact our office to speak with an attorney who can answer any questions you have.