Can a Conviction Affect My Professional License?
There are a number of professions that not only require years of schooling, but that require licenses. If someone wanted to become a notary, a real estate agent, a doctor, lawyer, chiropractor, accountant, veterinarian, and so on, he or she would have to become licensed first before they could legally practice their profession.
Those who hold professional licenses are at serious risk of disciplinary action on their license if they are convicted of a Florida crime. For example, DUI and drug convictions are very serious to defendants who are teachers or work in healthcare.
On the other hand, any kind of felony conviction, theft or fraud-related crime could be disastrous to someone who works in insurance or the field of accounting – and for reasons we can understand.
What Could Happen to a License?
I do not have a one size fits all answer to this question because not all criminal offenses lead to denials or disciplinary action, and the ramifications of a conviction can depend on the person’s occupation and whether the offense can be associated with the person’s job.
For example, if a doctor is charged with prescription fraud or healthcare fraud, he or she would most likely be subject to a license revocation. On the other hand, if an accountant is found guilty of federal bankruptcy fraud or a felony for credit card fraud, he or she could lose their professional license because the crime was financially-motivated. Here’s a classic example of what I mean:
According to the Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services, the government agency that regulates insurance agents, “Persons who have committed certain felonies are permanently barred from licensure. Other felonies and certain misdemeanors require the applicant to wait for a disqualifying period to lapse prior to applying for licensure.”
The disqualification period for a misdemeanor directly related to the financial services business is 7 years, whereas felonies involving moral turpitude require a 15-year disqualification period.
If you’re facing disciplinary action on your professional license because of a criminal charge, I urge you to contact my West Palm Beach criminal defense firm to fight your charges and protect your career.
Related: Effects of a Criminal Record