There is a lot on the line when you are up against criminal charges. You could face imprisonment, fines, probation, and loss of civil liberties, among other penalties. The stakes are even higher when you work in certain fields as you might lose your professional license after arrest.
If you have recently been accused of a crime, contact the St. Petersburg criminal lawyers at Goldman Wetzel. We provide astute counsel and aggressive representation to defendants from all walks of life in Florida, including professionals and first-time offenders. We know how much your professional reputation matters and will keep your career in mind when handling your case. Give us a call today for a free consultation: 727-828-3900.
What Types of Professional Licenses Do Criminal Charges Affect?
The state of Florida requires workers in various industries to hold a professional license. Some of the types of professionals whose license will be in jeopardy if involved in criminal activity include:
- Childcare industry workers, e.g., daycare director;
- Medical professionals, e.g., doctors, nurses, hospice workers;
- Transportation workers, e.g., truck drivers;
- Public accountants;
- Insurance agents and adjusters;
- Law enforcement officers;
- Teachers and other certified educators;
- Real estate brokers;
- Stockbrokers; and
- Military members.
How Will Criminal Charges Impact My Professional License?
The manner in which criminal allegations could affect professional licensure depends on the industry. For certain fields, your license will not be in jeopardy unless you are convicted, whereas with other fields, the governing body might revoke your license for a mere arrest.
For example, the Florida Department of Financial Services (FDFS) explains its rule for insurance industry license applicants: “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.” For the FDFS and many other industries, felony-related licensure and employment bars are abiding and unchangeable.
If your field of employment involves certain protected classes such as children, elderly persons, or people living with disabilities, you must submit to pre-employment screening, per Florida Statutes Chapter 435.
Some industries require a Level 1 background search (statewide criminal check of your name, a check of the National Sex Offender Public Registry, and local criminal records checks); others might require a more extensive Level 2 background search (fingerprinting for statewide criminal history records checks, national criminal history records checks through the FBI, and local criminal records checks).
“You will be disqualified from employment if you have ever been found guilty or pled no contest to one of the 51 types of offenses listed by the state,” explains Florida’s Children First.
What Types of Offenses Disqualify Me from Professional Licensure?
The type of offenses that could affect your professional license depends on the industry. For example, a DUI would impact a truck driver, embezzlement would impact an insurance agent, and Medicare fraud or sale of a controlled substance would impact a physician.
For those who work for agencies such as Department of Health, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Elderly Affairs, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and other related industries involving children, elderly, and disabled persons, any of the 51 offenses listed in Chapter 435 could disqualify you from licensing and employment. Some of these include:
- Elder abuse;
- Murder or manslaughter;
- Vehicular homicide;
- Felony battery;
- Sexual battery;
- Burglary or arson;
- Certain lewd and lascivious offenses;
- Offenses related to the escape, harboring, or aiding of a prisoner; or
- Exhibiting firearms within 1,000 feet of a school.
Each profession is different. If you have questions about your charges and their impact on your career, call Goldman Wetzel and request a consult with our defense attorneys.
How Can Goldman Wetzel Help Protect My Professional License?
Our attorneys understand both the direct and indirect consequences of criminal charges, and we take a full-service approach to criminal defense. We can handle all aspects of your case, from fighting the charges and pushing for a dismissal, plea bargain, or acquittal, to helping you plead your case with the appropriate licensing board. Our team of attorneys works together on each case we accept, providing the effective and staunch representation you need when facing charges.
We can discuss your legal options, the consequences of each, and the most advantageous way to move forward. We can also assist with the expungement and sealing of records for applicable offenses, which can help with professional licenses in certain fields.
In addition to receiving all-in-one legal representation for professionals, you will also always have two separate attorneys brainstorming the best way to handle your criminal or administrative proceeding. When you entrust your case to Goldman Wetzel, our goal will be to safeguard your rights, protect your best interests, and fight for the best possible outcome based on the circumstances you face.
Accused of a Crime in Florida? Let Goldman Wetzel Fight for You.
Our criminal defense attorneys have over 30 combined years of experience in both prosecution and defense. Having represented clients in both state and federal court, we have honed the skills and developed the resources to help clients facing even the most damaging criminal charges.
Our attorneys know how valuable your future and assets are, and we understand the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, like the loss of your valuable professional license. If you have been accused of or indicted for a crime, contact our office today to see if we can be of service to you: 727-828-3900.