Teachers, Realtors, nurses, doctors, pilots and lawyers are just some of the many professionals who are required to have a license in order to practice their craft. But when a licensed professional is faced with a crime, they face more than just fines or incarceration, they may also lose the credentials they worked so hard to obtain and be forced to find a new line of work. This is why it is so important for those in these specialized fields to always seek a skilled lawyer when attempting to fight criminal charges.
Criminal Charges That Result in Professional License Revocations
While serious criminal charges such as rape, murder or child molestation may cost most professionals their licenses, in most cases, license revocations and suspensions are only likely to affect a professional if it is seen as something substantially relevant to the person’s profession. This means the specific charges that can cost someone their professional license will vary based on the person in question’s occupation.
For example, financial crimes are far more likely to affect an accountant’s professional standing than a drug conviction. On the other hand, drug charges, whether related to possession or sales, could dramatically impact the license of a nurse or pharmacist.
On the other hand, teachers can lose their license for a wide variety of offenses if the conviction indicates the teacher is unfit to teach. For example, a DUI conviction could be seen to show the teacher could be a negative influence on his students, especially if the case became public, this could be enough to result in his losing his teaching credentials.
It’s worth adding that even if an issue will not actually affect your professional standing, many credentialing organizations require members report any arrest whether or not it in results in a conviction.
Plea Bargains and Professional Licenses
One of the most important things for licensed professionals who are facing criminal charges is to recognize is how important a good plea bargain can be. For many licenses and offenses, the difference between a misdemeanor and felony charge can make all the difference in the ability of a professional to keep her license.
For many professions, such as lawyers, misdemeanor conviction for a crime of “moral turpitude” can result in a license revocation. But again, a carefully designed plea bargain could eliminate the risk of this consequence. For example, while aggravated assault is considered a crime of moral turpitude in California, standard assault is not.
The bottom line is that if you have a professional license and are charged with a crime, it is critical you speak with a top defense attorney in your area. Peter M. Liss can help, please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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