Whether you are a nurse, a child care provider, a teacher, or another licensed professional, being convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in California can have a serious impact on your career. It can even cause you to lose your license and prevent you from practicing your profession.
Below you’ll learn more about how a conviction can affect your license so you can seek legal assistance if you need it.
Understanding Substantially Related Convictions
In order for a conviction to result in disciplinary action from a licensing board, it must be deemed “substantially related” to your profession. While this may sound relieving, most convictions are considered relevant because they indicate your ability to make sound judgments, act in a trustworthy manner, and maintain competency.
On the upside, licensing agencies differ in how they define “substantial,” so on rare occasions a conviction won’t be considered relevant.
What Happens if You Have a Conviction
For most agencies, including the Board of Registered Nursing, the Medical Board of California, the Department of Real Estate, the Department of Insurance, and others, having a conviction can affect you in many ways.
First, you must report the conviction to your licensing agency within a specified timeframe decided by your agency. Sometimes you will have to disclose your conviction when you apply for or renew a license. A good rule of thumb when reporting a conviction is to never disclose information that hasn’t been specifically requested.
Second, if you apply for a license, it may be denied. You will have a short timeframe in which you can appeal this decision.
Third, your licensing board may decide to conduct an investigation into the circumstances of your conviction. After the investigation, disciplinary action may be taken against your current license. The board may also file an Accusation against you. It is imperative that you respond promptly if this happens to you.
In any of these cases, especially because they are time-sensitive, it’s a good idea to work with a knowledgeable licensing attorney. An attorney can help protect your rights as well as your license and ensure that you meet all important deadlines.
If Your Conviction Has Been Expunged
If your conviction is expunged or dismissed, this is good news but unfortunately your license is still vulnerable. Even if a conviction has been expunged, a licensing agency can still take disciplinary action against you or deny your license. Working with a lawyer can be extremely helpful in this situation, as expungement can be used as a powerful element of your defense. Always choose someone who has experience working with people in licensed professions.
Hopefully this post has given you a clearer sense of how a conviction can put your license in jeopardy and what you should do if you find yourself in this situation. Working with an experienced professional license lawyer is the best way to defend your license against these issues.
If you are in need of a lawyer, contact California license defense attorney Scott J Harris. Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation or call us at 323-794-0701 or at 877-865-6218.