What happens when you are being investigated for a crime and you are worried about how it could affect your job? Specifically, what happens when your job involves having a professional license? This could be either in the healthcare industry, as a nurse, doctor, dentist, pharmacist. If you’re in real estate, as an agent or a broker, or whether you work in finance as an accountant, or in academia as a professor, teacher, or even if you work for the local state, county, or city as a government employee. This also includes jobs in law enforcement or jobs in social services.
The question is, can a criminal record affect your job and your professional license? The answer is that it really depends on the type of arrest or allegations that are made against you. Whether they are considered serious or violent, or if they’re considered crimes of moral turpitude. Innocent people are often accused of things they do not do and sometimes people do bad things, but we don’t know the entire story. The facts in the police report, whether you are found guilty of the charges, whether they get dismissed, and if you are found guilty, what you were found guilty of along with the sentence and punishment for your crime, these are things that are all be considered when authorities determine if you can keep your professional license and have the ability to keep your livelihood.
Very often, when a person is investigated for a crime, assuming that there are facts to support that crime, a complaint is filed by the district attorney’s office. People then hire an attorney to either get the charges dismissed or negotiate a settlement for conviction of a less harsh crime that doesn’t affect your professional license and work situation.
What are some of the benefits of hiring an attorney? Most of the benefits include protection. Protection for your license being revoked, protection for your license being suspended and keeping your job while the case is in court, and when the case settles. This also involves having a trusted professional hold your hand throughout the process, so you’re not going into courts or the administrative hearings for your license blindly, and have a strategy to protect yourself, your liberty and your job.
It’s important to note that most criminal defense attorneys are not civil attorneys that help you protect your license. In real life practice, most people want an attorney that can handle everything for them, but while it may be convenient, the benefit of hiring two different attorneys, a criminal one to keep you out of jail and a separate civil one that helps you keep your work license, this is worthwhile, especially when it comes to preventing jail time or prison time and keeping your job. You don’t want a Jack of all trades when defending you in case in criminal court and in an administrative hearing for your professional license. Just as you go to a hospital to see different doctors who specialize in different things, you want an attorney who can handle your criminal case in court and a separate one who can handle your professional license matter and administrative hearings.
When I visit the hospital, as much as I’d like one doctor to handle all of my medical needs, I realize it’s best for me to see different doctors for different problems. A separate civil professional licensed attorney can help you identify a few things. Number one, whether you have a duty to report the criminal investigation while it’s happening. Number two, whether the crime you’re being investigated for could be reason to take away your license in the first place. And number three, whether or not it makes sense to request a hearing, to protect your livelihood. Number four, any deadlines you have to meet, and number five, whether you have an option to appeal any bad decisions in your case.
You’re doing the right thing by watching this video, because it means that you’re actually doing research on what you need to do to protect yourself. On the other hand, a Google search or a YouTube search does not replace a law degree or years of experience by a professional. Please contact our office to see how we can help. Thank you for listening.