Most people who are facing serious criminal charges are worried about significant prison time or having to pay hefty fines. For crimes that are, on its surface, less serious (such as first-time DUI offenses), there are prevailing beliefs that the effects of a conviction will not deeply affect their daily lives except for the criminal penalties (such as probation or a temporary driver license suspension). For holders of a professional license in Florida, though, it is quite a different story.
In Florida, professional agencies are under the purview of the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). This entity is tasked with maintaining licenses of professionals in the state and generally oversees boards for professionals like CPAs, realtors, doctors, insurance agents, and other specialized career fields. If you have been arrested or found guilty of a crime, you may likely have to report the disposition of your case to the DBPR within a limited time frame.
Generally, professional licensees in Florida must notify their applicable board or the DBPR if they have been convicted of a crime or otherwise entered a plea of guilty or no contest within 30 days of the event. Even if your case ended with a withholding of adjudication, you must still notify (self-report) the appropriate professional agencies.
Whether or not your professional license will be affected (temporarily or permanently) will depend on the nature of the crime for which you were found guilty and the type of work you do.
In most cases, a failure to report the disposition of the case can also form a basis for discipline, separate from the underlying conviction.
Even if the DBPR or specific licensing agency denies, suspends or revokes a license for a criminal conviction, it is crucial to consult with an attorney who is familiar with the ins and outs of professional licensing in Florida. Don’t take the administrative agency’s word for it! Be sure to consult with experienced counsel before accepting the outcome. Your livelihood and future could be unnecessarily at stake!
Besides having an experienced defense attorney help you mount a premium defense against any criminal charges, your attorney can help lessen any consequences of a conviction on your professional life. Get in touch with Attorney Barry M. Wax to discuss your options today and see how we can protect your livelihood.