Professional Consequences of a Conviction
The prospect of going to jail and paying hefty fines worries most individuals facing criminal charges. For licensed professionals in many industries, those consequences are an afterthought compared to the potential long-term career effects of being arrested. For many professionals, a criminal conviction can result in a loss of license and end the careers to which they’ve dedicated their lives.
If you’re concerned about how your recent arrest may impact your career or professional license in Florida, you can turn to the experienced professional license defense lawyers with The Umansky Law Firm. Our administrative lawyers represent countless Florida professionals facing criminal charges, including medical professionals, commercial drivers, and more. It is essential that you seek legal assistance immediately to have the best chance of protecting your career, reputation, and freedom.
What Are the Professional Consequences of a Conviction in Florida?
The professional consequences of a conviction in Florida can spell the end of a chosen career that took years of hard work and commitment to achieve. A conviction can lead to a suspension or revocation of license for numerous professionals, including:
- Medical professionals
- Commercial drivers
A loss of license strips a professional’s privilege to legally practice in their chosen field. Consider the consequences for each of these professions in detail below.
Consequences of a Conviction for Florida Teachers
According to Florida Statute § 1012.315, a conviction for various crimes prevents a Florida teacher from holding a Florida Educator Certification or working in any position at a school involving direct contact with students. Misdemeanor convictions that would prevent a teacher from having their educator certification include those relating to battery when the suspected victim was a minor, as well as luring or enticing a child.
Teachers are also disqualified if they have been convicted of felony crimes concerning any of the following:
- Sexual misconduct with certain developmentally disabled individuals
- Sexual misconduct with mental health patients
- Adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation of aged persons or disabled adults
- Manslaughter or aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult
- Aggravated manslaughter of a child, an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Battery on a detention facility staff member or a juvenile probation officer
- False imprisonment
- Luring or enticing a child
- Leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending custody proceedings, dependency proceedings, or proceedings concerning alleged abuse or neglect of a minor
- Exhibiting firearms or weapons at a school-sponsored event, on school property, or within 1,000 feet of a school
- Possessing an electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapons at a school-sponsored event or on school property
- Sexual battery
- Sexual activity with or solicitation of a child by a person in familial or custodial authority
- Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors
- Female genital mutilation
- Lewdness and indecent exposure
- Offenses against students by authority figures
- Voyeurism or video voyeurism
- Coordinating the commission of theft over $3,000
- Theft from persons 65 years of age or older
- Dealing in stolen property
- Fraudulent sale of controlled substances.
- Neglect of a child, child abuse, or aggravated child abuse
- Contributing to the delinquency of a child
- Sexual performance by a child
- Resisting arrest with violence
- Causing, encouraging, soliciting, or recruiting someone to join a criminal street gang
- Drug abuse (if the offense was at lease a second-degree felony)
- Sexual misconduct with certain forensic clients and reporting of such sexual misconduct
- Introduction, removal, or possession of contraband at a correctional facility, juvenile detention facility, or commitment program
- Sexual misconduct in juvenile justice programs
Consequences of a Conviction for Medical Professionals
The Florida Department of Health (DOH) regulates various health professionals, from nurses to medical doctors, pharmacy owners, and more. When applying for licensure, medical professionals are subject to criminal background screenings with various levels of scrutiny.
According to Florida Statute § 458.331, medical professionals may be denied licensure or face disciplinary action by their respective healthcare boards if they are convicted of any of the following crimes:
- Crimes in any jurisdiction that involve the practice of medicine or the ability to practice medicine
- A felony or any other crime involving moral turpitude, fraud, dishonesty, or deceit in any jurisdiction of the courts of this state, any other state, or the United States
- Crimes in any jurisdiction of Florida courts, any other state, or the United States that is associated with the practice of, or the ability to practice, a licensed healthcare profession
- A crime in any jurisdiction of Florida courts, any other state, or the United States which relates to healthcare fraud
According to Florida Statute § 456.0635, the Florida DOH or respective boards will deny medical professionals licensure if they’ve been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to any of Florida state felony offenses relating to:
- Social and economic assistance
- Fraudulent practices
- Drug abuse prevention and control
- Other similar felonies in another state or jurisdiction
If a medical professional completes a drug court program for that felony and provides evidence that the charges have been dismissed or that the plea has been withdrawn, the DOH or medical boards will consider granting, renewing, and testing for licensure.
Additionally, suppose the sentence for the crime and any consequent probation period for the conviction or plea has ended, or a certain period has passed from the date of the plea. In that case, medical professionals may still be granted their licenses to practice.
Consequences of a Conviction for Commercial Drivers
Florida Statute § 322.61 includes a wide variety of convictions that may disqualify a commercial driver from operating a commercial vehicle, including:
- A violation of any state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation, in connection with a crash-related death
- Reckless driving
- Unlawful speed of 15 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit
- Improper lane change
- Following too closely
- Driving a commercial vehicle without a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Driving a commercial vehicle without the appropriate class of CDL or the appropriate endorsement
- Driving a commercial vehicle without a commercial driver’s license on hand
A Florida commercial driver convicted of two of these traffic violations within three years is disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle for 60 days. A third conviction within three years will result in disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle for 120 days.
A commercial driver can also be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year if they’re convicted of any of these offenses:
- Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle while their BAC is 0.04 percent or higher
- Leaving the scene of a crash involving a motor vehicle driven by an inebriated person
- Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony
- Refusing to submit to a test to determine their BAC while driving a motor vehicle
- Driving a commercial vehicle while their commercial driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or canceled or while they are disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle
- Causing a death through the negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle
A commercial driver can become permanently disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle if they’re convicted of two of the violations listed above or convicted of using their commercial vehicle to commit a felony involving the manufacture, dispense, or distribution of a controlled substance.
Consequences of a Conviction for Florida Accountants
Florida requires all certified public accountants (CPAs) to report any conviction, finding of guilt, plea, or adjudication to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) within 30 days.
According to Florida Statute § 473.323, CPAs who are convicted, found guilty of, or enter a plea of nolo contendere to a crime relating to the practice of public accounting may confront disciplinary actions such as:
- Denial of licensure
- Revocation or suspension of the CPA or firm’s license or practice privileges in Florida
- An administrative fine of up to $5,000 for each count or separate offense
- Issuance of a reprimand
- Probation for a period that’s subject to conditions that the board may specify, including requiring the attendance of continuing education courses or working under the supervision of another licensee
- Restriction of the authorized scope of public accounting practice
Consult an Experienced Florida Professional License Defense Lawyer Today
If you’re facing charges that could impact your professional license, you may still have legal recourse. Fight for your career and contact our Florida administrative lawyers to advocate for you. As seasoned trial attorneys, we understand the potential outcomes of your plea and will work tirelessly to secure the most favorable outcome with the least impact on your professional career.
With more than 100 years of combined experience helping professionals safeguard their careers, you can have confidence in our ability to protect your best interests. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced professional license defense attorney today by calling our office or completing our contact form.