Effect on Professional Licenses
South Florida Professional License Defense Lawyers
Many people who are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or any alleged criminal offense immediately worry about whether they will have to pay fines and be forced to go to jail or prison. However, several other Floridians in certain professions understandably are more concerned about the immediate and long-term effects a conviction might have on their careers.
Alleged offenders with professional licenses find themselves not only worrying about what happens inside the courtroom but also what will happen with any investigations or hearings that may be conducted by their respective licensing boards. It is in the best interest of any person in this type of situation to immediately obtain skilled legal representation that can help minimize the damage of any arrest and fight to possibly avoid a criminal conviction.
Palm Beach County Defense Lawyer for Licensed Professionals
If you work in any field that requires a professional license and you were recently arrested for DUI or any other kind of criminal offense, do not delay in seeking legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. aggressively defends various professionals in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County.
Our Fort Lauderdale defense attorneys for licensed professionals are committed to getting the best results for our clients, and we work tirelessly to get criminal charges reduced or completely dismissed. You can have our firm review your case and explain all of your legal options when you call (561) 557-8686 right now to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Florida Professional Licenses Affected by Criminal Convictions
- How does a conviction affect medical professionals?
- What happens to police officers, firefighters, and other state employees who are arrested?
- How are commercial drivers impacted by a DUI arrest?
- What penalties might teachers and other school employees incur for a conviction?
- Will an accountant lose his or her license if he or she is arrested?
- Are construction and electrical contractors impacted in the same way by a conviction?
- What process are pilots expected to follow after an arrest?
The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for the regulation of more than 50 different types of health practitioners. This includes medical doctors, dentists, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), pharmacists, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, pharmacists, psychologists, and more.
Each medical profession involves specific administrative procedures that have to be followed in order to determine licensing consequences. Florida Statute § 456.072(1)(c) states that a health professional who is “convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which relates to the practice of, or the ability to practice, a licensee’s profession” can be grounds for disciplinary actions by the professional’s respective board.
It is critical to understand that a plea of nolo contendere (no contest), adjudication withheld, or deferred adjudication can all be treated the same as findings of guilty. For this reason, it is enormously important for any health professional facing criminal charges to work with an extremely knowledgeable lawyer who can make sure that any plea agreement does not have profound licensing consequences later on.
The Law Enforcement Officer Ethical Standards of Conduct of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) states, “Police officers, whether on or off duty, shall not knowingly commit any criminal offense under any laws of the United States or any state of local jurisdiction in which the officer is present, except where permitted in the performance of duty under proper authority.” This means that any criminal offense, including DUI, can result in possible suspension or termination and may make an alleged offender ineligible for certification renewal.
Firefighters in Florida may have their Florida Division of State Fire Marshal (SFM) certification revoked if they are convicted of or plead nolo contendere to any felony charges. This can also be true if they are convicted of misdemeanors that relate to misleading or false statements. When a firefighter’s certification has been revoked, he or she will either need to be granted an official pardon, petition for reinstatement of civil rights or wait until four years after the terms of his or her punishment have been satisfied before having his or her certification reissued.
Under Florida Statute § 110.227(1), conviction of any crime may be grounds for suspension, reduction in pay, transfer, layoff, demotion, or dismissal of state employees. A conviction could also result in possible forfeiture of public retirement system benefits. Federal employees can be similarly dismissed and have pensions revoked.
A commercial driver may have his or her commercial driver license (CDL) suspended, revoked, or canceled for any one of a number of criminal driving offenses listed under Florida Statute § 322.61. This includes DUI arrests that occur even when a commercial driver is operating his or her own personal vehicle.
Teachers, principals, counselors and all other public school positions certified by the Florida Department of Education are required to report criminal convictions, findings of guilt, withholdings of adjudication, or guilty or nolo contendere please within 48 hours. Teachers may be dismissed, suspended, or have their certificates revoked or suspended by the department for any criminal conviction other than minor traffic violations.
Florida Statute § 473.323(1)(d) states, “Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of public accounting or the ability to practice public accounting” may be grounds for disciplinary actions. Such actions may include denial of an application for licensure, revocation or suspension of the certified public accountant (CPA) or firm’s license or practice privileges in Florida, a fine of up to $5,000 per offense, issuance of a reprimand, probation for a period of time with certain conditions for the CPA such as required attendance at continuing education courses or working under the supervision of another licensee, or restriction of the authorized scope of practice by the CPA.
The Construction Industry Licensing Board and Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board of the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation are responsible for licensing and regulating the construction industry and electrical contractors, respectively. Both boards require all professional licensees to report convictions, guilty findings, or nolo contendere or guilty pleas to any crimes in any jurisdictions to their respective departments within 30 days. Contractors may be subject to fines, suspension, or license revocation.
Code of Federal Regulations § 61.15(e) states all licensed pilots are required to report any DUI arrest to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) not later than 60 days after the motor vehicle action. A separate notification letter is required for every event, conviction, or administrative action. Other arrests, administrative actions, and convictions are also reportable under Part 67.
Meltzer & Bell, P.A. | A Defense Lawyer for Licensed Professionals in Fort Lauderdale
Are you a licensed professional who was recently charged with a criminal offense in South Florida? Do not take any chances with your future. Get experienced legal representation right now.
Meltzer & Bell, P.A. helps clients navigate the criminal and administrative processes, and we represent individuals in communities such as Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Royal Palm Beach, Greenacres, Delray Beach, Wellington, Riviera Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens. Call (561) 557-8686 today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation that will let our Palm Beach County defense attorneys for licensed professionals review your case.