Defending Professionals

For alleged offenders who are licensed professionals, the possible consequences that a conviction can have on their careers can be every bit as—if not more frightening than the prospect of incarceration and fines. Whether the person is a first-time applicant or an experienced worker who will be up for renewal in the near future, the effect that criminal charges can have creates an enormous amount of additional stress.

People in these types of situations have additional incentive to make sure they get the most favorable outcomes to their criminal cases. Some alleged offenders who fail to explore all of their options in these cases may agree to plea deals that initially seem favorable only to learn too late that they caused substantial difficulties.

JACKSONVILLE LAWYER FOR PROFESSIONALS FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES

If you work in an industry in Florida that requires a professional license and were recently arrested for any kind of criminal offense, make sure that you are working with legal counsel who is keeping your career in mind while handling your criminal case. Bill Roelke of Roelke Law, P.A. understands the licensing issues that his clients will have to deal with, and he works tirelessly to get the best possible resolutions for people in the greater Jacksonville area, including Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, and many surrounding communities.

Our Duval County criminal attorney has more than 25 years of experience investigating these alleged crimes and fighting to help people in all sorts of industries. You can receive a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call our firm at (904) 354-0333 to set up a free, confidential consultation.


OVERVIEW OF FLORIDA LICENSING ISSUES FOR CONVICTED PROFESSIONALS

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CONVICTION CONSEQUENCES FOR DUVAL COUNTY DOCTORS

Medical doctors (MDs) in Florida are required to be licensed through the Florida Board of Medicine, and all licensees must renew their licenses every other year in order to maintain the right to practice. The Florida Board of Medicine is also responsible for licensing anesthesiologist assistants, physician assistant, psychiatrists, and many medical volunteers.

Under Florida Statute § 456.0635, the Board will refuse to issue a license to any applicant if he or she has been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to, regardless of adjudication, any of the following types of felony offenses:

  • Chapter 409 of the Florida Statutes relating to social and economic assistance
  • Chapter 817 of the Florida Statutes relating to fraudulent practices
  • Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes relating to drug abuse prevention and control or any similar felony offense in another state or jurisdiction

Any of the convictions listed above will exclude the applicant from licensure, unless his or her sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:

  • More than 15 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation for any first-degree felony or second-degree felony
  • More than 10 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation for any third-degree felony other than the type listed below
  • More than five years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation for any third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a) relating to actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance

Similarly, the Board will not issue a license to any applicant if he or she has been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to, regardless of adjudication, any of the following types of federal felony offenses:

  • Title 21 U.S Code §§ 801-970 relating to controlled substances
  • Title 42 U.S Code §§ 1395-1396 relating to public health, welfare, Medicare and Medicaid issues

These restrictions do not apply if the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended more than 15 years prior to the date of the application.


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JACKSONVILLE NURSES FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES

Any Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) needs to be licensed by the Florida Board of Nursing. All applicants who have ever been found guilty of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any charges other than minor traffic offenses are required to list every such offense on their applications, and any applicant who fails to disclose his or her criminal history may have his or her application denied.

Applicants with criminal convictions can be required to submit such documentation to the Board as final dispositions or arrest records, completion of probation, parole, or sanctions, letters of self-explanation, and/or letters of recommendation. Applicants who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to certain felony offenses may be cleared to test without further action although others will have to appear before the Board.

These offenses are often handled on a case-by-case basis, but the Board of Nursing uses the general conviction record guidelines for licensing applicants. Applicants in the following categories are usually cleared:

  • Category 1 — One or more misdemeanors or municipal ordinances relating to petit theft, disorderly conduct, driving while license suspended or revoked (DWLSR), or bad checks
  • Category 2 — One misdemeanor relating to drug possession, driving under the influence (DUI), domestic violence, battery, or assault
  • Category 2 — More than one misdemeanor more than three years ago relating to drug possession, driving under the influence (DUI), domestic violence, battery, or assault
  • Category 3 — One or more felony offenses that were more than three years ago relating to grand theft or larceny, crimes with no actual harm, habitual traffic offender DWLSR, perjury, fraud not relating to Medicaid or Medicare, or felony offenses not listed in category 4, 5, and 6
  • Category 6 — First-degree and second-degree felonies under Chapter 409, Chapter 817, or Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, Title 21 U.S. Code §§ 801-970, Title 42 U.S. Code §§ 1395-1396, or similar offenses in other states so long as it has been more than 15 years since applicant completed or been lawfully released from confinement or supervision
  • Category 6 — Third-degree felonies under Chapter 409, Chapter 817, or Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, Title 21 U.S. Code §§ 801-970, Title 42 U.S. Code §§ 1395-1396, or similar offenses in other states so long as it has been more than 10 years since applicant completed or been lawfully released from confinement or supervision
  • Category 6 — Third-degree felonies under Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a) so long as it has been more than five years since applicant completed or been lawfully released from confinement or supervision

Applicants will be required to appear before the board if they fall into the following categories:

  • Category 2 — More than one misdemeanor less than three years ago relating to drug possession, driving under the influence (DUI), domestic violence, battery, or assault
  • Category 3 — One or more felony offenses that were less than three years ago relating to grand theft or larceny, crimes with no actual harm, habitual traffic offender DWLSR, perjury, fraud not relating to Medicaid or Medicare, or felony offenses not listed in category 4, 5, and 6
  • Category 4 — One or more felony offenses relating to sex crimes, child, elder, or spouse abuse, hate crimes, or crimes against a pregnant individual (if the applicant should have known)
  • Category 5 — One or more felony offenses relating violent crimes with actual harm
  • Category 6 — First-degree and second-degree felonies under Chapter 409, Chapter 817, or Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, Title 21 U.S. Code §§ 801-970, Title 42 U.S. Code §§ 1395-1396, or similar offenses in other states if it has been less than 15 years since applicant completed or been lawfully released from confinement or supervision
  • Category 6 — Third-degree felonies under Chapter 409, Chapter 817, or Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, Title 21 U.S. Code §§ 801-970, Title 42 U.S. Code §§ 1395-1396, or similar offenses in other states if it has been less than 10 years since applicant completed or been lawfully released from confinement or supervision
  • Category 6 — Third-degree felonies under Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a) if it has been less than five years since applicant completed or been lawfully released from confinement or supervision

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CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTIONS FOR TEACHERS IN FLORIDA

Under Florida Statute § 1012.315, alleged offenders are ineligible for educator certification or employment in any position that requires direct contact with students in a district school system, charter school, or private school that accepts scholarship students if he or she has been convicted of any misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 784.03 relating to battery (if the victim was a minor) or Florida Statute § 787.025 relating to luring or enticing a child.

People can also be ineligible to teach in the Jacksonville area if they have been convicted of any felony offense under the following Florida Statutes:

  • Florida Statute § 393.135 relating to sexual misconduct with certain developmentally disabled clients and reporting of such sexual misconduct
  • Florida Statute § 394.4593 relating to sexual misconduct with certain mental health patients and reporting of such sexual misconduct.
  • Florida Statute § 415.111 relating to adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation of aged persons or disabled adults
  • Florida Statute § 782.04 relating to murder
  • Florida Statute § 782.07 relating to manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, aggravated manslaughter of a child, or aggravated manslaughter of an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic
  • Florida Statute § 784.021 relating to aggravated assault
  • Florida Statute § 784.045 relating to aggravated battery
  • Florida Statute § 784.075 relating to battery on a detention or commitment facility staff member or a juvenile probation officer
  • Florida Statute § 787.01 relating to kidnapping
  • Florida Statute § 787.02 relating to false imprisonment
  • Florida Statute § 787.025 relating to luring or enticing a child
  • Florida Statute § 787.04(2) relating to leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending custody proceedings
  • Florida Statute § 787.04(3) relating to leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending dependency proceedings or proceedings concerning alleged abuse or neglect of a minor
  • Florida Statute § 790.115(1) relating to exhibiting firearms or weapons at a school-sponsored event, on school property, or within 1,000 feet of a school
  • Florida Statute § 790.115(2)(b) relating to possessing an electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon at a school-sponsored event or on school property
  • Florida Statute § 794.011 relating to sexual battery
  • Florida Statute § 794.041 relating to sexual activity with or solicitation of a child by a person in familial or custodial authority
  • Florida Statute § 794.05 relating to unlawful sexual activity with certain minors
  • Florida Statute § 794.08 relating to female genital mutilation
  • Chapter 796 of the Florida Statutes relating to prostitution
  • Chapter 800 of the Florida Statutes relating to lewdness and indecent exposure
  • Florida Statute § 806.01 relating to arson
  • Florida Statute § 810.14 relating to voyeurism
  • Florida Statute § 810.145 relating to video voyeurism
  • Florida Statute § 812.014(6) relating to coordinating the commission of theft in excess of $3,000
  • Florida Statute § 812.0145 relating to theft from persons 65 years of age or older
  • Florida Statute § 812.019 relating to dealing in stolen property
  • Florida Statute § 812.13 relating to robbery
  • Florida Statute § 812.131 relating to robbery by sudden snatching
  • Florida Statute § 812.133 relating to carjacking
  • Florida Statute § 812.135 relating to home-invasion robbery
  • Florida Statute § 817.563 relating to fraudulent sale of controlled substances
  • Florida Statute § 825.102 relating to abuse, aggravated abuse, or neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult
  • Florida Statute § 825.103 relating to exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult
  • Florida Statute § 825.1025 relating to lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person or disabled person
  • Florida Statute § 826.04 relating to incest
  • Florida Statute § 827.03 relating to child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or neglect of a child
  • Florida Statute § 827.04 relating to contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child
  • Florida Statute § 827.071 relating to sexual performance by a child
  • Florida Statute § 843.01 relating to resisting arrest with violence
  • Chapter 847 of the Florida Statutes, relating to obscenity
  • Florida Statute § 874.05 relating to causing, encouraging, soliciting, or recruiting another to join a criminal street gang
  • Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes relating to drug abuse prevention and control, if the offense was a felony of the second degree or greater severity
  • Florida Statute § 916.1075 relating to sexual misconduct with certain forensic clients and reporting of such sexual misconduct
  • Florida Statute § 944.47 relating to introduction, removal, or possession of contraband at a correctional facility
  • Florida Statute § 985.701 relating to sexual misconduct in juvenile justice programs
  • Florida Statute § 985.711 relating to introduction, removal, or possession of contraband at a juvenile detention facility or commitment program

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HOW CRIMINAL CHARGES AFFECT DUVAL COUNTY ACCOUNTANTS

All requirements for certification, licensure, and reciprocity of certified public accountants (CPAs) are handled by the Florida Board of Accountancy (BOA). Professional licensees are required under Florida Statute § 455.227(1)(t) to report within 30 days of being convicted of, found guilty of, or pleading nolo contendere or guilty to a crime in any jurisdiction. Failure to report such information can make the licensee subject to disciplinary action including fines, suspension, or license revocation.

Being convicted of, 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 can result in one or more of the following penalties listed under Florida Statute § 473.323(3):

  • Denial of an application for licensure
  • Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each count or separate offense.
  • Issuance of a reprimand
  • Placement of the certified public accountant on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the board may specify, including requiring the certified public accountant to attend continuing education courses or to work under the supervision of another licensee
  • Restriction of the authorized scope of practice by the CPA
  • Revocation or suspension of the certified public accountant or firm’s license or practice privileges in this state

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CONVICTION CONSEQUENCES FOR OTHER PROFESSIONALS IN JACKSONVILLE

Several other industries in Florida have specific requirements for reporting criminal offenses that are unique to their specific licensing boards and carry varying consequences. These professions include, but are not limited to:

  • Architects — Board of Architecture and Interior Design
  • Contractors — Construction Industry Licensing Board
  • Engineers — Florida Board of Professional Engineers
  • Firefighters — Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training
  • Nursing Home Administrators — Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators
  • Pilots — Board of Pilot Commissioners
  • Police Officers — Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Social Workers, Therapists, and Counselors — Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling
  • Real Estate Agents — Florida Real Estate Commission

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BENEFITS OF SEALING OR EXPUNGING FLORIDA CRIMINAL RECORDS

For license applicants in certain professions who have been convicted of a crime in the past, it may be beneficial to consider sealing or expunging their criminal records. When a person has his or her criminal record sealed or expunged, any information regarding a criminal offense will not appear on background checks.

While sealed or expunged criminal records are confidential and not subject to disclosure by any agencies, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) will reveal the existence of a sealed or expunged record to the following entities if an applicant is seeking a professional license from them:

  • Any public or private schools
  • Contractors or licensees dealing with children
  • Florida Department of Children and Families
  • Florida Department of Education'
  • Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • The Florida Bar

Aspiring or licensed professionals should speak with an attorney as to whether sealing or expunging their criminal records is in their best interests.


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FIND A LAWYER FOR CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST PROFESSIONALS IN DUVAL COUNTY

Are you concerned about how your recent arrest will affect your ability to receive or renew a professional license? Roelke Law, P.A. represents clients who are certified in numerous professions throughout the greater Jacksonville area, including Duval County, St. Johns County, Nassau County, and Clay County.

Bill Roelke is committed to not only getting charges against the people he represents reduced or dismissed, but helping make sure that his clients are able to return to their regular lives as well. Let him review your own case during a free legal consultation by calling (904) 354-0333 today.

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