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Professional License Consequences of a Conviction

In addition to direct criminal consequences such as fines, jail time, a prison sentence or probation, a misdemeanor or felony criminal conviction may also result in other practical ramifications that are sometimes called "collateral consequences". The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction are not sanctions that are imposed by a judge or the sentencing court, but are simply unfavorable results stemming from the criminal conviction. Collateral consequences vary widely depending on the type of crime involved and circumstances of a case.

Examples of collateral consequences include:

  • Administrative driver license suspension or revocation
  • Adverse educational or school consequences
  • Adverse employment consequences including suspensions and job loss
  • Denial of professional or occupational license
  • Deportation or exclusion of non-citizens and related immigration concerns
  • Disciplinary proceedings including suspension and expulsion hearings
  • Loss of civil rights including the right to vote
  • Loss of educational opportunities or student financial aid
  • Loss of government contract work debarment, and security clearance
  • Loss of right to possess firearms
  • Revocation or suspension of a professional or occupational license
  • School honor code violations

Upon conviction for any drug offense. The judge shall send a copy of Defendantís conviction to any board or office where Defendant has a license to engage in a profession or to carry on a business. At the judgeís discretion the judge may suspend or revoke said license. A person may be denied state employment, a license, permit or certificate to engage in an occupation by reason of the prior, felony or misdemeanor if the offense has a relationship to the  employment license, permit or certificate.

Certain types of arrests or subsequent criminal convictions can affect a personís ability to obtain or keep virtually every professional license that is regulated by the state. Some professions require that the crime be related to the duties of the profession before the license will be affected; others will be affected based solely upon conviction. There are many factors at work in the case of the professional who is accused of crime; it is critical that the advice of an attorney be considered, since a conviction can have ramifications far beyond the prosecution itself.

A vital consideration in all our cases is the determination of the potential collateral consequences a criminal conviction may have to our client.  At The Sheena Law Firm, we understand these concerns which may be available under certain circumstances and operates to clear criminal arrest information from a person's record. This process may apply to most misdemeanors and minor felony cases, both adult and juvenile offenses.

Pharmacists, Nurses, Dentists, Veterinarians and other health care professionals often have immediate and direct access to narcotics. Moreover, most health care professionals (especially Nurses, Dentists and Therapists), are frontline providers who have significant contact with sick, elderly and often emotionally and physically compromised patients. This contact often extends into a patientís home and quite frequently involves their family and other personal relationships of interest to the patient.

Access to financial and other personal information may be available and therefore an applicant or licenseeís criminal history and behavior is considered highly relevant to a licensing board in determining an individualís present character and fitness. Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code and the Individual State Board Rules and Regulations are the guiding statutory authority which frames a Boardís actions, investigations and determinations regarding applicants and licensees with criminal convictions. These matters are often loaded with highly complicated legal issues that may not be fact specific.

Therefore, because the consequences are high it is best for a health care license applicant or licensee to obtain legal representation to help guide and represent them through the process of explaining a criminal conviction. Often times a simple legal showing of rehabilitation can bypass what would otherwise be a long and drawn out legal battle. Furthermore, rehabilitation is best shown by an advocate and not by the applicant or licensee since it is their character that is the issue in question. Contact The Sheena Law Firm today to discuss your case.

Danny M. Sheena, P.E.

The Sheena Law Firm
2500 West Loop South, Suite 518
Houston, Texas 77027
(713) 224-6508 - Office
(713) 225-1560 - Fax

Email: [email protected]


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