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Will a criminal charge cost me my professional license in California?
A criminal conviction in California can result in several penalties. For example, an offender may receive a county jail or prison term and may even have to pay substantial fines. But what happens if the offender holds a professional license? The license may actually be included in penalties as well.
1. How does a criminal conviction in California affect a professional license?
Let’s say you’re a doctor, a lawyer, a dentist, a teacher, a real estate broker… anyone who holds a professional license in California. You are not only subject to court-imposed penalties for a criminal conviction but also risk losing your professional license, which essentially means losing your livelihood.
Professional licenses in California are subject to revocation for criminal convictions that are “substantially related” to your profession.
Similarly, professional licenses in this state may not even be issued to someone who has previously been convicted of a crime, even if the conviction has been expunged.
2. Is a license in danger with all convictions?
No. Recall that a professional license is only in jeopardy if a conviction is substantially related to your profession. Further, the fact is that “substantially related” is open to interpretation.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.