Professional licenses in Nevada are required for certain jobs. People with criminal records may be ineligible to obtain or keep a professional license. And anyone who practices these occupations without a current and valid license faces criminal charges.
Below our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys summarize professional licenses laws and provide links to our in-depth discussions on each profession:
- 1. Medical
- 2. Nursing
- 3. Dental
- 4. Accounting
- 5. Attorneys
- 6. Real Estate
- 7. Contractors
- 8. Social Workers
- 9. Teachers
- 10. Veterinarians
- 11. Psychologists
- 12. Marijuana workers
The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners grants medical licenses, investigates complaints against physicians, and disciplines licensees for misconduct. Doctors with serious criminal convictions may be denied medical licenses. And practicing medicine without a license (NRS 630.400) is a felony carrying prison time.
Read our article about medical license disciplinary procedures and crimes in Nevada.
The Nevada State Board of Nursing reviews nursing applicants and handles disciplinary proceedings. Having a criminal record can prevent people from becoming nurses, but the Board considers applicants who have been fully rehabilitated. Similar to practicing medicine without a license, nursing without a license is a felony.
Read our article about nursing license disciplinary procedures and crimes in Nevada.
The Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners decides which dentists get licenses and whether they need to be disciplined following a complaint. The Board can deny licenses to anyone lacking “good moral character,” which may include criminal convictions. A first- or second-time offense of practicing dentistry with no license is a gross misdemeanor.
Read our article about dental license disciplinary procedures and crimes in Nevada.
The Nevada State Board of Accountancy can deny licenses to applicants convicted of felonies or other crimes involving dishonesty or moral turpitude. It holds disciplinary hearings when license-holders receive non-frivolous complaints. And it can impose a variety of punishments, from a fine and reprimand to full license revocation. Falsely claiming to be a certified public accountant (CPA) is a gross misdemeanor, even if the person did not do any accounting work.
Learn more about accounting licenses in Nevada.
The Nevada State Bar requires lawyers to pass the bar exam in order to practice in Nevada. The Bar can deny licenses to people with criminal pasts but may make exceptions if the applicant has been rehabilitated. The Bar investigates complaints against license-holders and, if necessary, levies discipline against them. A first-time offense of the unauthorized practice of law (NRS 7.285) is a misdemeanor.
Learn more about attorney licenses in Nevada.
The Nevada Real Estate Commission is required to deny licenses to anyone convicted of certain crimes if less than three years have elapsed since the case closed. These include offenses involving theft, fraud, drug possession with intent to sell, and engaging in real estate business without a license. Working as a broker or real estate salesman without a license is a gross misdemeanor.
Learn more about real estate licenses in Nevada.
The Nevada State Contractors Board does not automatically disqualify license applicants with criminal histories. It considers various factors, including character and financial responsibility. Before the Board can revoke a license for alleged misconduct or poor workmanship, the licensee must receive notice and an opportunity for a hearing. Contracting without a license is a misdemeanor for a first-time offense.
For more go to our article about contractor license laws in Nevada.
The State of Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers determines which applicants get social work licenses. It can deny licenses to anyone showing lack of good moral character. And it can discipline license-holders for misconduct, incompetence, drug use, and certain criminal behavior. Working as a social worker without a license is a misdemeanor.
For more go to our article on social work license laws in Nevada.
The Nevada Department of Education’s Commission on Professional Standards in Education grants teaching licenses and handles disciplinary matters. People with past convictions for felonies or crimes of moral turpitude may be denied licenses. Teachers with complaints filed against them are entitled to a disciplinary hearing. Note that people who lie on their teaching application face misdemeanor charges.
For more go to our article on teaching license laws in Nevada.
The Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is the state association tasked with granting licenses to and imposing discipline on veterinarians and vet techs. Having a criminal record may cause vet licenses to be withheld or revoked. Plus, practicing without a current and valid license is a crime.
For more go to our article on veterinary license laws in Nevada.
The Nevada Board of Psychological Examiners imposes discipline on psychologists found guilty of violating its rules, such as engaging in sex with a client or lying to the Board. Meanwhile, anyone caught practicing psychology without a current and valid license can be prosecuted for a crime.
For more go to our article on psychology license laws in Nevada.
The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board will generally deny cannabis agent cards to applicants who:
- were convicted of a category A felony, and fewer than 10 years have elapsed since the case closed; or
- were convicted of two (or more) felonies, and fewer than 10 years have elapsed since at least one of the cases closed.
For more go to our article on marijuana establishment license laws in Nevada.
Can I get a professional license if I have a criminal record?
It depends. Every licensing board in Nevada has different standards. In general, minor misdemeanors should not preclude you from getting a professional license unless it has to do with the profession itself. For example, a drug possession conviction could be a bar to getting a pharmacist’s license.
Do I have to tell my licensing board if I get arrested or convicted?
In general, licensing boards do require their members to self-report if you get a criminal record. Check with your particular licensing board for rules. In some cases, you can be disciplined for failing to report even if the crime you were arrested for gets dismissed.
What types of discipline are there?
A licensing board typically has a variety of options when imposing discipline for violating its rules and regulations. Some of these include:
- a reprimand and/or order to take a corrective action
- taking re-education classes
- a limited license
- a license suspension
- a license revocation
Can I appeal?
There is usually a procedure where you can appeal your licensing board’s final orders, especially if it involves losing your license. You also may be able to ask the local district court to review the licensing board’s final orders.
Do I need an attorney?
It is a good idea to retain an experienced employment law attorney to compose your statements, negotiate a resolution, and appear for you at a disciplinary hearing if necessary. Your attorney will fight for you to keep your license with minimal penalties or long-term consequences, if any.