Professional Licensing Defense Lawyer Sacramento – Moral Character and Background Do’s and Don’ts
If you have a prior criminal history and are filling out the moral character and/or personal background section of a professional license application, you should consult with an attorney like professional licensing defense lawyer Sacramento Jonathan Turner.
The reasons are two-fold. First, you want to make sure you are answering the questions accurately and thoroughly. Secondly, you want to make sure that you have done everything possible to clean up your criminal history before submitting the application.
Most professional licensing applications be they for a teaching credential, nursing license, medical license, brokers license, etc… have a moral character section that inquires into the applicant’s criminal history. The licensing agency or board may also require the submission of fingerprints and/or a livescan to verify the applicant’s criminal history. Most California licensing agencies, such as the Board of Registered Nursing, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Medical Board, the Board of Vocational Nursing, the Board of Behavioral Sciences, the Board of Psychology, the Department of Real Estate, the Department of Insurance and the Department of Social Services, are focused on misdemeanor and felony criminal convictions. If you have had a criminal conviction you will need to disclose such on your application. Even if your criminal conviction was expunged and/or set aside and dismissed pursuant to California Penal Code section 1203.4, you must disclose it on your licensing application. Nonetheless, you should consult with Sacramento Expungement Lawyer Jonathan Turner about getting old convictions dismissed.
Also, even if you entered a “no contest” or nolo contendre plea to the offense, it qualifies as a conviction. In fact, even if the criminal conviction was dismissed as part of a deferred entry of judgment (“DEJ”) plea, which is common for many non-serious misdemeanors in California, the incident likely counts as a conviction that needs to be disclosed.
Most licensing agencies are not concerned with prior arrests that did not result in a conviction. Nonetheless, if you have a prior arrest record you may be eligible to have that arrest record amended pursuant to Penal Code sections 849.5 and 851.6. Again, you can consult Jonathan Turner about clearing an old arrest record.
Your disclosure of a criminal conviction on a licensing application may require an explanation of the offense as well as submission of court and police documents related to the case. It is crucial that if you are disclosing a criminal conviction on a professional licensing application that you have legal counsel to assist you such as Sacramento, California Administrative Law Attorney Jonathan Turner. Professional licensing defense lawyer Sacramento Jonathan Turner can advise and assist you in providing an explanation of your offense to the licensing board. He can also assist you in gathering the documents necessary to submit with your application in an effort to expedite the processing of your application. Too often, professional licensing defense lawyer Sacramento Jonathan Turner has seen people handle such matters on their own to their detriment.
After submitting the application disclosing a prior criminal conviction it is not uncommon for the licensing agency to conduct its own investigation that may include interviewing the applicant and/or asking the applicant to submit a personal statement and character letters. If is absolutely vital that the applicant have counsel at this point. Too many times Mr. Turner has seen people try to represent themselves in these licensing investigations with disasterous results.
Following the investigation, the matter may be set for an administrative hearing wherein an Accusation or Statement of Issues will be issued. Many people only get an attorney involved at this point, which again, may be too late. Nonetheless, it is better late than never. It is always a mistake for a professional licensee or professional license applicant to represent themself in an administrative hearing where they are often opposed by an experienced deputy attorney general who is familiar with the rules and regulations surrounding administrative law.
If you are being investigated or anticipate being investigated by a one of California’s numerous professional licensing agencies or boards, contact professional licensing defense lawyer Sacramento Jonathan Turner for a free consultation.
3620 American River Drive, Suite 120 | Sacramento, CA 95864
Telephone: (916) 471-6506
Fax: (916) 471-6508