Many California professionals maintain multiple professional licenses to practice their professions in different states for economic or business reasons. But what many professionals may not understand is that multi-state licensure opens you up to California license board disclosure requirements if you are convicted of a crime in another state. If you are arrested for a DUI, for example, or are accused of another crime while on business or vacation in another state, this can put your California license at risk.
Automatic reporting of criminal accusations and convictions to licensing boards via the internet now means this can happen virtually immediately. The speed with which criminal allegations are now communicated to licensing boards has been dramatically reduced in the last two years. California and state licensing authorities also have no mandatory duty to remove publicly available information about a licensee’s convictions from their websites–including convictions that are eventually dismissed under Penal Code Sec 1203.4 and Sec. 1203.4a. So, if you are accused or convicted of a crime, this becomes public information.
Hiring an attorney in these situations is critical since (unlike in a criminal proceeding where if you are arrested you are deemed innocent until proven guilty), in a licensing accusation, even if you are just arrested for a crime, with automated reporting, you will be asked to immediately explain your arrest to your state licensing board.
It is even more critical to hire the right attorney in these cases, one both skilled in administrative law (who knows how to defend your professional license) and also one skilled in criminal law. You need to both reduce your risk of a criminal conviction and do so while not endangering your professional license.
Criminal attorneys do not always defend you well in licensing cases because of their focus on facts and arguing the details, so critical in establishing “reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Licensing cases brought before licensing authorities and professional boards work completely differently. And while many criminal defense attorneys might recommend that you settle your criminal case, often they do so without realizing that this can negatively impact the outcome of your licensing case. Finally, criminal attorneys also could recommend that you participate in a criminal diversion program to get your criminal charges dropped. State licensing boards, however, do not view diversion programs as the same as a criminal dismissal.
If you are a California professional also licensed to practice in other states and are being investigated by your board or have received a letter or Accusation, call the law offices of Lucy McAllister immediately. The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister have successfully represented a wide range of California licensed professionals and we are experienced in handling all types of licensing accusations and licensing issues as well as criminal cases. Let us help you protect your professional license, your reputation, and your livelihood.
For additional information or to schedule a consultation on a professional licensing issue, please contact our law offices today at (877) 280-9944.