Following an arrest, you may face the revocation of your professional license. Lawyers and others with professional licenses may all face serious professional challenges to go along with the legal complications associated with an arrest. How can you protect your professional license following an arrest, especially one involving your business? Consider these key steps.
Contact a lawyer as soon after your arrest as possible
An attorney can provide valuable legal advice and assistance following an arrest. You may have several options to help you keep your license following an arrest, including:
- Disputing the charges. If you can prove the charges against you untrue, you will typically experience no legal consequences. You may, however, still face professional consequences, especially if the arrest becomes public knowledge.
- Managing a plea deal. By working with an attorney, you may be able to file a plea that will allow you to avoid the loss of your license.
- Sealing your records. You do not want potential customers or patients to see information about your arrest every time they look you up. Sealing your records will not remove them from the internet or from newspapers or other sources of public information, but it will prevent easy lookup of the full history regarding your case.
Report the conviction, if it occurs
Some licensing boards, including medical licensing boards and childcare licensing boards, may require you to self-report information about a conviction. If you face a criminal conviction, do not put off reporting. Your licensing board may not immediately suspend your license.
In some cases, you may be placed on probation or have a temporary suspension of your license, which can prove easier to manage than a permanent revocation. You may face fewer consequences for an arrest unrelated to your profession than to issues that relate directly to client or patient care.
Failing to report your conviction, on the other hand, can leave you open to larger consequences and may limit your ability to successfully negotiate your options. Talk with your attorney about your options for reporting the conviction and how you can help protect your professional license.
Aim for rehabilitation
Even if you face license suspension or revocation, you can often take steps to regain your license. How long it will take to show evidence of rehabilitation will depend on the crime, your sentencing, and the actions you take after your arrest.
You may, for example, need to show that you have had a change of heart and mind, display remorse for your former actions, or, in the case of a drug or alcohol-related arrest, show that you have successfully completed a rehabilitation program.
The licensing board may also look at the successful completion of probation or whether the crime has been expunged from your record. If you can prove rehabilitation, in some cases, you may restore your license and return to normal operations, potentially following a probationary period.