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Professional Consequences of Conviction

While the possibility of incarceration and being ordered to pay enormous fines can be the biggest concern for many people who have been arrested for alleged crimes, the long-term impact of just having been arrested can cause enormous stress for licensed professionals in certain industries. For these individuals, convictions could potentially spell the end of their careers.

The experienced employment lawyers of Meltzer & Bell, P.A. help hundreds of different professionals, including, but not limited to:

  • Teachers
  • Medical Professionals
  • Accountants
  • Commercial Drivers

It is critical for all alleged offenders to understand all of the collateral consequences that may result from accepting any type of plea deal.

West Palm Beach Conviction Consequences for Professionals

If you are concerned about how your career or professional license status could be affected by your recent arrest, you should not delay in seeking extremely knowledgeable legal representation. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents licensed professionals throughout South Florida, including Jupiter, Boca Raton, Riviera Beach, Wellington, and Delray Beach.

Our Palm Beach County defense attorneys put the needs of our clients first, and we work tirelessly to get the most favorable outcomes to these cases. Call (561) 283-3259 right now to have our firm review your case during a free, confidential consultation.


Overview of Professional Consequences of Florida Conviction


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Consequences of Convictions for Palm Beach County Teachers

Under the Ethics in Education Act in Florida Statute § 1012.315, individuals are ineligible for Florida Educator Certification and employment as instructional personnel or school administrators if they have been convicted for misdemeanor offenses relating to battery (when the alleged victim was a minor) or luring or enticing a child. They are also ineligible if they have been convicted for felony offenses relating to any of the following:

  • Abuse, aggravated abuse, or neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult
  • Adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation of aged persons or disabled adults
  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated battery
  • Arson
  • Battery on a detention or commitment facility staff member or a juvenile probation officer
  • Carjacking
  • Causing, encouraging, soliciting, or recruiting another to join a criminal street gang
  • Child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or neglect of a child
  • Contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child
  • Coordinating the commission of theft in excess of $3,000
  • Dealing in stolen property
  • Drug abuse prevention and control (if the offense was a second-degree felony or greater severity)
  • Exhibiting firearms or weapons at a school-sponsored event, on school property, or within 1,000 feet of a school
  • Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult
  • False imprisonment
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Fraudulent sale of controlled substances
  • Home-invasion robbery
  • Incest
  • Introduction, removal, or possession of contraband at a correctional facility
  • Introduction, removal, or possession of contraband at a juvenile detention facility or commitment program
  • Kidnapping
  • Leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending custody proceedings
  • Leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending dependency proceedings or proceedings concerning alleged abuse or neglect of a minor
  • Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person or disabled person
  • Lewdness and indecent exposure
  • Luring or enticing a child
  • Manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, aggravated manslaughter of a child, or aggravated manslaughter of an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic
  • Murder
  • Obscenity
  • Possessing an electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon at a school-sponsored event or on school property
  • Prostitution
  • Resisting arrest with violence
  • Robbery
  • Robbery by sudden snatching
  • Sexual activity with or solicitation of a child by a person in familial or custodial authority
  • Sexual battery
  • Sexual misconduct in juvenile justice programs
  • Sexual misconduct with certain developmentally disabled clients and reporting of such sexual misconduct
  • Sexual misconduct with certain forensic clients and reporting of such sexual misconduct
  • Sexual misconduct with certain mental health patients and reporting of such sexual misconduct
  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Theft from persons 65 years of age or older
  • Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors
  • Video voyeurism
  • Voyeurism

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Conviction Consequences for Medical Professionals in West Palm Beach

The Licensing and Regulation section of the Florida Department of Health (DOH) regulates multiple health practitioners in the Sunshine State. Certain practitioners are subject to one of three different groups of criminal background screenings at initial licensure:

  • Statewide Screenings
    • Registered Nurse applying for licensure by examination
  • National Screenings
    • Chiropractic Physicians
    • Medical Doctors
    • Nurses
    • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners
    • Orthotists and Prosthetists
    • Osteopathic Physicians
    • Pharmacy Owners
    • Podiatric Physicians
    • Prescription Department Managers
    • Massage Therapists
    • Massage Establishment Owners
  • Level II Screening
    • Certified Nursing Assistants

Under Florida Statute § 458.331, health professionals may face denial of their licenses or disciplinary action by their respective boards if they are convicted of any of the following:

  • A crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of medicine or to the ability to practice medicine
  • A felony or any other crime involving moral turpitude, fraud, dishonesty, or deceit in any jurisdiction of the courts of Florida, any other state, or the United States
  • A crime in any jurisdiction of the courts of Florida, any other state, or the United States which relates to the practice of, or the ability to practice, a licensed health care profession
  • A crime in any jurisdiction of the courts of Florida, any other state, or the United States which relates to health care fraud

Under Florida Statute § 456.0635, the DOH or respective health care boards will refuse to issue or renew a license, certificate, or registration and refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant has been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to, regardless of adjudication, the following:

  • Florida state felony offenses relating to social and economic assistance, fraudulent practices, drug abuse prevention and control, or any similar felony offenses in another state or jurisdiction unless the candidate or applicant has successfully completed a drug court program for that felony and provides proof that the plea has been withdrawn or the charges have been dismissed. Any such convictions or pleas will exclude the applicants or candidates from licensure, examination, certification, or registration, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:
    • First-Degree Felonies and Second-Degree Felonies — More than 15 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation
    • Third-Degree Felonies More than 10 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation relating to all third-degree felonies except those under Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a), in which case it is five years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation
  • Federal felony offenses relating to controlled substances or public health, welfare, Medicare, and Medicaid issues, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the date of the application

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Consequences of Florida Convictions for Accountants

Florida Statute § 455.227(1)(t) states that all certified public accountants (CPAs) are required to report a conviction, finding of guilt, plea, or adjudication to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation within 30 days after the effective date of the conviction, finding of guilt, plea, or adjudication. Additionally, a CPA who is convicted, found guilty of, or enters a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of public accounting or the ability to practice public accounting may face the following disciplinary actions under Florida Statute § 473.323:

  • Denial of an application for licensure
  • Revocation or suspension of the certified public accountant or firm’s license or practice privileges in this state
  • Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each count or separate offense.
  • Issuance of a reprimand
  • Placement of the certified public accountant on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the board may specify, including requiring the certified public accountant to attend continuing education courses or to work under the supervision of another licensee
  • Restriction of the authorized scope of practice by the CPA

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West Palm Beach Conviction Consequences for Commercial Drivers

There are a wide variety of convictions listed under Florida Statute § 322.61 that may disqualify an individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle. If a driver is convicted of two of the following serious traffic violations or any combination thereof, arising in separate incidents committed in a commercial or noncommercial motor vehicle, within a three-year period, he or she will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 60 days if such convictions result in the suspension, revocation, or cancellation of his or her commercial driver license (CDL):

  • A violation of any state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation, a weight violation, or a vehicle equipment violation, arising in connection with a crash resulting in death or personal injury to any person
  • Reckless driving
  • Careless driving
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer
  • Unlawful speed of 15 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle, owned by such person, which is not properly insured
  • Improper lane change
  • Following too closely
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without obtaining a commercial driver’s license
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without the proper class of commercial driver’s license or without the proper endorsement
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without a commercial driver’s license in possession

A commercial driver who is convicted of three of the violations listed above within a three-year period will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for 120 days. If a commercial driver is convicted of one of the following offenses while operating a commercial or noncommercial motor vehicle, he or she will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 1 year:

  • Driving a motor vehicle while he or she is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration of his or her blood, breath, or urine is 0.04 percent or higher
  • Leaving the scene of a crash involving a motor vehicle driven by such person
  • Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle while in possession of a controlled substance
  • Refusing to submit to a test to determine his or her alcohol concentration while driving a motor vehicle
  • Driving a commercial vehicle while the licenseholder’s commercial driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or canceled or while the licenseholder is disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle
  • Causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle

If the commercial driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time of the offense that led to his or her conviction for one of the offenses listed above, then he or she will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of three years. Any commercial driver who is convicted of two violations listed above or who is convicted of using a commercial vehicle in the commission of any felony involving the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance—including possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance—will be permanently disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Additionally, a commercial driver can be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle if he or she is convicted of or otherwise found to have committed an offense of operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of federal, state, or local law or regulation pertaining to one of the following offenses at a railroad-highway grade crossing:

  • Failing to slow down and check that the tracks are clear of approaching trains (applies to drivers who are not always required to stop)
  • Failing to stop before reaching the crossing if the tracks are not clear (applies to drivers who are not always required to stop)
  • Failing to stop before driving onto the crossing (applies to drivers who are always required to stop)
  • Failing to have sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping (applies to all drivers)
  • Failing to obey a traffic control device or all directions of an enforcement official at the crossing (applies to all drivers)
  • Failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance (applies to all drivers)

Commercial drivers who are convicted of any of the above violations will be punished as follows:

  • First Violation — Disqualified for minimum of 60 days
  • Second Violation During Any Three-Year Period — Disqualified for minimum of 120 days
  • Third or Subsequent Violation During Any Three-Year Period — Disqualified for minimum of one year

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Other Florida Professions with Conviction Consequences

There are many other licensed professions in Florida that have unique consequences for individuals who are convicted of criminal offenses. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Architects
  • Auctioneers
  • Barbers
  • Contractors
  • Cosmetologists
  • Counselors
  • Engineers
  • Federal officials
  • Firefighters
  • Inspectors
  • Nursing Home Administrators
  • Pilots
  • Police officers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Social Workers
  • State officials
  • Therapists

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Find a Criminal Lawyer for Professional Licensing Issues in Palm Beach County

Are you worried about how the criminal charges you are facing could affect your professional license? Make sure that you are working with legal counsel who understands all of the possible consequences of your final plea and will work to get you an outcome that results in the fewest penalties.

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. fights to protect the careers of professionals all over South Florida, including Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, Lake Worth, and Royal Palm Beach. You can have our West Palm Beach defense attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation as soon as you call (561) 283-3259 today.

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