Pennsylvania, like many states, regulates a wide range of professions through a comprehensive licensing system. These include professions like barbering and cosmetology, jobs in the health care field such as physicians, nurses, and physical therapists, jobs in the mental health field like psychologists and counselors, and many other professions that include architects, lawyers, auto dealers, funeral directors, geologists, crane operators, and more.
Each Licensed Profession Has Standards
Each licensed profession has its own particular rules and standards, but generally, as an applicant, you need to show that you have satisfied the background educational requirements for the position, that you have achieved some level of expertise in the type of job that is licensed, and – importantly for the present discussion – that you have met certain behavioral standards for the position.
These “behavioral standards” include being able to show that you have not been convicted of any of a list of crimes that apply to the licensed position. They vary depending on the type of job involved, but generally speaking include sex-related crimes, crimes of violence, and drug-related convictions. In addition, each type of licensed profession has its own list of additional crimes that are deemed to be specifically related to that particular profession; a conviction of any of these can also doom your application for a license or can cause your existing license to be revoked.
It Depends on the Profession and the Crime
To give you an idea of the kinds of convictions that can cause problems with your existing or future professional license, here are just a few examples of the many types of crimes in addition to the categories listed above that Pennsylvania considers relevant for certain licensed professions:
- Retail Theft (i.e., shoplifting) – Accounting, Auctioneer, Nursing, Real Estate, Pharmacist licenses
- Harassment – Psychology, Nursing Home Administrator licenses
- Records Tampering – Accounting, Architects, Auctioneer, Real Estate Appraiser, Chiropractor, Cosmetology, Professional Engineer licenses
- Theft of Services – Barber, Geologist, Landscape Architect, Audiologist, Auto Dealer licenses
This is why it is extremely important if you work in a licensed profession, or plan to do so in the future, that you consult with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you are charged with any type of crime. Depending on your profession and the crime you have been charged with, even a relatively minor conviction can place your existing or future license in jeopardy.
It's a Case-by-Case Analysis
Not all convictions – even ones on the list of crimes related to a specific type of license – will result in your professional license application being denied or your existing license revoked. The state reviews these on a case-by-case basis. In addition, Pennsylvania has a system in place that allows you to receive a preliminary determination of whether your criminal conviction is likely to result in your license application being denied.
An Experienced Attorney Can Help
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have the experience and dedication you need to help you if you have been charged with any crime and work in a licensed profession or plan to work in a licensed profession in the future. In addition to defending you against the charges that you face, attorney Joseph D. Lento can explain how the Pennsylvania licensing system can affect your defense. If the facts support it, he can negotiate with prosecutors to reduce or even drop certain charges that could impact your future ability to earn a living. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento and the team at the Lento Law Firm at 888.535.3686 or through our contact form to learn more about how we can help.
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