Massachusetts requires professional licensing for a number of different careers. Those working in certain medical professions, real estate jobs, commercial transportation and even architecture have to fulfill minimum educational requirements, undergo a background check and secure a state license. They then have to maintain that license by meeting professional standards and fulfilling continuing education requirements.
Those who have invested heavily in their careers in the pursuit of a licensed profession typically intend to profit from that investment for many years to come. However, sometimes, mistakes and misconceptions can put someone’s professional future at risk. How can someone who is facing criminal charges in Massachusetts protect their professional license?
Avoiding a criminal conviction
Every defendant has the right to a presumption of innocence. In other words, in the eyes of the law, anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Employers and other parties, like licensing authorities, should not discriminate against an individual accused of a crime but able to exonerate themselves through evidence. Therefore, it is the outcome of criminal charges, not someone’s arrest, that will usually affect their professional license.
Any professional facing criminal accusations, regardless of whether or not the accusations directly relate to their profession, can typically minimize career consequences and long-term limitations by avoiding a conviction. The state licensing board will have a much more difficult time justifying punitive actions if the criminal courts have failed to convict someone.
There are numerous ways for someone to defend against criminal charges ranging from proving someone else committed the crime to establishing that no crime actually occurred. Those facing criminal charges and worried about preserving their professional licenses will often benefit from cooperating with a defense attorney.
A successful defense in criminal court may eliminate the risk of disciplinary efforts by the licensing board or can strengthen someone’s chances of avoiding lasting licensing consequences stemming from a recent arrest. Although it is theoretically possible for licensed professionals to defend themselves at a disciplinary hearing in front of the state licensing board after a conviction, it is easier to avoid disciplinary efforts and penalties with an unblemished criminal background.
The team at J. W. Carney, Jr. & Associates does not practice licensing defense, but our attorneys do help professionals facing criminal charges avoid career-ending charges. Our network of professional contacts can help us connect clients with the right support if clients need to defend their licenses in addition to defending against criminal charges. Mounting a rigorous defense to even seemingly minor criminal charges can help professionals protect the investment that they have made in their careers thus far.