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Can a Criminal Record Impact a Professional License?


We all know that landing the perfect job can be a challenge. But it can be a lot harder if you have a criminal record. If you are applying for or have a professional license, you may be wondering, “Can my professional license be denied, suspended or revoked if I am convicted of a crime in New York?” This is a valid question indeed.

Generally, you cannot be denied a professional or occupational license from a New York licensing agency if you have been arrested, but not convicted. On the other hand, a conviction may cause problems depending on the following factors:

  • How long ago you were convicted.
  • What you were convicted of.
  • If the offense has anything to do with your ability to perform your job. For example, a drug possession charge would reflect negatively on anyone in the medical field. Likewise, a felony DWI would be bad for a real estate agent or a commercial driver.
  • If you have any prior criminal convictions.
  • If you can demonstrate that you are rehabilitated.

Suppose you are in the nursing profession in New York and you were convicted of a crime. Would the criminal conviction lead to disciplinary action on your license? It depends but a negative action is not absolute.

In many cases, the New York criminal courts notify the New York State Education Department (NYSED) when a nurse is convicted of a crime, but that doesn’t always mean it will result in a negative outcome. But it could.

The NYSED handles criminal convictions on a case-by-case basis. If you were convicted of a controlled substance offense in particular, it could lead to disciplinary action. But nursing licenses aren’t the only ones at risk. In New York, there are dozens of licensed professions, including chiropractic, dentistry, engineering, mental health practitioners, pharmacy, social work, and many more – all of which can face disciplinary action due to a conviction.

Do you hold a professional license and are you facing criminal charges in Dutchess County? If so, contact our firm to protect your freedom and your professional license.