Collateral Consequences of Criminal Charges

Professional licenses are granted to those whose work requires a higher standard of conduct than non-licensed professions. These are mandated for medical doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers, teachers, and so on in order to practice and in the US the requirements vary from state to state. For example, some states require interior designers to be licensed to practice while others do not.

Because these professionals are generally required to abide by a code of ethics, if a professional is charged with a crime and subsequently convicted, it may very well result in the loss or restriction of a person’s professional license whether or not the crime is work-related. Loss or restriction of a professional license due to a criminal conviction is usually a death knell to a career, no matter how long and well-established. Since no license means no one cannot practice, it also means the loss of clients, and it is very difficult to make a comeback from that.

In criminal trials, a judge may impose a sentence in accordance with the pertinent statute, and this is considered a direct consequence of a criminal conviction. However, the state may also attach civil consequences over and above the penalties issued at the time of sentencing which may not be imposed or intended by the judge but which is applicable under civil law. These civil sanctions are called collateral consequences of criminal charges or the 4Cs.

Consequences of criminal charges are serious enough for any person, but it is more so for licensed professionals. If you find yourself charged with a crime, you should make every effort to defend your professional license at all costs. Find the best criminal defense lawyer in your area specializing in professional license defense; you simply cannot afford to do otherwise.

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