Felony Convictions and Your Professional License

Are You Facing Felony Charges as a Professional License Holder in Texas?

felony convictions and professional license

The impact of felony convictions on your professional license status can be significant. Such an offense may even put you at risk of having your license permanently revoked. Few professionals consider the ramifications of a felony offense because they do not see themselves ever being in such a precarious situation. Unfortunately, if you are suspected of fraud, theft, or another white-collar crime, you may be charged with a felony that could end your career.

At the Leichter Law Firm, we understand how important your professional license is to your career and future. If you are charged, or have had your license suspended or revoked due to a felony charge, we may be able to help. Contact our Texas professional license defense attorneys today at 512-495-9995 to learn more about how we can help defend your license.

How Can a Felony Conviction Affect Your Professional License in Texas?

Having a criminal record of any kind could potentially affect not only your personal life, but also your professional license. Aside from fines, outstanding court costs, and possible prison time, your career could wind up as collateral damage. Texas criminal statutes and administrative law regulations, as well as federal laws, establish the consequences of serious criminal convictions.

Two specific consequences of a felony criminal conviction include a felony conviction on your criminal record and requirements for disclosing relevant criminal convictions. In the State of Texas, other consequences for professional licenses include the following.

  • Suspension or revocation of a professional license
  • Revocation or suspension of licenses held for a business

Therefore, if you hold a license for medicine, nursing, law, dentistry, real estate, or other professional occupation, even one felony conviction could put that in jeopardy.

Does Texas Allow Convicted Felons to Practice Medicine?

Texas laws specifically prohibit convicted felons from practicing medicine. However, there are specific situations in which this could change. Depending on the nature of the felony conviction, the severity of the crime, and how much time has passed since the actual conviction. The best way to find out how a criminal record could affect your licensure is to speak with a qualified criminal defense and administrative law attorney.

How Can a Felony Conviction Affect Your License Application in Texas?

what professional license can a convicted felon get

Certain criminal convictions can even affect one’s application for a license or a license renewal. Texas has specific guidelines outlined by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Texas Medical Board, Texas Board of Nursing, Texas State Board of Pharmacy, and various other licensing agencies. These agencies have a defined process by which they determine whether or not a candidate is suitable for a license. They also have a process for determining whether a criminal conviction warrants the revocation or suspension of a professional license.

Many careers that require licenses can be affected by criminal charges or convictions. For example, if someone wants to become a real estate agent, they must fill out a real estate license application. If their criminal background is significant enough, their initial or license renewal application may be denied.

The general factors that licensing boards consider when determining whether or not to take adverse actions against someone’s license or license application include the following.

  • Severity and nature of the criminal conviction
  • Relationship of the crime to the duties and responsibilities of the licensed occupation
  • Extent to which granting a license would present opportunities for more criminal acts of the same type
  • Nature and extent of someone’s past criminal history
  • The person’s age at the time the crime was committed
  • Evidence of past rehabilitation or rehabilitative efforts
  • Work activity and conduct both before and after the criminal activity occurred
  • Other types of evidence of the person’s fitness to perform the duties and responsibilities of the occupation, including letters of recommendation
  • How much time has passed since the last record of criminal activity

How Long Can a Felony Charge Be Pending in Texas?

In Texas, the statutes of limitations for felonies generally range from two to ten years, while some crimes have no statute of limitations. If prosecutors fail to bring charges within the applicable statute of limitations, if any, they will be barred from doing so.

Disclosing Felony Convictions in Texas

licenses that felons can get

Generally, those with a criminal record of any kind are required to disclose that information to licensing boards when they apply for or renew a license. Many boards even require licensees to self-report if they are arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime. Failure to do so could result in the related board opening an investigation or in negative licensing consequences.

What Is a Felony in Texas?

A felony offense is a severe charge that often carries heavy penalties, including prison time, if you are convicted. Many different crimes can qualify as a felony in Texas, including certain levels of:

  • Assault
  • Bribery (either bribing or accepting a bribe)
  • Embezzlement (if the amount exceeds $1,500)
  • Federal drug offenses
  • Fraud
  • Perjury
  • Tax crimes

In addition to the penalties issued by the court, you may also face a number of licensing penalties from your state professional licensing board. Many licensing agencies do not tolerate a felony conviction and may see it as grounds to suspend or revoke your license altogether.

Restrictions on Convicted Felons in Texas

Along with the professional consequences that convicted felons could face, they may also face other serious problems, such as the following.

  • Difficulty finding a job or maintaining steady employment
  • Termination of employment
  • Disqualification from running for public office
  • Ineligibility for certain government benefits
  • Loss of voting rights
  • Revocation or suspension of driver’s license
  • Second Amendment implications
  • Ineligibility for certain types of loans
  • Requirements to register as a sex offender (in sex crime cases)

The potential consequences for even one felony conviction are massive, which is what makes working with a Houston criminal defense attorney so important. As soon as you learn of criminal accusations or charges against you, speak with an attorney. We will immediately begin working on your defense and give you a fighting chance at saving your license, your career, and your future.

What Professional License Can a Convicted Felon Get?

In Texas, most professional licenses are not available for those with felony convictions. This can be the case for felony or misdemeanor convictions unless the record is expunged. Most professional careers that have a licensing process would be negatively affected by a felony criminal background history.

Careers in the medical, financial, legal, and insurance fields are generally negatively affected by felony criminal convictions. The same is true for anyone with a real estate license, pharmacology license, or cosmetology license.

What Should I Do if I Am Facing Felony Charges as a Professional?

felonies and professional licenses

Because of the harsh penalties and consequences associated with a felony conviction, it is crucial to craft an ironclad defense with an experienced defense attorney. Even if you are arrested or facing charges for a felony, this does not spend the end of your license or career. The burden of proof for finding someone guilty is much higher, as a prosecutor must show proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

By working with an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer, you can explore all possible avenues and strategies for defending your life and livelihood. Some examples of valid defenses for an alleged felony crime include the following.

  • Defense of self or others
  • Unlawful search and seizure by law enforcement, which generates illegally obtained evidence. Illegally obtained evidence must be tossed out in court.
  • Statute of limitations for the particular crimes has passed
  • Entrapment by police
  • Lack of knowledge or intent when the prosecution uses them as essential elements

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

As soon as you are arrested or realize you face felony charges, you should contact an experienced defense attorney in Texas. Speaking with a lawyer about your case is one of the most important rights that you should exercise as an accused, charged, or arrested person. When you interact with law enforcement, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Refrain from resisting arrest or making any verbal threats or negative comments.
  • Refrain from making any statements about your situation, even about your own innocence or someone else’s culpability. You have the right to remain silent, and we strongly recommend doing so until you can speak with an attorney.
  • If police ask you any questions, remember that you have the right to remain silent. Even if you think answering certain questions will help your case, anything you say could be used against you in court.
  • If or when you appear in court, be as respectful as possible and maintain a professional air.

Any case involving a potential felony conviction is incredibly delicate, and you’ll need a strong defense to avoid facing personal and professional consequences. Contact an attorney as soon as possible if you have a professional license and you are facing a possible criminal conviction.

Why Should I Choose Leichter Law for My Case?

felony convictions and professional licenses in texas

The team at Leichter Law has the unique experience you need for the best possible chance of a favorable outcome in your case. We have experience in both administrative and criminal law, which puts us in the perfect position to defend your license, reputation, and professional future. A medical professional, legal professional, or even a real estate agent could see suspension or revocation of their license if they are convicted.

By working closely with our defense team, we will ensure that your case is thoroughly investigated and that we do everything we can to defend your future. Don’t wait to contact an attorney about your case. The sooner that you secure legal representation, the better.

Contact a License Defense Attorney in Texas with Leichter Law Today

However, with a proper legal defense, it may be possible to reduce the penalties against you even if you are convicted of such a charge. An experienced license defense attorney can negotiate with board officials to seek alternatives to a revoked license so that your practice and your career are preserved. To discuss your felony charge or conviction with a dedicated Texas professional license defense lawyer, contact the Leichter Law Firm today by calling 512-495-9995.

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Office Locations

Austin Office

1602 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702
Phone: (512) 495-9995
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Houston Office

3700 N Main St
Houston, TX 77009
Phone: (713) 714-2446
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214 N 16th St #128
McAllen, TX 78501
Phone: (956) 205-0884
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