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Collateral Consequences for Professionals with Criminal Convictions

A criminal conviction may have severe repercussions for a professional career and licensing


Certain state or federal convictions may make a person ineligible for many state, federal and municipal jobs.  It may also impact one's ability to hold a professional license.  Even if a conviction is not absolutely disqualifying, it may nonetheless impact one's ability to hold a license as there is often a consideration given to one's character and fitness.  A licensing board may consider whether a conviction is "substantially related" or "directly related" to a particular job or license.

There is no general bar to employment of people with a criminal record by federal agencies, and there are only a few types of federal employment that by law are off-limits to a person with a prior felony conviction.  A felony conviction rules out a career in federal law enforcement bars military enlistment and may be grounds for exclusion from participation in programs funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, including AmeriCorps and VISTA. 

Federal laws restrict or prohibit entirely employment of convicted persons in a number of different fields, including banking, insurance, real estate, private prisoner transportation, state motor vehicle departments, and labor unions.  Federal law also authorizes or requires nationwide background checks for elementary and secondary school employees, for private security services, hospices, and for anyone licensed or employed to work with vulnerable populations (ie: children, elderly, and individuals with disabilities).

If you have questions concerning whether or not your professional license may be jeopardized by criminal conviction, its best to get advice immediately.  By getting "out in front" of the problem experienced counsel may be able to assist you by avoiding an otherwise, drastically important economic impact on your life.  You may call Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC (717) 268-4287  or email us today.