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Professional Licenses and Criminal Records

A criminal record can lead to a suspension or denial of your professional license.  However, New York law only allows this in certain circumstances, and sometimes an overzealous government licensing agency will overstep its powers to deny a professional license when it should not be allowed to do so.

Nassau County Professional Licenses and Criminal Records Lawyer

Stephanie Selloni is a professional license attorney in Garden City, Nassau County in Long island, NY. She defends professional license holders from accusations, fights the denial of professional licenses, protects professional licensees under investigation, appeals adverse professional licensing agency decisions, and offers complete New York professional license law service.

Success in fighting professional license denials and revocations is a result of thorough preparation and an aggressive approach to the situation.  If you are facing a denial or suspension of your professional license due to a criminal record in and around Garden City, Westbury, Floral Park, Hempstead, Mineola, or the surrounding areas in Nassau County, call the Law Office of Stephanie Selloni at 516-972-1212 today to set up your consultation.

Professional licensing is a complicated and often confusing situation in New York, especially when a criminal record is involved.  Let Attorney Stephanie Selloni put her experience in fighting professional license denials and suspensions to work for you. Call 516-972-1212 today to discuss your situation or to set up an in-person meeting.

Professional Licenses and Criminal Records in Nassau County New York

Criminal records are often an impediment to getting professional licenses, and may even cause you to lose an existing professional license.  Professional licensing as regards to criminal records is covered by New York Correction Laws Article 23-A.

A criminal record can affect your ability to get and keep New York licenses for professions such as:

  • Commercial driver
  • Medical professions such as doctor or nurse
  • Accountant
  • Attorney
  • Pilot
  • Alcohol distributor
  • Real estate broker
  • Teacher and other educational professions
  • Therapist
  • Security guard
  • Police officer

Criminal records are much more common than they used to be.  Many people who do not think of themselves as criminals or bad people now have criminal records due to the considerable growth over the past few decades in arrests for drug offenses, domestic violence, drunk driving, and “quality of life” offenses.  By age 23, 30 percent of Americans have been arrested, compared with 22 percent in 1967.

Additionally, technological advances have made it much easier for past criminal convictions to follow you for the rest of your life, even to other states.

You may also face additional legal issues if you lose your professional license due to a criminal conviction, for example your child support payments may need to be modified to something that realistically reflects your earning capacity without a professional license.

Denial or Revocation of a Professional License Due to a Criminal Record

N.Y. P.L. 750.52 states that no professional license shall be denied or suspended due to a criminal record unless there is a direct relationship between a criminal offense and the specific professional license or the issuance or continuation of the license would involve an unreasonable risk to property, safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

In determining whether a criminal record can prevent you from getting a professional license, New York licensing agencies must consider the following factors:

  • New York's public policy to encourage the licensing and employment of individuals with criminal records
  • The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the license being applied for, and the bearing, if any, that the individual’s criminal history will have on his or her fitness to perform these duties and responsibilities
  • The time that has elapsed since the individual’s criminal conduct, and the individual’s age at the time of the occurrence
  • The seriousness of the individual’s offense(s)
  • The legitimate interest of the licensing agency in protecting property, specific persons, or the general public
  • Any evidence of rehabilitation that an individual with a criminal record presents, including a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or Certificate of Good Conduct. (Certificates of Relief and Good Conduct create a presumption of rehabilitation.)

Sometimes, a licensing agency or law makes a criminal conviction, or certain type of criminal conviction, an automatic bar to licensing.  Other times, licensing requires "good moral character," and a criminal record is taken into account when considering whether the license applicant is of "good moral character."

N.Y. P.L. 750.54 allows you to demand a written statement within 30 days if you are denied a professional license due to a criminal record.  This will help you and your attorney analyze the situation and determine if the license denial can be challenged.

If you are wrongfully denied a professional license due to a criminal record, a Nassau County attorney can help you bring a civil action or lawsuit against the licensing agency to correct the situation.

One option to those with a criminal record who wish to obtain a New York professional license is to obtain a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or Certificate of Good Conduct.  Few if any other states issue such certificates, which create a presumption of rehabilitation when dealing with professional licensing agencies.

Resources Related to Professional Licenses and Criminal Records in New York

The New York Department of Labor publishes a guide called “The Road to Re-entry” to assist those with criminal records in finding gainful employment.  This guide can be found on the Department of Labor website or contacting the Department of Labor at:

NYS Department of Labor
Mario J. Musolino, Acting Commissioner
Building 12
W.A. Harriman Campus
Albany, NY 12240
(518) 457-9000

The New York Department of Education maintains a list of professions requiring occupational licenses and links to details about these professional licenses.  The Department of Education also distributes information regarding license application forms, information regarding qualifications and the licensing process, obtaining a registration renewal application for a profession, filing a complaint against a licensee, filing a change of name or address, obtaining a duplicate Registration Certificate or replacement License Parchment, and information regarding the practice of a profession or continuing education.

This information can be found on the New York Department of Education website or contacting the state government at:

Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
PO Box 22001
Albany, NY 12201-2001
Phone: 518-474-2121

The New York City Bar publishes a pamphlet regarding professional licenses and criminal records that is applicable all across the state of New York.

42 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 382-6600

Finding the Best Professional Licenses and Criminal Records Attorney on Long Island

If you need advice regarding the effects of a criminal record on your ability to get and maintain a professional license, call an experienced Nassau County attorney. If you have been turned down or believe you may be turned down for a professional license, if you are under investigation by your professional licensing board, if you have received a notice that your professional license may be suspended or revoked, if you have to disclose a criminal record on a professional license application, or if you have just lost a professional license hearing, you should contact a Nassau County professional license attorney immediately.

We represent clients in Hempstead, Mineola, Garden City, Floral Park, Westbury and the surrounding areas of Long Island who are facing denial or suspension of a professional license due to a criminal record.  Call us today at the Law Office of Stephanie Selloni at 516-972-1212 to schedule a consultation that will allow us to give you a complete assessment of your legal options.