Professional Licensing Consequences

Professional Licensing Consequences of Criminal Convictions for Sex Offenses

Doctors, nurses, health aides, dentists, attorneys, real estate brokers, beautician’s and massage therapists alike–If you’re charged and convicted of just about any sexual offense and you have a professional license, you could lose your license. At The Meryhew Law Group we have experience in crafting solutions that enable many of our clients to remain in their professions even after being charged with a disqualifying offense. The key is understanding the rules and the consequences that result for our clients.

Medical and Health Care Professionals With Sex Offenses

Convictions for all sex offenses can have devastating effects on the careers of health care professionals particularly. If you are an M.D., R.N., L.P.N., D.D.S., or other licenses health care professional you cannot afford a conviction and you need to have the best representation available.

For example, RCW 43.43.842 provides that individuals who provide care to vulnerable adults must not have, among other things:

  • An active protective order involving a vulnerable adult where they are the respondent.
  • A conviction for a crime against a person, which includes most sexual crimes and misdemeanor and felony assault crimes.

There are similar provisions throughout the Revised Code of Washington for other licenses and professions. This can and does have a significant impact on health care practitioners of all forms including medical doctors, doctor of osteopathy and registered nurses.

Educators and Teachers Convicted of Sex Offenses

Special rules apply to those in the education field. Teachers convicted of almost any sex offense will face trouble with the Office of the Superintendent of Instruction. For example, under RCW 9.96A.020, individuals convicted of pretty much any sex offense involving a child can be disqualified from their employment, including:

  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Rape of a child
  • Child molestation
  • Sexual misconduct involving a minor
  • Promoting prostitution of a minor
  • Any other sexual offense under RCW 9A.44 involving a minor

If you are convicted of one of these offenses then you are disqualified from:

  • Obtaining any educational certificate issued under RCW 28A.405 or RCW 28A.410.
  • Being employed by a school district, educational service district, or a contractor who will have regularly scheduled unsupervised access to children.

How can a Sexual Offense Conviction Affect my Professional License?

Both the Uniform Businesses and Professions Act and the Uniform Health Professions Act provide that the “commission of any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption” that relates to the person’s profession or business operations constitutes “unprofessional conduct,” whether the act constitutes a crime or not. At the civil disciplinary hearing, evidence of any plea or conviction that produces a judgment and sentence becomes “conclusive evidence” of your conduct, and includes all instances in which a guilty plea, Alford or Newton plea, deferred sentence, or suspended sentence was entered.

The consequences of convictions for sexual offenses extend far beyond jail time. Your livelihood can be at stake. Call attorney who have knowledge and experience in these increasingly complicated area of law and work on these kinds of cases every day. Contact a lawyer at The Meryhew Law Group, PLLC today for a free initial consultation.

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