If you are a licensed professional, then you have worked hard to get where you are now. You’ve studied diligently, practiced, and earned your license so that you can have the career you’ve been wanting. But when you are charged with a crime, whether you are guilty of it or not, the charge alone can be enough to warrant an investigation into your career, and it could result in you possibly losing your license.
At Holland Law LLC, we know that people are brought up on false charges every day, or they are brought up on charges that should not affect their professional licenses. That’s why if you are ever charged with a crime, no matter how minor, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you can to help protect your career and your future.
What is the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation?
When a criminal complaint has been filed against you, or you are charged with a crime, the information is sent to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR). The LLR states that its mission is to “promote the health, safety and economic well-being of the public through regulation, licensing, enforcement, training and education.” In other words, they make sure that people with professional licenses are following the rules that govern their career.
Even one criminal charge against you can have the LLR investigating your professional career to make sure that you haven’t been breaking their rules, in addition to allegedly breaking the law. If they find anything they don’t like, there are several penalties they can choose for you:
- Letter of reprimand
- Damage to reputation
- License suspension
- License revocation
- Payment of a fine
Even if you’re later found not guilty or the charges are dropped, it’s possible the damage to your professional career cannot be undone. .
According to South Carolina Restoration of Rights & Record Relief,
While a person may not be denied a license “solely because of a prior criminal conviction unless the criminal conviction directly relates to the profession or occupation for which the authorization to practice is sought” this protection is immediately undercut by the additional proviso that “a board may refuse an authorization to practice if, based upon all information available, including the applicant’s record of prior convictions, it finds that the applicant is unfit or unsuited to engage in the profession or occupation.
This means that you may apply for a professional license even with a criminal charge or conviction, and as long as the crime does not relate to the profession you are seeking a license from; however, despite that, the board may still refuse authorization if they deem you unsuited for the occupation that you want to be licensed in.
However, working with a Fort Mill or Rock Hill criminal defense lawyer gives you a better chance of both keeping your job and your license.
How does a criminal charge affect my future?
A criminal charge, even without a conviction, goes onto your criminal record. Having a criminal record can bar you from achieving certain goals such as further schooling, a new job, child custody, adoption, and even driving (depending on the charge).
In most cases, prospective employers have the legal right to look into your criminal record history, and should they not like what they see, it very well may not help you. If they ask you about your criminal record, you have to be honest, but you do not have to disclose any arrests that were made that did not result in a conviction. (The same applies when you are looking for schools or universities to attend.) Understand, however, that these arrests may still be public, and in certain cases, that public record could cost you a position. Therefore, even if you do not lose your license, you could still be denied employment in your industry.
Being charged with a crime related to domestic abuse or violent behavior can be especially challenging, as this may imply that you are an unfit and unsafe person for children to be around. This can cost you other opportunities, too. For example, if you lose your teaching license, you could also be denied another non-licensed job in a school, such as an administrative position because of your record.
What is expungement?
Under South Carolina law, an expungement wipes your criminal record clean of a criminal conviction. It will be like it never existed. Expungements clear your criminal record of an arrest and conviction, and the information is removed from applicable state and/or federal databases. Once you have had your record expunged, when employers or those in charge of granting your professional license look at your criminal history, there will be no record of the arrest, charge, or conviction. Expungement is a good way to have a second chance at life. These are only available under certain circumstances, and our legal team is happy to explain more.
We all make mistakes, and that includes police as well. Guilty or not, a charge is a charge, and it will show up on your criminal record. The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation will investigate into your life, into your career, and they could deem you unfit for your occupation even without a trial. If this is happening to you, it is important that you seek out a criminal defense lawyer.
At Holland Law LLC, we will deflect any evidence that portrays you in a negative light, as the LLR may try to use it against you. If you’re worried that you might lose your professional license due to an arrest or conviction, call a criminal defense attorney today at 803-219-2630, or use our contact page. Our firm has offices in Fort Mill and Rock Hill, and we also serve people in York, Chester, and Lancaster.
Tom Holland previously served as the General Counsel for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, the City Solicitor for the City of Lancaster, and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Sixth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. He is a single father, and through his own divorce gained valuable insight he now uses to provide Fort Mill and Rock Hill, SC families with the best representation. Learn more about Tom Holland.