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Can I Lose My Professional License for Not Disclosing My Criminal History?

Can I Lose My Professional License for Not Disclosing My Criminal History?

As a professional in Nevada, your reputation and career hinge on maintaining the trust of your clients, colleagues, and regulatory boards. One of the most pressing questions we encounter at Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers is whether non-disclosure of criminal history can lead to the loss of a professional license. The short answer is yes, it can. But the circumstances and potential consequences can vary significantly based on several factors.

Understanding Professional Licensing Requirements

Each profession has its own set of licensing requirements governed by state and regulatory bodies. These requirements often include a moral character clause, which mandates full disclosure of any past criminal activities. Professions such as law, medicine, accounting, real estate, and others place high importance on ethical conduct, integrity, and transparency. Non-disclosure or misrepresentation of your criminal history can be seen as a breach of these ethical standards.

Legal Obligations in Nevada

Nevada law requires professionals to disclose criminal history during the application for a license and often during license renewal processes. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties, including the revocation of your professional license. For instance, the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners and the Nevada State Bar are known for their strict stance on non-disclosure.

Specific Professions and Disclosure Requirements

  1. Medical ProfessionalsThe Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners requires full disclosure of any criminal convictions. Non-disclosure can result in disciplinary actions, including license suspension or revocation.
  2. Legal Professionals – The Nevada State Bar mandates that any criminal convictions must be disclosed. Failure to do so can lead to disbarment or suspension.
  3. Real Estate AgentsThe Nevada Real Estate Division requires that all applicants disclose any criminal history. Concealing this information can lead to denial, suspension, or revocation of the real estate license.
  4. NursesThe Nevada State Board of Nursing requires disclosure of any criminal history. Non-disclosure can lead to disciplinary measures, including the loss of the nursing license.

Consequences of Non-Disclosure

  • Revocation or Suspension: The most direct consequence is the potential for your license to be revoked or suspended. This can be career-damaging, affecting not only your current position but also your future employment opportunities.
  • Fines and Penalties: Regulatory bodies may impose fines and other penalties for failing to disclose criminal history.
  • Damage to Reputation: Beyond legal and professional penalties, non-disclosure can severely damage your reputation, making it difficult to regain trust within your industry.

Understanding NRS 630.306

The following acts, among others, constitute grounds for initiating disciplinary action or denying licensure:

1. Inability to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety because of illness, a mental or physical condition or the use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics or any other substance.

2. Engaging in any conduct:

(a) Which is intended to deceive;

(b) Which the Board has determined is a violation of the standards of practice established by regulation of the Board; or

(c) Which is in violation of a regulation adopted by the State Board of Pharmacy.

3. Administering, dispensing or prescribing any controlled substance, or any dangerous drug as defined in chapter 454 of NRS, to or for himself or herself or to others except as authorized by law.

4. Performing, assisting or advising the injection of any substance containing liquid silicone into the human body, except for the use of silicone oil to repair a retinal detachment.

5. Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope permitted by law or performing services which the licensee knows or has reason to know that he or she is not competent to perform or which are beyond the scope of his or her training.

6. Performing, without first obtaining the informed consent of the patient or the patient’s family, any procedure or prescribing any therapy which by the current standards of the practice of medicine is experimental.

7. Continual failure to exercise the skill or diligence or use the methods ordinarily exercised under the same circumstances by physicians in good standing practicing in the same specialty or field.

8. Habitual intoxication from alcohol or dependency on controlled substances.

9. Making or filing a report which the licensee or applicant knows to be false or failing to file a record or report as required by law or regulation.

10. Failing to comply with the requirements of NRS 630.254.

11. Failure by a licensee or applicant to report in writing, within 30 days, any disciplinary action taken against the licensee or applicant by another state, the Federal Government or a foreign country, including, without limitation, the revocation, suspension or surrender of a license to practice medicine in another jurisdiction.

12. Failure by a licensee or applicant to report in writing, within 30 days, any criminal action taken or conviction obtained against the licensee or applicant, other than a minor traffic violation, in this State or any other state or by the Federal Government, a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or any local or federal jurisdiction of a foreign country.

13. Failure to be found competent to practice medicine as a result of an examination to determine medical competency pursuant to NRS 630.318.

14. Operation of a medical facility at any time during which:

(a) The license of the facility is suspended or revoked; or

(b) An act or omission occurs which results in the suspension or revocation of the license pursuant to NRS 449.160.

This subsection applies to an owner or other principal responsible for the operation of the facility.

15. Failure to comply with the requirements of NRS 630.373.

16. Engaging in any act that is unsafe or unprofessional conduct in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board.

17. Violating a provision of a remediation agreement approved by the Board pursuant to NRS 630.299.

Mitigating Factors and Legal Defenses

While the consequences can be severe, there are mitigating factors and legal defenses that can be presented. For example, if the criminal offense occurred many years ago and you’ve since demonstrated good moral character, this can be a point in your favor. Additionally, if the non-disclosure was unintentional or due to a misunderstanding, these facts can be used in your defense.

Steps to Take if You’ve Failed to Disclose

  1. Consult an Experienced Professional License Defense Lawyer: Immediately seek legal advice from a professional with experience in criminal and administrative law. At Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers, we specialize in navigating these complex legal waters.
  2. Prepare Documentation: Gather all relevant documentation related to your criminal history and professional license. This includes court records, character references, and any correspondence with regulatory bodies.
  1. Voluntary Disclosure: In some cases, voluntarily disclosing your criminal history to the relevant licensing board may mitigate potential consequences. This should be done under the guidance of a legal professional.
  2. Cooperate with Investigations: If an investigation is initiated, fully cooperate with the regulatory body. Demonstrating transparency and willingness to rectify the situation can positively influence the outcome.

Preventative Measures

  • Full Disclosure: Always fully disclose any criminal history when applying for or renewing a professional license. Honesty is the best policy and can prevent future complications.
  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast of any changes in licensing requirements and ensure compliance with all regulations.
  • Seek Legal Counsel: Before submitting any application or renewal, consult with legal counsel to ensure all disclosures are properly made.

Why Choose Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers?

Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers is exceptionally qualified to assist with your professional license disclosure requirements as well as your criminal case. Our team of experienced attorneys understands the intricate relationship between criminal charges and professional licensing for physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare professionals. We are adept at navigating the complexities of regulatory frameworks and have a proven track record in managing both aspects concurrently. This dual expertise ensures that our clients receive comprehensive legal support, addressing the immediate concerns of criminal charges while proactively managing the impact on their professional standing and licensure.

Our firm’s unique capability lies in our holistic approach, seamlessly integrating criminal defense with professional license advocacy. Criminal charges, even misdemeanors, can have significant repercussions on your professional career, triggering inquiries and actions from licensing boards. Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers’s deep understanding of both criminal law and healthcare regulations enables us to provide strategic defense and meticulous disclosure management, safeguarding your career and reputation. By choosing Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers, you benefit from a coordinated legal strategy that addresses all dimensions of your case, ensuring you receive robust representation tailored to the specific needs of healthcare professionals facing legal challenges.

Contact Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

The question of whether you can lose your professional license for not disclosing your criminal history is a serious one, with significant implications for your career and livelihood. In Nevada, the answer is unequivocally yes. However, understanding your legal obligations, the potential consequences, and taking proactive steps can help mitigate risks.

At Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers, we are committed to providing expert legal guidance to professionals facing these challenges. If you have concerns about your criminal history and its impact on your professional license, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation. Your career and reputation are worth protecting.

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