December 21, 2017
A criminal conviction can really mess up your life beyond any fines and jail time. You can find getting an apartment difficult, and you might lose your right to vote or own a firearm, depending on the offense. Equally important, you might lose your job. For these reasons, contact a skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you face criminal charges.
You Might Lose Your Current Job
Employees may lose their jobs once their employers catch wind of any criminal convictions. For example, your job contract might state that you agree to avoid criminal convictions. If you violate that provision, your employer can fire you. Furthermore, if you work as an at-will employee without a contract, then your boss can fire you for any legal reason—and a conviction certainly qualifies.
At an even more basic level, you might lose your driver’s license because of a criminal conviction, which will make getting to work harder. Don’t act surprised to receive a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling you that your drug conviction resulted in a year-long license suspension.
A Conviction Can Make a New Job Harder to Get
Many employers now run criminal background checks as part of the application process, looking for reasons to toss someone’s application into the rejection bin. Even if you tried to hide your criminal history, an employer will still find out about it.
Strong incentives motivate Florida employers to check applicants’ criminal histories. For example, if a business employee injures someone, the injured party might sue the business for negligently hiring the employee. By running a criminal background check, the law presumes the employer did not act negligently. This gives employers a powerful reason to run background checks on all job applicants.
You Might Lose a Professional License
Many professionals, such as the following, need licenses to work at their jobs:
- Insurance agents
Florida law provides some protection by prohibiting the state from denying someone a license or certificate because of a criminal offense. However, the law has a big exception: The state can deny you if your record contains a felony or first-degree misdemeanor and the conviction directly relates to your job. Special rules apply to drug convictions.
For example, insurance agents can permanently lose their licenses if courts convict them of a first-degree felony or any felony involving embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, or the financial services industry. In Florida, licensing boards require that you report any criminal violation within a certain amount of time, and failure to report can also result in punishment.
Professionals need experienced criminal defense lawyers who understand how plea bargains can affect professional licenses. Although pleading guilty to criminal charges might make sense for some people, guilty pleas might lead directly to license revocations.
Call a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are accused of a crime, time is of the essence. You’ll need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who knows how to get charges dismissed, reduced, or thrown out of court. Rohom Khonsari, the founder of Khonsari Law Group, is a former prosecutor with years of experience in criminal law. Call (727) 269-5300 or complete our online contact form. Consultations are confidential and free.