By: Attorney Kristen Nelson and Paralegal Rachel Sweet
A number of professions require people to obtain licenses before they can work in that field. Obtaining a professional license can be a complex process, and a person will usually need to provide documentation of education or training, and they may need to meet other requirements, such as having a certain amount of experience. Depending on the profession, there may be some issues that could affect a person’s ability to obtain a license, including certain types of criminal convictions. Those who have worked in certain professions in the past or who wish to become licensed professionals may need to address felony convictions, and they can do so with the help of a professional license defense attorney.
When Do Felony Convictions Disqualify a Person From Receiving a Professional License?
Under Wisconsin law (Wis. Stat. § 111.335), professional licensing boards are generally allowed to refuse to issue a professional license to a person who has been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, or other offense that is related to the specific profession. In addition, the law states that denial of a license or refusal to employ a person because of a felony conviction is not considered discrimination.
A felony conviction is more likely to prevent a person from receiving a license if a profession involves the safety and health of the public. Nurses may be unable to receive a license if they were convicted of an offense that indicates that they are unable to practice nursing due to drug or alcohol addiction, such as drug possession or DUI/OWI, and felony convictions or misdemeanors related to the practice of nursing will usually also be a reason for disqualification. Doctors will generally be disqualified from receiving a license if they have any convictions, deferred adjudication, or sentences of community supervision.
However, there may be certain circumstances where those who have been convicted of felonies may still be able to receive professional licenses. A person will usually need to serve their entire sentence, including any required parole or community supervision. They may then apply for expungement of their record after a certain amount of time has passed. Even after receiving an expungement, they will usually need to disclose their conviction when applying for a license and provide proof of rehabilitation to show that they will be able to protect the safety of others while practicing their profession.
Contact Our Milwaukee Professional License Defense Lawyers
Applying for a professional license after being convicted of a felony can be difficult, and if you are in this situation, you may worry that you will face judgment based on mistakes you made in the past. To ensure that you will be able to properly answer any questions and demonstrate that you can practice your profession safely, it is a good idea to work with an attorney who can advocate for you during this process. Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can assist you with your professional license application and ensure that you provide the correct information to the applicable licensing board. To learn how we can help you address these issues, contact our Milwaukee, WI professional licensing attorney at 414-271-1440.