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Will I have trouble becoming a licensed physical therapist with one DUI on my record from when i was 21?

Glen Cove, NY |

I am 23 now and considering applying to school, but I am concerned about becoming licensed and getting a job in the future. Clean record otherwise and I have done everything requested by the courts.

Attorney Answers 6


  1. It should not be a problem.

    Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
    Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
    Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
    1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
    Garden City, NY 11530
    516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
    Jlopiccolo@hbclaw.net

    I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


  2. Call the State agency that issues the license. It is probably eithter the Dept. of Education or the Sec. of State.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  3. Check with the state licensing board and review the application form and it's questions related to any prior convictions that may handicap the process. I don't practice in NY, so I'll defer to the avvo lawyers on this site for their responses.

    I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..


  4. Like most states, the New York licensing authority for physical therapists has the legal authority to deny a license to applicants with any conviction, and the application for license requires disclosure of all arrests and convictions. See: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pt/pt1.pdf
    Do not be tempted to prejudice your application by being anything less than fully candid in response to these questions in your application. Remember, the state already has the criminal history record, so your disclosure is nothing more than the applicant integrity test.

    Also similar to other states, NY's licensing authorities consider applications on a case-by-case basis and the applicant's prior criminal history, subsequent (post-conviction) history, satisfaction of all probation terms, and other factors evidencing rehabilitation and/or mitigation (community ties, stability in employment, pursuit of educational goals, etc.) will ordinarily outweigh a single offense unless that offense was aggravated.

    It can be a sound investment of a very small amount of money to consult at this stage of your plans with an attorney who practices professional and occupational licensing law in your state. Most active and experienced licensing law attorneys can quickly determine in just a few minutes whether a specific candidate's application will be problematic to the state licensing agency.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


  5. The licensing requirements for becoming a licensed physical therapist in NY State are contained in the NYS Education laws. This query cannot be answered in a vacuum. Before spending years and assets in school, it would behoove you to retain counsel to do the requisite legal research regarding the licensing requirements and prohibitions of becoming a licensed PT in NY State. Best of luck!


  6. First make sure you were convicted of a crime and not the traffic violation of driving while ability impaired by alcohol [VTL 1192(1)]. If it is a criminal conviction, ask your attorney to apply for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities from the judge. This certificate does not expunge your criminal record but it prevents the state from summarily denying you a license and entitles you to a hearing if the state tries to deny you a license based on the conviction. Also, due to changes in the rules and regulations for federal student aid, you may have to disclose a drug or alcohol related offense (violation or crime) before getting financial aid. Read the application for financial aid carefully and ask your attorney to assist you when filling out the application. See http://www.fafsa.ed.gov to get an idea of what types of questions they ask about criminal convictions.

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