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.
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.
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!
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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