Professional Licensing Consequences of Criminal Convictions or Domestic Violence Convictions

Doctors, nurses, health aides, dentists, attorneys, real estate brokers, beautician’s and massage therapists alike--If you’re charged and convicted of certain sexual or domestic violence offenses and you have a professional license, you could lose your license.

How does Washington regulate discipline for professional licenses?

Washington has adopted two Uniform Acts that set forth the standards for disciplining individuals with professional licenses. One is the Uniform Regulation of Business and Professions Act (RCW 18.235); the other is the Regulation of Health Professionals—Uniform Disciplinary Act (RCW 18.130).

How can a sexual or domestic violence conviction affect my professional license?

Both the Uniform Businesses and Professions Act and the Uniform Health Professions Act provide that the “commission of any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption" that relates to the person’s profession or business operations constitutes “unprofessional conduct," whether the act constitutes a crime or not. RCW 18.130.180 (health professions) (see above link for recent examples of disciplines); RCW 18.235.130 (business and professions). At the civil disciplinary hearing, evidence of any plea or conviction that produces a judgment and sentence becomes “conclusive evidence" of your conduct, and includes all instances in which a guilty plea, Alford or Newton plea, deferred sentence, or suspended sentence was entered.

If I’m convicted of a sexual or domestic violence crime, does that mean my license is automatically suspended?

For business and professional licenses ONLY: under RCW 9.96A.020, a person is not disqualified for a professional license (or state employment) simply because of a felony conviction, but the fact of the felony conviction may be considered in administering discipline. ** This provision does NOT apply to health care professionals regulated under RCW 18.130.

Which professional licenses fall within those laws?

Business and Professions Act(RCW 18.235.020)

· Architects and landscape architects

· Auctioneers

· Bail bond agents

· Camping resorts’ operators and salespersons

· Cemetery officials

· Collection agents

· Commercial telephone solicitors

· Cosmetologists, barber, manicurists, and estheticians

· Court reports

· Driver training schools and instructors

· Employment agencies

· For hire vehicle operators

· Funeral directors and embalmers

· Geologists

· Limousines

· Notaries

· Private investigators

· Professional boxing, martial arts, and wrestling

· Real estate appraisers

· Real estate brokers and salespersons

· Security guards

· Sellers of travel

· Timeshares and timeshare salespersons

· Whitewater river outfitters

· Home inspectors

Health Professions(RCW 18.130.040)

· Acupuncturists

· Animal massage practitioners

· Athletic trainers

· Chemical dependency counselors

· Chiropractors

· Dental hygienists

· Dietitians and nutritionists

· Dentists

· Denturists

· Emergency medical and ambulance services regulated under RCW 18.73 or 18.71.205

· Health care assistants

· Hearing and speech therapists

· Hypnotherapists

· Licensed mental health counselors

· Marriage and family therapists

· Massage operators and businesses

· Midwives

· Naturopaths

· Nursing home administrators

· Nursing assistants

· Nursing care providers

· Occupational therapists

· Ocularists

· Opticians who dispense

· Optometrists

· Orthotists and prosthetists

· Osteopaths

· Pharmacists

· Physical therapists

· Physicians

· Podiatrists

· Psychologists

· Radiologic technologists

· Recreational therapists

· Registered counselors regulated under RCW 18.19

· Registered nurses

· Respiratory care practitioners

· Sex offender treatment providers

· Social workers

· Surgical technologists

· Veterinarians

· X-ray technicians

If you are facing possible licensing discipline or revocation because of charges of violating prescribed standards of conduct or operations, alleged sexual misconduct, alleged billing fraud or other misconduct, you should only consider hiring an aggressive professional licensing defense attorney. Seth Rosenberg protects the rights of doctors, other health care professionals and other licensed professionals (i.e. real estate sales persons, insurance brokers, etc.) who face licensing sanctions upon allegations of unethical or illegal conduct. Seth Rosenberg can handle all components of your license defense. From the defense of an initial investigation, to case preparation and hearings, to presentations before your professional Board, and to challenging Board actions in court, Seth Rosenberg is prepared to represent your interests. Mr. Rosenberg has even argued on the extent of procedural protections afforded a professional by his licensing Board. If you face a disciplinary action due to allegations of unethical, illegal or substandard practices, everything you worked for could be in jeopardy. Contact Mr. Rosenberg today to discuss your professional license defense situation.