Felony Convictions and License Reinstatement
A licensed professional convicted of a felony drug offense is a major impediment to securing licensure in another jurisdiction or seeking reinstatement once your professional license is disciplined for that conviction. In many license reinstatement cases, applicants are so in need of their license that they hire the wrong attorney, waste money on filing reinstatement petitions prior to the expiration of the license preclusion period, or simply give up on getting their license back.
In a 2017 Pennsylvania Nursing Board Final Adjudication and Order the nurse was convicted in 2006 in Delaware of practicing with an expired nursing license. In 2015 she sought reinstatement of her Pennsylvania nursing license. Because she was convicted of a felony involving the practice or professional in Delaware, the convicted offense and license discipline was applicable under the Pennsylvania Nursing Act to her Pennsylvania license.
After 8 years, she hired the wrong attorney to seek reinstatement of her Pennsylvania nursing license. Her attorney thought reinstatement was was possible based upon mitigation and rehabilitation evidence. She was wrong.
Pennsylvania’s Professional Nursing Law, section 6(c), states that the “Board may not issue a license or [graduate training certificate] to an applicant who has been convicted or a felony relating to a controlled substance law (in any jurisdiction) unless at least 10 years has elapsed from the date of conviction. It does not matter how much rehabilitation the applicant has undergone. If the application for licensure is not outside the ten years, there is no legal ability for the Board to consider the license application.
This denial of licensure application case reveals that counsel for the applicant did not know the law. Focusing on rehabilitation rather than eligibility, the applicant’s attorney wasted his client’s money on his premature application, hearing, and appeal time.
Licensing attorneys must know what evidence is admissible in the relaxed administrative hearing process under GRAPP (General Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure) 2 PA.C.S. § 504. Knowing to what exhibits or evidence to object and facts an attorney should stipulate will make or break a licensee’s case. The uninformed general practitioner will not know the importance or admissibility of certain evidence. They will waste time and legal fee money fighting evidence that is admissible in evidence for the Board to consider or will move into evidence evidence that the Board should not consider.
More importantly, the uninformed practitioner will accept a case simply to pay their bills. The uniformed attorney will take cases that have no merit, can not be won, or will lose a case that is easily won. Desperate licensed professionals who are waiting out a discipline and seek reinstatement will pay an attorney who sounds good but can not discern the attorney’s lack of knowledge of their case.
Call me for confidence in understanding your case. I will give you a clear understanding of the problem, counsel you about the risks and rewards of fighting your case. I will not take your case, or fight for your license if you do not want me to, can not afford it, or there is no basis to seek reinstatement.
Fighting a disciplinary action – an Order to Show Cause -, contesting the VRP or DMU letters must be done with competent informed counsel. Never concede an impairment. Never admit an addiction without formal legal counseling on the affect of such on your license. Never plead guilty to any criminal offense without consultation with an experienced license attorney so you understand the collateral consequences of the criminal conviction, ARD, or no contest plea. Please read my blogs and website to understand how I can help you and protect your license.