For nurses, pharmacists, accountants, doctors and other professionals that require a license, a mark on your record can threaten your entire livelihood. What will a potential employer or customer think, for example, if they see your license was once suspended?
It isn’t fair for one small mistake or misunderstanding to define someone forever. Many licensed professionals wonder about expungement. Is there a way to remove these blemishes so you can move on?
Only a couple of violations can be expunged
Pennsylvania law does allow certain violations to be expunged from a licensed professional’s record. However, the language is very narrow. According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, a licensee, registrant, certificate holder or permit holder can get two types of violations expunged:
- Violations related to failing to complete continuing education requirements
- Violations that stem from practicing on a lapsed license (for less than six months)
That is it. Under the current law, no other violations can be erased from a licensed professional’s record.
Keep in mind there are a number of conditions an individual has to meet when requesting an expungement. For example, if you have previously had a disciplinary record expunged, you may not be able to do so again. Or, if you’re the subject of an active investigation related to professional conduct, you may be ineligible for an expungement.
Putting up a strong defense
If these rules seem strict, that’s because they are. The state of Pennsylvania does not offer licensed professionals many opportunities to clear the air, no matter the circumstances.
This underscores the importance of having a strong advocate on your side as soon as you learn there is an investigation. You often have to protect yourself early by effectively pushing back against the allegations. If you wait, there aren’t many ways to undo discipline after the fact.