If you are a licensed professional, such as a doctor or nurse, there is a lot more at stake than your freedom if you are charged with a criminal offense. Your career, reputation and livelihood may also be on the line.
Depending on the nature of your offenses, a conviction could see your professional license suspended or revoked, which can leave you in a pretty bad place. A question many who find themselves in such a situation have is whether accepting a plea deal will protect their professional licenses.
The answer to that varies on a case-by-case basis since not all plea deals or offenses in question are the same. Here is what you need to know.
Accepting a plea deal means admitting guilt
When you accept a plea deal, you may have to plead guilty or no contest to some or all the charges against you. Whether your license will be affected depends on the nature of the offense.
For instance, if your plea bargain involves pleading guilty to an offense considered to be a crime of moral turpitude, your professional license may be at risk if you accept the deal. However, admitting guilt to minor offenses should have no such undesirable consequences in most cases.
Carefully weigh your options
As a licensed professional facing criminal charges, it is prudent to seek appropriate legal assistance as soon as possible. It could make a significant difference since it will help you understand what you are agreeing to and the potential ramifications. You will also be in a better position to make decisions that are in your best interests when you have proper guidance.
The bottom line is that rushing to accept a plea deal will not help secure your professional license. Your best bet lies in avoiding a conviction.