Criminal Arrest and the Effect on Your Florida Healthcare License
Florida regulatory agencies take criminal activity seriously. It’s a mistake to think an arrest won’t hurt your livelihood and healthcare license. A seemingly simple arrest can result in the revocation, suspension, or non-renewal of a license.
Impacts of Common Arrest Scenarios
From physicians and nurses to other healthcare professionals an arrest can impact the future of a healthcare license. We’ll illustrate a few of the common arrest examples to illustrate just how problematic an arrest can be for your license.
Driving Under Influence (DUI)
Despite the health and safety implications of driving under the influence, 5.5% of health care workers in the U.S. had a current substance use disorder and numerous studies have shown that the prevalence of substance use disorders among physicians is similar to the general population (National Survey on Drug Use and Health). Among those drugs, alcohol is the most common drug used according to a national survey of physician health programs where 55% use alcohol and 33% use opioids.
Penalties for first-time DUI arrests include: (https://www.stateofflorida.com/dui-information/)
- Fines. A first conviction fine can be between $500–$2,000. If your blood alcohol level exceeds .15, or you have a minor in the vehicle, the fine may be between $2,000–$4,000.
- Community Service. For a first conviction, a mandatory 50 hours of community service or an additional fine of $10 for each hour of required community service may be applied.
- Probation: The total period of probation and incarceration will likely not exceed one year.
- Imprisonment. Imprisonment is at the discretion of the courts and is likely no greater than six months. However, blood alcohol can impact this penalty and those convicted may be required to serve terms at a drug and alcohol treatment center.
For 2nd, 3rd, and 4th convictions, visit https://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/duilaws.html
Defending against a DUI is very costly and involves, not only the need for a criminal attorney, but also the need for an administrative law attorney like those within Howell, Buchan, and Strong.
Domestic Violence or Abuse
The Florida Statutes 741.28(2) is very clear about their definition of domestic violence.
“Domestic violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
Penalties for a domestic violence conviction may include:
- The mandatory completion of a 26-week Battery Intervention Program (BIP).
- Loss of your ability to own or possess a firearm.
- Supervised 12-month probation.
- If the incident injured the victim, jail time of five-days is mandatory.
- A no-contact order with the victim.
- You will not be eligible for sealing the record or expungement.
Theft or Fraud
The Florida Statutes define theft or fraud as an act where a person knowingly obtains or uses the property of another to deny the other person access to their belongings or to wrongfully use the property to their own advantage.
There are varying types of theft and all can result in fines, jail time, and probation depending on whether it is a first, second, or third offense and the value of the property stolen.
- Petit Theft (Petty Theft)
- Grand Theft
- Corporate or Employee Theft
Penalties for this offense can range based on the value of the stolen property and may include:
- Monetary Fines. Depending on the value of the property, the number of offenses and the degree of theft the State of Florida can fine you for Petty Theft from $500-$1,000, Grand Theft carries a fine of $5,000-$50,000, Corporate Theft carries fines of $10,000 up to $50,000.
- Imprisonment. Petty Theft can result in jail time from 60 days to one year. Grand Theft carries jail time of 5-30 years.
- Future Employment Problems. The weight of a conviction on your employment or professional license is heavy. Whether a new or old arrest, an arrest can impact initial and active licensures.
Charged with a Crime?
If you were charged with a theft crime, it is important to seek qualified legal counsel to aggressively defend your rights and your healthcare reputation.
Even important, under Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes, for Health Care Fraud if you are charged or convicted of a Felony under chapter 409, chapter 81, or chapter 893, your license may be subject to non-renewal for more than 15 years for a felony of the first or second degree.
Felonies of the third degree, you may be banned from renewal of your license for up to 10 years. Felonies for the third degree, up to 5 years your license shall not be renewed.
Note: Do not accept a plea of such without counseling with an experienced healthcare attorney as you could possibly be barred from the healthcare practice for up to 15 years.
Qualifying for the Exemption Process
You can run from state to state; place to place, but your past can’t hide from a background check. It will reveal criminal records including arrests.
As you seek employment in the healthcare industry, you’ll likely be subject to a background check. This is where arrest history can prevent you from getting your dream job. Whether an old arrest from college or a recent arrest, these files reside in a database.
Consider this. If an individual is arrested in 1970 and applies for a license in 2021. The 1970 arrest shows up on a background check and to explain the circumstances surrounding that old arrest, an affidavit needs to be prepared to explain the circumstances surround the arrest, arrest reports, and court documents need to be obtained to allow your defense to use time as a mitigating factor in your cleared history.
At Howell, Buchan & Strong we exhaust all the avenues to help you keep your license and can help healthcare professionals with the exemption process to provide eligibility for employment in the healthcare industry.
Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong at 850-877-7776 to set up a FREE no-obligation consultation. Our firm represents physicians, nurses, psychologists, and other licensed professionals statewide.
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