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Can I lose my professional or medical license if I’m convicted of a drug crime?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Although many states have relaxed their marijuana laws, the fact of the matter is that the war on drugs continues to rage on. This means that both law enforcement and prosecutors aggressively police drug laws, and those who are accused of violating them can come fact-to-face with harsh penalties, including fines, prison time, and extensive damage to their reputation.

In fact, those who work in occupations that require a license may have their career on the line when they’re accused of committing a drug offense. But don’t get too worried just yet. The truth of the matter is that the facts of your case are going to play a significant role in what happens to your license, and you may have some defense options available to you that can help you protect your career.

When will a professional license be suspended?

The answer to this question really depends on your occupation and the type of drug offense that you’re accused of having committed. For example, a teacher’s license may be suspended or revoked if they are convicted of a drug abuse offense and that offense is something other than a misdemeanor. Physicians can also have their license suspended or revoked if at least six members of the medical board vote to do so after a physician is convicted of possessing, distributing, or using any drug.

Nurses can also face trouble when accused of a crime. While the Ohio Board of Nursing may suspend or revoke a nurse’s license for violation of a municipal, state, or federal drug law, they may face an uphill battle even if the charges are ultimately dismissed. This is because the Board is required to hear evidence and make a determination on its own as to whether the alleged crime occurred solely for the purpose of determining whether a nurse’s license should be suspended or revoked.

Remember that these actions are common across many professions, affecting pharmacists, chiropractors, social workers, dentists, accountants, real estate agents, and even veterinarians. And drug offenses are oftentimes listed as one of those offenses that can lead to immediate suspension or revocation. That’s why it’s imperative that you know and understand the laws that apply to your professional licensure. Only then can you craft the compelling criminal defense that seeks to protect your interests.

How can you defend yourself?

Fortunately, you may have several criminal defense options here. One strategy is to simply negotiate with prosecutors to see if you can have charges dropped to a lower level, such as from a felony to a misdemeanor, so that it limits the impact on your licensure. Another option is to simply move forward with your case in hopes of beating it. This may be a strong option if you can suppress some of the prosecution’s evidence or the evidence itself is flimsy. You may also want to talk to your attorney to see if there’s a drug diversion program that you can enter into that will lead to the dismissal of your charges upon successful completion and that will avoid impacting your licensure.

Have a strong legal advocate on your side

With so much on the line, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed and fearful of the future. But you shouldn’t let the stress of the situation paralyze you into inaction. Instead, you should diligently work to build the best criminal defense strategy possible under the circumstances. If that seems daunting to you, don’t worry. Competent legal professionals like those at our firm stand ready to help you fight to protect your freedom, your career, and your future. If you’d like to learn more about our firm and what we’ve done to help our clients, then please continue to read our website.