Colorado licenses professionals in a huge number of different careers. Plumbers, barbers and medical professionals all need to have licenses, as do teachers, acupuncturists and architects. Licensing ensures higher levels of professional competence and can help people in these professions demand better wages.
If you work in a licensed profession, running afoul of the law can have drastic consequences for your professional future. Not only might your employer choose to take disciplinary action against you after an arrest or conviction, but your license to stay in the same profession might even be at risk.
State licensing boards have different policies and practices. Some may have more hardline policies than others. However, professional standards that eliminate licensing eligibility for those with certain criminal records are common.
If you plead guilty to or get convicted of an offense that violates the standards set by the licensing board, they may summon you for a hearing and potentially strip you of your license.
While you may avoid immediate penalties if your arrest and conviction are swift and fail to draw any media attention, that doesn't mean that you've avoided consequences.
When the time comes to renew your professional license, the state board will likely pull your criminal record at that time. You could find your application for a renewal rejected or receive a summons for a disciplinary hearing because of your conviction.
A disgruntled former employee, an unhappy customer or even a competitor who learns about your legal issues could file a complaint quickly and virtually anonymously through the state's licensing website. Allegations of either criminal behavior or professional misconduct could result in a threat to your professional license.
It is altogether too easy for your professional future to wind up endangered when you face criminal charges. Defending against the charges to avoid a conviction can help protect your license. You may also have the opportunity to defend yourself in front of the licensing board to help protect your career.