Obtaining a license after a criminal conviction


We recently represented a client who had graduated from nursing school and applied for the nursing license. During the application process the client truthfully revealed that approximately 25 years earlier he/she was involved in a violent act with two other people which resulted in the death of a man. The client pleaded guilty to Manslaughter and served several years in prison.

Following the release from prison the client was on parole for over 5 years.   After the release from prison the client held several jobs and then went to nursing school and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree.  Before a license could be issued, the Education Department mandated a Hearing to determine if the client was morally fit to qualify for the license.  The Hearing was held in April of 2011 and we produced three witnesses in addition to the client.  Those witnesses were the Dean of the Nursing School from which the client graduated, one of the client’’s professors at the Nursing School and the doctor for whom the client had been working for the past several years. All of the witnesses testified to the client’’s integrity and trustworthiness. The client testified to his/her understanding of the tragedy which had occurred and that the seriousness of what had happened is remembered every single day.

The Hearing Committee found that the client was truly remorseful for the tragedy and that the prison term and probation was payment of the debt to society. Further, the Committee noted that the three witnesses were all licensed professionals who knew the client well and were able to testify to the client’’s professionalism and personal integrity. Accordingly, the license has been granted.

This episode demonstrates that you can be successful in obtaining a professional license if you present the right witnesses who are in the position to be able to vouch for the honesty and character of the applicant. Also, the presentation by the applicant must be truthful and sincere.

These Hearings must be carefully planned to give the Committee the best information so that this type of result can be obtained.

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