FLORIDA CPA LICENSE AND CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS

 

Protecting your future is our top priority

You worked hard to obtain your CPA license. If you are charged with a crime protecting your license should be your top priority. As your attorneys we will make it our priority as well.

Even after a criminal case has concluded the Division of Certified Public Accounting can take disciplinary action, and even suspend or revoke your license for certain crimes. If you have been arrested or accused of a crime, please contact us immediately to find out how we can help you achieve the best results possible.

How a criminal conviction affects a Florida CPA license

Grounds for discipline or investigation by the Division of Certified Public Accounting include the following:

  • Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which relates to the practice of, or the ability to practice, a licensee’s profession.
  • Failing to comply with the educational course requirements for domestic violence.
  • Failing to report in writing to the board or, if there is no board, to the department within 30 days after the licensee is convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction. A licensee must report a conviction, finding of guilt, plea, or adjudication entered before the effective date of this paragraph within 30 days after the effective date of this paragraph.
  • Termination from a treatment program for impaired practitioners as described in s. 456.076 for failure to comply, without good cause, with the terms of the monitoring or treatment contract entered into by the licensee or failing to successfully complete a drug or alcohol treatment program.

The two tiers of crimes that can result in a disciplinary action

First, a conviction or plea of guilty or no contest to any crime that relates to the practice or ability to practice can result in discipline. Let’s break that down:

What does “relates to the practice” mean?

This can includes both financial crimes, such as embezzling, or crimes of dishonesty, such as writing a bad check. Keep in mind that some crimes can be a “crime of dishonesty,” such as petty theft, while others are not, like reckless driving, are not.

What about “the ability to practice?

This is a catch-all that includes any crimes that could relate to the ability to practice accounting. This can include crimes that may indicate a problem with substance abuse, like a DUI, drug possession, or other crimes involving alcohol or drugs.

What if I just plead “no contest” or am not adjudicated guilty?

Many people feel that they will be in the clear as long as they simply plead “no contest” or get a withhold of adjudication. Unfortunately this is not the case. Any criminal charge that falls under this rule should be taken very seriously, since any adjudication can result in disciplinary action.

What about the reporting requirement? 

If you have a CPA license, Florida law requires you to report if you are found guilty, plead guilty, plead “no contest,” or even if you get a withhold of adjudication to any crime within 30 days. This includes all crimes, not just those which relate to the practice or ability to practice accounting.

An example: if you are charged with a DUI but plead “no contest” to the reduced charge of reckless driving, you will still have to report your case to the CPA Board, even though reckless driving may not “relate to the practice” of accounting.

Contact us today to learn how we can protect your future

If you are facing a criminal charge contact us immediately to find out how we can start protecting your record and your CPA license.

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