If you have a license as a Florida Social Worker or you plan to apply for that type of licensing and you have a criminal record this may affect your ability to receive or retain your license. That’s why it’s so important if you’re charged with a crime that you get a good attorney on your side right away to fight the charges.

A good attorney can help protect your license. Here are some of the questions you may have.

What is the process for people who already have a license and have been convicted of a crime?

If you receive a criminal conviction while licensed as a social worker, you must report that conviction to the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work. You will need to provide the Final Disposition in your case, proof of completion of any sanctions, and a letter of self-explanation.

What do you need to do and provide if you have been convicted of a crime and are applying for a license? What documents need to be disclosed?

If you’re applying for a license you will need to provide your Final Disposition, proof that you have completed any sanctions, and a letter of self-explanation, just like those who are already licensed and are convicted of a crime.

What crimes would automatically stop you from getting your license?

While decisions regarding licensure are made on a case-by-case basis, there are some crimes that would prevent you from ever receiving a license, or from keeping your license if you already have one.

In some instances, how long ago the offense occurred and any requirements for jail time, probation, treatment, or other sanctions that have been completed may make the difference between acceptance or denial of a license application. These crimes include:

  • Felony drug abuse
  • Social or economic assistance fraud
  • Termination for cause from the Medicaid program
  • A listing on the Excluded List from the US Department of Health and Human Services

What if you plead “no contest” and not guilty?

Pleading “no contest” or not guilty doesn’t absolve you of the need to provide information on the crime. If you have a criminal conviction, you must note it on your application and provide the requested information.

If you already have a license, you must inform the licensing agency that you have received a criminal conviction as well.

What actions or fines can be imposed?

Actions can be taken up to and including the revoking or denying of a license to any person who has a criminal conviction on their record or who acquiring one while already licensed. The specific action taken will depend on a review of the circumstances, the type of offense, the length of time since it occurred, and other factors.

What is the difference between a clinical social worker and and a certified master social worker, and does a criminal conviction makes a difference between these two licensures?

A certified master social worker has more requirements for licensure than a clinical social worker, and must have completed more training and education. However, the criminal conviction requirements are the same for both licenses.

The duties handled under these two licenses are very similar, and those with criminal convictions of the types noted above may have a very difficult time getting a license or keeping a license as a clinical or certified master social worker.

Why do you need an attorney if you already have a license?

Even if you already have a license, you’ll want to reach out to an attorney if you’re charged with a crime. That can help keep that charge from turning into a conviction. Many social workers may not realize that their license could be in jeopardy, and that it is possible for that license to be revoked.

Being granted a license doesn’t come with the automatic right to keep that license indefinitely, so it’s vital that any social worker charged with a crime reach out to an attorney for guidance on how to have the charged reduced so they can keep their license.

Depending on the charges and the specifics surrounding your case, an attorney may be able to help you retain your license or remain eligible to get a license in the future. By contacting Hillsborough Defense today, you will have taken the first step toward the best possible outcome for your situation.