Everyone knows that a criminal conviction comes with consequences that could include jail or prison time and expensive fines. What most people do not realize is that having a conviction on your criminal record could prevent you from getting a state professional license, which is required for jobs such as barbers, building contractors, paramedics and social workers.
However, California lawmakers may be changing that soon. A few proposed laws could make it easier for people who have a criminal record to obtain licenses from state boards. Let’s take a closer look at these proposed laws and the impact they could have.
How Having a Criminal Record Could Impact Your Ability to Obtain a State License
State licensing boards have used prior arrests or criminal convictions as a basis to deny professional licenses to applicants with non-violent arrests or convictions. A few new bills in California could prohibit state licensing boards from using arrests or convictions as the sole basis for denying someone a professional license.
New Bills for New Opportunities
Introduced by Assemblywoman Eloise Gómez Reyes, Assembly Bill 2293 would prohibit the Emergency Medical Services Authority from revoking, denying or suspending a state license for individuals with a criminal record who have demonstrated rehabilitation. The Emergency Medical Services Authority provides licenses for paramedics and EMTs. State certification is not a requirement for employment as a paramedic or EMT, but those with certification are typically given preferential treatment by employers.
AB 2138, introduced by Assemblymen David Chiu and Evan Low, focuses on the Department of Consumer Affairs, which has 42 different bureaus and boards that issue state licenses. The bill would prohibit the boards and bureaus in the Department of Consumer Affairs from denying a state license solely based on an individual’s non-violent conviction or arrest.
Under AB 3039, the Department of Social Services would be prohibited from denying individuals a state license unless they were convicted of a crime within the last five years or were convicted of a crime related to their job duties. The Department of Social Services provides professional licenses to those who work in nursing homes, with foster youth, in community care facilities and other related jobs.
The goal of these bills is to ease the process for nearly 8 million Californians hoping to obtain professional licenses. Nearly 30 percent of jobs in the state require professional licenses that are issued by state boards. Supporters of the bills find that former offenders are less likely to go back to prison when they have jobs that pay better than minimum wage work.
You May Be Eligible to Clean Your Criminal Record
While these bills are currently still in the State Assembly, there are steps you can take now to clean your criminal record. At Wallin & Klarich, our law firm has helped thousands of clients clean their criminal record by seeking:
- An expungement under PC 1203.4
- A felony reduction to a misdemeanor under PC 17(b)
- A Certificate of Rehabilitation under PC 4852, and/or
- A Governor’s Pardon under PC 4854
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are available to help you now.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation to determine if you are eligible for post-conviction relief. We will be there when you call.