Do Past Convictions Affect My Real Estate License?

Do Past Convictions Affect My Real Estate License

Your real estate license and reputation are always under a microscope. As a result, even the smallest mistakes can cause the Department of Real Estate (DRE) to question the validity of your license. If you have convictions in your past, they could cause issues with the future of your real estate career. Here are the complications you can expect and what you can do to overcome them.


Although it’s important to be completely transparent with your mistakes, some convictions carry heavier weight with the DRE than others. These are the convictions your board is most concerned about:

  • DUI
  • Fraud
  • Gross Negligence
  • Misrepresentation

The DRE pays close attention to those convictions that are substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a real estate license. As a result, your license application could be denied, or your current license could be suspended.

Related Article: 2021 Real Estate Licensing Laws

Real Estate License Denial

When applying for your real estate license, it’s important to disclose your full past. Withholding past convictions is the biggest reason the DRE denies applicants. During the application process, the DRE conducts a full background check. If you’re leaving information out of your application, the board will find out and it will look negatively on you. As a real estate professional, it’s crucial that you uphold the most trustworthy and honest character. Failing to disclose your past convictions on your initial application shows the board upfront that you may not be a good fit for this profession.

On the other hand, if you already have your real estate license, a DUI or other convictions from your past can reemerge and cause friction.

License Suspension

Although you may have initially disclosed your past when applying for your real estate license for the first time, mistakes that occurred after this application process could come back to haunt you. This can happen if you were arrested but not actually convicted until a later date. At this time, you could already be practicing real estate. Once the DRE receives this conviction information, they will likely file an accusation against you. This may require you to stand before your board in an administrative hearingTo determine the severity of your case, the board will evaluate the circumstances of your convictions, how it relates to your daily job duties, how much time has passed, and any rehabilitation efforts you’ve made. This evaluation will help the board determine whether you receive discipline that could include license suspension.

Related Article: My Real Estate Broker License is Under Investigation

Protect Your Real Estate License

Whether your license was denied, or you’ve had accusations filed against you, hope is not lost for your real estate career. A professional license defense lawyer is your best option for correctly navigating these difficult waters and dealing with the DRE. You don’t have to face your board alone. A qualified real estate license defense attorney can help you obtain the necessary documentation to fight the allegations against you or petition your license denial.

Contact Unlock Legal

Is your real estate career in crisis? Contact us immediately.

Our team has spent the last two decades helping hundreds of real estate professionals like you face the DRE and pursue their careers. We’ve helped realtors and brokers petition their license denials and kick start their careers. For clients facing allegations against them, we’ve helped remove those charges or reduce their discipline to a license restriction and avoid suspensions and revocations.

We can help protect your license too. We’ll fight to get you the best outcome possible and unlock your real estate license.

Unlock Legal provides focused representation in criminal defense and defense for California licensed professionals. Contact Unlock Legal today or give us a call at 949-997-1474 to speak with a professional about your case and your unique needs. You’ll find we are compassionate, easy to talk to, and willing to help in any capacity we can.

Request a free consultation

Contact us today for a confidential case assessment

"*" indicates required fields

Last Name*
Are you currently under investigation by your licensing board?*
Are any disciplinary proceedings pending from your licensing board?*
Does your case involve any arrest or criminal conviction?*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Search through our posts...