Licensing Defense – Mitigation Strategies

Education is absolutely crucial for success in today’s world. Those who embrace this philosophy and strive for academic excellence generally land in fields which require specific certifications. For example, brokers, therapists, lawyers, doctors, and contractors all require “licenses” to practice in their respective fields. For those who reach this pinnacle in their career education, protecting that license becomes their top priority, and nothing strikes more fear than the thought of working tirelessly for that credential and subsequently having it revoked by the licensing board.

For matters like these, professional license defense attorneys are able to research the specific board reviewing the defendant’s license, find out what type of disciplinary action the individual is facing, and determine ways in which defendant can be presented to the board in a way that shows he ought to retain his ability to practice in his field. Boards generally look at a broad range of materials in making a decision to revoke, suspend, or enforce one’s license, or put them on a probationary period of up to a few years. For starters, most boards look to see if the defendant has been convicted of a crime. Convictions are never a good thing in the eyes of the board, but the type of conviction lends itself to certain mitigation techniques available to the defendant. If the charge is substance abuse related, enrolling that individual in a treatment program will look favorably to the board during a hearing.

In addition, many boards have self-reporting rules. This means the convicted person has a duty to report his conviction or offense to the board. If the board at hand does have these rules, reporting of one’s own involvement or conduct can serve to mitigate potential discipline, whereas failure to disclose could result in a much harsher punishment. Furthermore, criminal convictions “substantially related” to the functions of the person’s job will be weighed more heavily for the Board. If a person receives a DUI as a health care professional, the punishment will likely be harsher than the conviction of a crime having nothing to do with the individual’s job.

Last, but certainly not least, is rehabilitation. This is a very substantial mitigating measure for any licensing case. Each Board must develop criteria for rehabilitation which it will consider in each case. Factors that go into mitigating an offense include the type and severity of the crime, the harm caused, criminal history of the defendant, time elapsed since the event, completion of probation, the defendant’s remorse or attitude toward his actions, whether the conviction was expunged from the record, rehab treatment programs, completion of educational programs, family life and stability, correction of actions to avoid future mistakes, and involvement in the community. A showing of rehabilitation always weighs on the Board’s decision, and may ultimately aid in a client retaining his license and ability to maintain his livelihood in the career he built through years of work and education.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, or their professional license is at risk, contact Attorney Miranda McCroskey for an immediate consultation at (833) 865-6253 or email her at

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