In many criminal cases, the person who has been charged will often enter into a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office instead of going to trial and letting a jury decide their guilt or innocence. If it appears that the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict them, a defendant agrees to a plea bargain in order to receive a lesser sentence than what they would receive if convicted.
For most people, agreeing to a plea bargain will conclude the legal process for them. However, for a person who holds a professional license, agreeing to a plea bargain in a criminal case could jeopardize that license and their future.
Professional License Holders and Criminal Charges
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) oversees multiple state licensing boards, including medical, nursing, dental, and real estate. Not only do these boards address professionals who have been accused of improper business practices, but they also investigate those who have been charged with criminal offenses. If a board concludes that the professional violated the rules and regulations that the state requires of them, it has the authority to suspend or even permanently revoke that professional’s license and their ability to earn a living in their chosen profession.
When a professional license holder accepts a plea bargain, it is critical that they understand the entirety of the consequences of pleading guilty and the impact it could have on their license. This is why any professional license holder should consult with a seasoned Illinois professional license defense attorney.
But I Already Have a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges, having a skilled defense attorney advocating for you is crucial to receiving the best possible outcome in your case. However, the goal of a defense attorney is to obtain the lowest possible sentence for their client based on the circumstances. That is what your defense attorney will be focused on. They will not be focused on how that plea deal will affect your professional license. Professional license defense law is a specialized area of law – just as criminal defense is – and usually falls beyond a criminal defense attorney’s scope of expertise.
Once a plea deal is agreed to and entered into the record, it cannot be changed. This is why it is crucial to be aware of what the potential consequences may be on your professional license, as well as to prepare for any actions the board may file against you.
Contact an Illinois License Defense Attorney
Whether you are facing criminal charges or having any other issues that could trigger IDFPR action against you, make sure you have a dedicated Illinois professional license lawyer representing you. Do not try to defend against these actions on your own. Call The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, LLC at 630-310-1267 to schedule a free consultation.