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How can a drug charge impact a professional license?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2024 | CRIMINAL LAW - Drug Charges

Drug charges can have serious consequences and may impact one’s ability to hold a professional license.

These charges can result in setbacks for individuals pursuing careers in regulated professions.

Background checks and disclosures

The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation reports that law enforcement officers in the state arrested nearly 12,000 adults on drug charges in 2020. When applying for or renewing a professional license, licensing boards typically require background checks. Drug charges, whether misdemeanors or felonies, can surface during these screenings. Some licensing boards may require applicants to disclose any past or pending drug-related offenses.

License denial or revocation

A drug charge on one’s record can lead to the denial of a professional license application or the revocation of an existing license. Licensing boards view drug-related offenses as red flags and incompatible with professional standards.

Suspension and probation

In certain cases, individuals facing drug charges may receive a suspension or probationary period instead of immediate license revocation. They may be subject to regular monitoring or drug testing. Failure to adhere to these terms could result in further disciplinary actions.

Impact on employment

Individuals with drug charges on their record may face challenges in securing employment or advancement within their chosen field. Employers may hesitate to hire or promote individuals with a history of drug-related offenses.

Rehabilitation and reinstatement

In some cases, individuals may have the opportunity to rehabilitate their image and seek license reinstatement after completing substance abuse treatment programs or demonstrating a period of sustained sobriety. This process can be lengthy and have strict criteria set forth by licensing boards.

Licensing boards do not take drug charges lightly. Licensed professionals should keep this fact in mind.