The Pitfalls of a Criminal Record for Educators
Unlike many other professions, there are certain convictions that trigger the Commission to automatically suspend or revoke a teaching credential. These convictions include: sex offenses like ones that require registration under PC § 290, drug offenses like transporting a controlled substance, violent or serious felonies like murderand rape, or convictions that involve probation terms limiting contact with minors.
Fortunately, not all convictions result in the automatic revocation or suspension of your teaching credential. Even if you haven’t committed one of the extreme felonies described above, any felony or misdemeanor conviction may be reviewed by the Committee if the conviction raises questions as to your ability to teach. The Committee looks at a variety of mitigating factors when determining whether your teaching credential should be impacted in any minor or severe way.
Specifically, some of these factors include: what the impact of the conduct will be on students, how long ago the conviction was, the type of teaching credential you have or want, any mitigating or aggravating circumstances, your motives, how likely it is to happen again, and how your conduct will impact the reputation of the school.
For example, if you have suffered three DUI convictions, that is not a great sign for your teaching credential because it indicates (or at least appears to imply) that you may have a problem with alcohol that would impact your ability to teach students. Even if the DUIs are spread out over ten years, there is evidence of recurring issue that the Committee risks happening for a fourth time. But if you have a misdemeanor charge that is changed to a felony then that is seen as more acceptable depending on the circumstance.
If you are a teacher with pending criminal charges don’t hesitate to call the Defense Lawyer Corporation at 949-347-5478.