Being arrested and charged with domestic violence in California can wreak havoc on your life in many ways. You may have a protective order against you that forbids you from contact with your significant other and possibly your children. You may be forced from your home. You may have to change your daily habits and routines to avoid running into the person. You may face fines and jail time. But the repercussions can extend even beyond these complications—even as far as your career. As many licensed professionals have learned the hard way, a domestic violence conviction can ultimately result in having your professional license suspended or revoked.
Doctors are required to maintain an immaculate record of integrity for their patients’ safety. Lawyers have the duty to uphold justice for all parties involved in a legal proceeding without prejudice or bias. Nurses must provide care that is both competent and compassionate while maintaining confidentiality at all times. And so on. All of these professions, along with many others, require practitioners to maintain high ethical standards as well as demonstrate professionalism through their conduct at work–even off duty. Being charged with domestic violence puts all that integrity into question largely because it’s considered a “crime of moral turpitude”–that is a crime that involves dishonesty or intentional harm, and one that carries harsher penalties than other types of crimes.
If you are a licensed professional in California (e.g., doctor, lawyer, pharmacist, CPA, etc.), you need to be aware of the possible consequences a domestic violence conviction could have on your career. Let’s explore this issue in greater detail.