Many Florida professionals must obtain a license through the Department of Business and Professional Regulation before conducting business. If you hold such a license and face charges that include moral turpitude, suspension and loss of your professional license could occur if convicted. We often assist clients facing a professional board and an administrative hearing.
According to the Florida Legislature, professionals convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude may lose their license. These crimes include conduct contrary to good morals, honesty and standards of justice within the community.
Although the definition can include an immoral or depraved act, it generally refers to a violation of duties owed to a fellow man. It can also mean recklessness. Part of what sets CIMT crimes apart from others is that it typically includes the intent to commit fraud or theft, depriving the owner permanently or inflicting bodily harm as part of the violation of duties.
A broad range of occupations fall within the purview of the DBPR including:
- Real estate
- Lodgings, such as hotels and motels
- Talent agencies
- Veterinary medicine
- Landscape architecture
Although drunkenness, driving under the influence, assault and disorderly conduct are not generally moral turpitude crimes; they could become so based on the surrounding circumstances and your community.
Substantive crimes, such as petit larceny, do qualify as CIMT. However, not every crime involves moral turpitude. Felonies and misdemeanors may or may not include accusations of moral turpitude. Standards of morals differ, depending on the time and community. In one area, the offense may not offend the public’s morals, while in another, it might.
The DBPR can impose disciplinary action against you in the absence of a board. You may require a strong defense and help navigating the complex administrative process.