CBS News estimates about 1.4 million people in Florida have a felony conviction. Despite the criminal record, each of these people needs to have a way to support themselves.
One significant hurdle they often face is obtaining a professional license. In Florida, certain professions require licensing to ensure public safety and competence, but some restrictions may make it impossible for someone with a criminal record to secure them. If you wish to work in a profession requiring a license, there are steps to take that can make the process of obtaining the license easier.
Research licensing requirements
Each licensed profession in Florida has specific requirements for eligibility. Start by researching the licensing requirements for your chosen field. Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation website is a valuable resource for this information.
Certificate of rehabilitation
In some cases, obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation can be beneficial. This certificate is indicative of demonstrating rehabilitation and the potential to safely practice a profession. It can serve as evidence of your commitment to your chosen career path.
Disclose your criminal record
If you are not honest about your past, an employer may disqualify you for not disclosing it. For most licensing processes, you will have to undergo a background check anyway, so there is no need to hide the truth.
Establish a positive track record
To prove your commitment to a licensed profession, establish a positive track record. Gain relevant experience, demonstrate your skills and show that you are a responsible and reliable individual.
Network and seek support
Building a support network can be invaluable. Connect with organizations and support groups that specialize in helping individuals with criminal records pursue licensed professions. They can provide guidance, resources and mentorship.
Petition for restoration of civil rights
You need to go through the legal process to restore your civil rights before applying for a professional license. This process can take time as you must make a formal petition to the Office of Executive Clemency.
The process of obtaining a professional license as a felon in Florida may not be swift. Patience and persistence are essential. Some licensing boards may be willing to consider your unique circumstances, but it may take time to prove your commitment.