Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is looking to bar anyone convicted of a felony charge in Florida from being able to obtain a mortgage broker license. Currently, the law states that these kinds of restrictions can only be applied where the charge or conviction is directly related to the industry being licensed.
The trend of endless punishment for past crimes here is disturbing. It is already true that any criminal record in Florida can follow you for life, and show up on inexpensive background checks. This means that employers may choose not to hire you, landlords may reject your rental application, or you may be rejected from many different forms of civic involvement, from being a scout leader or coaching a kids soccer team.
And many criminal convictions will automatically disqualify you for jobs in law enforcement, service in the military, many security clearances, and much more.
But now the state wishes to further limit entrepreneurship, or starting your own business with licensing restrictions that have absolutely nothing to do with the work you are doing or business you are trying to start. If you once had a drinking problem, and racked up a few DUI charges, you are a felon, and are not even allowed to sell mortgages?
In an age of widely accessible public records online, the harsh restrictions on past mistakes is more of an issue than ever. Years ago, the impact from a troubled past could be something you could move beyond. But now it follows you forever, and could very well show up on a google search anytime in the future.
If a reconsideration of public records doesn’t happen, there will soon be no such thing as the old idea of “paying your debt to society”.
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Florida, please contact our attorneys today. We will fight to keep your record clean. Take advantage of our free legal consultation to find out what we can do you help you. There is no obligation.