Of Barbers, Boxers, and Bingo Operators

I am often asked by my clients what a criminal conviction to a DWI or other misdemeanor will mean to their future job prospects in New York State. I am proudly a native New Yorker, Brooklyn born, raised, and a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks. Although, I now enjoy the practice of criminal defense law in beautiful and picturesque Ithaca, NY.

The more I learn of the legal quirkiness inherent in the New York laws I shudder and chuckle. My blog today centers on how a prior criminal convictions can affect the application for a professional license in New York State.

A Barber’s license, Boxer’s license, and Check Cashier license are all discretionary in NYS. For a Boxer or Wrestler or Check Cashier making application for a NY license that means they may be refused a license (a permission) to box or wrestle or cash checks professionally if the applicant has been convicted of a crime or is consorting with anyone convicted of a crime. Consorting is defined as to keep company or associate with. NYS is mindful of those you choose to hang out with. Your friends may cost you a license.

For those holding a Barber’s license, any crime or offense involving moral turpitude or for habitual substance abuse can trigger a suspension or revocation of that license.

Bingo Operators and Distributors are barred a NYS license for a conviction for any crime under Executive Law section 435 (2)(c)(l).

Licensed Electricians can have their ability to earn a living suspended or revoked if convicted of a crime under NYC Admin Code section 27-3016 (1)(vii). Interestingly Licensed Plumbers face no such restrictions. Sanitation Workers may be punished or dismissed for conviction of any legal offense, conduct injurious to public peace or welfare, or immoral conduct under NYC Admin Code section 16-106. In NYS the unlawful possession of marijuana (UPM) is considered an offense, so technically speaking you could lose your job as a garbage man for having a joint.

Which brings me to the GOOD NEWS, to the many professional occupations in which a criminal misdemeanor conviction pose NO restrictions to obtaining a NYS license:

You can rest easy knowing you can be an Accountant (CPA), Acupuncturist, Architect, Attorney, Baby Chick Seller, Chiropractor, Controlled Substance Manufacturer, Dental Hygienist, Dentist, Deputy Sheriff, Engineer, Insurance Securities, Midwife, Nurse, Nutritionist, Occupational Therapist, Optometrist, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist, Physician, Physician’s Assistant, Podiatrist, Psychologist, Securities Broker, Social Worker, Speech Pathologist, Teacher, or Veterinarian with a criminal conviction on your record.

To all those with dreams of being a Professional Bingo Operator, Boxer, or Barber I promise to do my best to fight whatever charges loom against you in the future. In the meantime, take a deep breath and realize the world of possibilities for future NYS licensure in so many wonderful professions will not be impacted by a misdemeanor DWI or other criminal conviction.

BOLA TANGKAS