Being accused of a sex crime can have a negative impact on all aspects of your life, including your career. If you are convicted, the social stigma of having a criminal record and being branded a sex offender has far-reaching consequences that can affect your family, relationships, reputation, and quality of life. If you are facing sexual assault charges, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to mount a solid defense and limit the impact on your employment/profession is critical.
Termination of Employment
Sexual assault charges may prompt your employer to suspend or terminate your employment. Although there are laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion and other factors, Pennsylvania is an “at-will” employment state. This means that an employer can fire an employee at any time for any reason, unless it is illegal, such as discrimination as defined by the law.
Many employers have specific procedures and policies for dealing with different circumstances, including criminal charges and convictions. You and your sex crimes lawyer should carefully review the conditions of your employment and any contractual agreements you may have with your employer.
If your sexual assault case prevents you from completing your assigned duties and responsibilities, one possible solution is for your employer to suspend you without pay or grant leave until your legal matters are settled. Unfortunately, a conviction for a sex crime will most likely result in termination.
There are different levels of sex crimes in PA. If you have a positive, longstanding relationship with your employer, it might be advantageous to have an honest talk about it and try to work something out that enables you to keep your job.
Revocation of Professional Licenses
A sexual assault conviction may also result in the revocation of your professional or occupational license and prohibit you from obtaining one in the future. This does not just apply to sex crimes – a drug conviction or DUI can also impact professional licensure. Some common professions that may be affected due to a criminal conviction include:
- Health care providers such as doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists
- Child care providers
- Law enforcement officers
- Truck drivers
- Social workers
- Massage therapists
- Other professionals
The long-term repercussions of a sexual assault case or other criminal conviction can present a serious obstacle to finding employment. Even something that may seem minor, like violating a protection from abuse order, may show up in a criminal background check. Moreover, if you are convicted of a sex crime, you will likely be required to register as a sex offender for at least 10 years or more.
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys fight to protect your rights and advise you of the best course of action to preserve your reputation, freedom, and professional standing.