New AB-2138 law impacts 30 percent of all California jobs, making it easier for 8 million residents with a criminal record to obtain professional licenses.
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LOS ANGELES, Calif., June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — New professional license law AB-2138 effective July 1, 2020 affects 30 percent of all California jobs and will help 8 million residents with criminal records. This new law changes how California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) licensing boards handle licensure for those with a criminal record. The DCA has authority over 41 professional and occupational licensing boards, including approximately 1,773 different occupations.
“AB-2138 reforms are focused on reducing recidivism by making it easier for those with a criminal record to find good quality jobs. Being able to earn an honest living is one of the most successful ways to keep people with a criminal record from re-offending. Licensing reform is a crucial component of criminal justice reform,” says Tsion Chudnovsky, the founder of Chudnovsky Law, a California criminal defense and professional license law firm.
“Our goal is to spread awareness of these changes because they can have substantial benefits for society. Increasing economic opportunities for those with a criminal record reduces recidivism and lowers the burden on society caused by the costs of incarceration, criminal activity and broken families,” says Chudnovsky.
37 DCA licensing agencies, with authority over 1,700+ different professions ranging from nurses, physicians and dentists to engineers, hair stylists and auto mechanics.
What Are the Changes?
Assembly Bill 2138 restricts the licensure practices and discretion of 37 DCA licensing boards starting July 1, 2020 in several ways:
Limits the discretion and ways that boards can use a prior criminal record as grounds to deny a license.
Criminal convictions over 7 years old may no longer be grounds for denying a license, with exceptions for certain serious crimes.
Criminal convictions must now be “substantially related” to the duties or qualifications required by the profession or license in order to be a valid basis to revoke, deny, or suspend a license.
New licensure applications may no longer be denied due to a criminal conviction if it was dismissed, pardoned, expunged or the applicant made a showing of rehabilitation in cases of felony conviction.
Boards can no longer require license applicants to self-disclose prior convictions unless their type of license does not require fingerprint background checks.
Boards are now required to track and publicly report appeal and licensure denial data.
About Chudnovsky Law
Chudnovsky Law is an award-winning California criminal defense and professional license defense law firm. The firm’s three senior attorneys, Tsion Chudnovsky, Robert K. Weinberg and Suzanne Crouts have a combined 65+ years experience practicing law. Chudnovsky Law is an authority in the complex intersection of criminal and professional licensing law. The firm represents all types of professional licensees, including: medical, nursing, dental and pharmacy license and health care corporations.
“Tsion is a wonderful, warm hearted attorney. My felony case took over a year to resolve during covid…She got me a second chance and kept me from going to prison! Not only that, she has made me feel better about myself and focused on making my life what I want it to be. Thank you for everything Tsion!”