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Criminal records and California real estate broker's licenses

A criminal record of any kind could potentially destroy your career as a real estate broker in California. Just as in many other states, the licensing authority is concerned about maintaining a high level of professional integrity among its ranks.

Just the same, many people do overcome criminal records and gain or keep their real estate licenses. Here are some tips you need to keep in mind:

1. Full disclosure is important

Whether your crime was major or minor, your general integrity is in question right now. Honesty is critical at this stage. Any omissions -- whether you made them on accident or on purpose -- are likely to result in the denial of your license or license renewal.

2. It doesn't matter if it was in another state

Again, don't try to hide some kind of criminal charge thinking that it will stay hidden because the offense occurred in another state. Your entire history -- not just your history in California -- has to be disclosed.

3. You need to understand your reporting obligations

The California Department of Real Estate requires any licensed broker to submit a report of a felony charge, a felony indictment via grand jury or the conviction of a misdemeanor within 30 days. Not making that report could be fatal to your case -- so make the report even if you aren't sure what's going to happen as a result.

We cannot stress enough how seriously you need to take any criminal charge if you hope to maintain your real estate license. Even a charge that you think shouldn't really have any bearing on your license -- like the kinds of charges that come from a fight in a bar -- can end up being a significant problem. We can zealously defend you against your charges and help you better understand how the choices you face could affect your livelihood. Please contact us for more information.

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