People of all ages, education levels, and careers can find themselves in need of a criminal defense lawyer. Besides the “usual suspects” you might think of when you think of a criminal case, I have also represented doctors, lawyers, nurses, students, professional and collegate athletes, and business owners who faced a criminal accusation of one type or another. Of course everyone takes criminal allegations against them seriously, but when you have a professional license (like a doctor, lawyer, or nurse), face ethics and fitness inquires in the future (as med students, nursing students, law students, and undergrad students do), or must report arrests and criminal charges to your employer or university, you have an extra lawyer of scrutiny and thus anxiety to face.

There are a few things you need to think of if you fall into one of the categories above. Do you have a professional license from a professional licensing board (such as the Texas Medical Board, Texas Nursing Board, Texas Bar Association, et cetera)? If so, you need to quickly determine what rules your association applies to you for when you must disclose an arrest, an investigation, or a criminal charge. What about your employer? Does your employer have a policy that requires disclosure and, if so, under what circumstances? If you are a student, what about your student handbook/policies? And if you’re a student what about a Title IX investigation? An experienced criminal lawyer can help you navigate these and other questions to make sure that, aside from the allegation itself, you don’t violate any policies that could land you in more hot water.

Beyond reporting, you must think of how a criminal allegation may affect your future. This is where an experienced criminal defense lawyer is essential. Not all outcomes are created equal. Many people want their criminal investigation/allegation/charge concluded quickly, but sometimes a quick conclusion can leave you with a record that could’ve otherwise been avoided. A knowledgable and creative lawyer can also sometimes fashion innovative solutions that avoid longterm consequences to your career and livelihood that are “outside the box.”

The bottom line is if you are a professional or a student, your career and your family’s future are very much on the line when you face the criminal justice system. You need someone in your corner that understands the landscape thoroughly and who takes the time to make sure you understand your options and feel as comfortable as possible so you can make an educated, and not rash, decision that maximizes your chances at a fantastic outcome.

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