Question: Can I loose my teaching credentials? I was charged with petty theft misdemeanor and I have been teaching for 22 years. I have no other criminal record and I am very concerned on how this may negatively affect my career. Thanks in advance for your time.
Answer: To clarify, your case is still pending, correct? You have not been convicted of anything yet? If not, then it may be possible to get your case completely dismissed through attacking the case, or through what is called “Misdemeanor Diversion.” It also may be able to get resolved pre-filing to resolve the case favorably before the case is officially filed with the Court.
Alternatively it is also possible to get the charge reduced to a lesser offense that would be less likely to cause issues with a licensing agency. Call me to discuss possibilities and defenses to your case if you have not done so already. I am very experienced with defending theft charges and have a great record doing so.
I will add, the best thing to do would be to avoid the conviction if possible. A criminal defense attorney such as myself can assist you with that. But if you want to get an answer directly to your question of how a petty theft conviction could address your teaching credentials, I would recommend consulting with a Professional Licensing attorney.
Philip Hache, Attorney; Phone: 818-336-1384