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AB 2138: CA Licensing Boards Denial of Application

by Webconsuls Dev

In recent months it’s been challenging to find a news topic to lift one’s spirits. With nearly 2.5 million Americans testing positive for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and the CDC reports the loss of 121,117 people as of June 24, 2020, it’s clear that life will continue being a struggle.

At the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower, we would like to express our sincerest condolences to everyone affected by the deadly coronavirus. It’s likely that COVID-19 has impacted some of our former clients, or they know someone who has been touched by the virus.

Earlier this month The New York Times reported that around 30 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits. Firings, lay-offs, and furloughs can all be attributed to the pandemic. While the federal government has provided some assistance to aid those facing financial woes, many still find it challenging to manage.

One demographic that has not received much attention of late are those individuals with criminal records. It’s a fact that historically – pandemic or not – men and women with criminal records are prohibited from acquiring professional licenses, which means that finding employment is extremely difficult. Even for members of society who were found guilty of committing non-violent offenses.

Fortunately, on July 1, 2020, some 8 million Californians with criminal records will be able to obtain professional licenses from any of 37 licensing agencies within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), PR Newswire reports. The passing of Assembly Bill 2138 (AB-2138) could help millions of people find employment at a time when an unprecedented number of Americans are out of work.


A criminal conviction can irrevocably change the course of one’s life. Such occurrences can bar people from voting, housing, and finding employment. Many jobs require individuals to be licensed. Such lines of work include the field of medicine, construction, and engineering. Even auto mechanics and hair stylists need to acquire a license.

Long has a criminal record preventing men and women with criminal pasts to acquire the proper licensing to secure employment in a myriad of fields. AB-2138 seeks to remove significant hurdles for millions of Californians.

“Assembly Bill 2138 was passed to reduce barriers to obtaining occupational licenses, reduce recidivism to support criminal justice reform and to provide more economic opportunity for the almost 1 in 3 adults in California with a criminal record,” says the founder of a California criminal defense and professional license law firm.

The legislation:

  • Restricts the discretion of DCA boards in using prior criminal history as grounds for denying a license.
  • Most criminal convictions older than seven years may not be the basis for licensure denial.
  • A criminal conviction must be “substantially related” to the qualifications or duties required by the license or profession in order to be a basis to deny, revoke, or suspend a license.
  • Licensing boards may no longer deny licensure due to a conviction if it was expunged, dismissed, pardoned or if the applicant made a showing of rehabilitation for a felony conviction.
  • Licensing boards may no longer require that applicants self-disclose prior convictions unless the license type does not require fingerprint background checks.
  • Licensing boards must now track and publicly report licensure denial and appeal data.

Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one are dealing with criminal charges during these difficult times, we invite you to contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower at your earliest convenience. Attorney Brower has the expertise to help clients achieve the best possible outcome in unfortunate situations.

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