Fewer People Will Face Punishment for Pre-License Criminal Conduct by IDFPR

IDFPR Routinely Punishes Applicants for Pre-License Criminal Conduct

Last year, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) penalized145 individuals due to their pre-license criminal conduct. This group included applicants for nursing, counseling, real estate, barbering, cosmetology, massage therapy, pharmacy, professional engineering, and PERC licenses.

Instead of awarding an applicant a clean, unencumbered license, IDFPR issued these licenses on probation. Probation is one of several forms of discipline the IDFPR can take against a new or current licensee. At the end of their probation, licensees petition to reinstate their license to unencumbered (non-probationary) status.

This arcane practice of disciplining applicants for pre-license conduct can leave a permanent black mark on their licenses. The real life consequences include: fewer job prospects and reduced lifetime earning capacity. What makes this practice particularly unfair is that most criminal mischief takes place between the ages of 17 and 24.

Due in large part to the advocacy of the Safer Foundation,http://www.saferfoundation.org/ fewer individuals will face disciplinary action in the future because of a prior criminal record.

IDFPR Now Barred from Considering Expunged or Sealed Criminal Records

Beginning in 2018, the IDFPR can no longer consider expunged or sealed criminal records. Previously, applicants were required to disclose their criminal history even if it previously had been expunged or sealed.

This practice ran contrary to the Illinois law that prohibits employers from asking about expunged or sealed records. When the IDFPR issues a discipline because of a sealed record, it unseals the record by disclosing the case information on the agency’s website. Now, those seeking a license no longer need worry about having a criminal background, provided it is sealed. If you haven't sealed or expunged your record, what are you waiting for?

Expunging and Sealing Your Criminal Background a Must Before Applying for a License

Today, Illinois has the most expansive sealing law on the books. Most, but not all, crimes are eligible to seal. The few exceptions include: sex offender registration offenses, DUI/reckless driving, domestic violence offenses (includes violations of orders of protection), and cruelty to animals.

Finally, we've recognized how important it is not to give up on our youth and young adults. There is no better solution to crime in our communities than to give someone a chance to make an honest and good living.