Law Offices of
David Elliott Wise

David Wise is a who has been very successful at winning cases for his clients.  As a San Francisco Criminal Defense Attorney for many years, he knows the courts and their procedures well.  Whether you need a San Francisco or Oakland DUI Lawyer, an Alameda County Attorney, Hayward lawyer, representation in Marin County or anywhere in the Bay Area, David Wise would be glad to assist you in your time of need.

Criminal Cases and Your Job

Many people who have come to me over these fifteen plus years do not understand that even “minor” misdemeanor criminal convictions on their record can cause them employment problems. These problems can last for many years, if not a lifetime. Needless to say every case is different and you need to discuss your matter with an attorney to determine your options and liabilities. These are a few very general considerations and are no substitute for consultation with counsel. Again, talk to a lawyer in your state.

California State Licenses

Professional licenses are required for many professions, including landscapers, day care provider, nurses, nurse assistants, hair stylists, real estate agents, contractors, commercial drivers, not to mention teachers, doctors and lawyers. A conviction for a crime related to the kind of profession - like a drunk driving conviction for a driver, or illegal dumping for a landscaper - can result in revocation of a license, or denial of a license upon application for the license. Also, a crime of “moral turpitude” involving dishonesty, or other repugnant conduct, can result in denial or revocation of a license by the state. This denial or revocation of a job license can be done by the administrative body that oversees licensing of that particular profession. You might get a hearing, but the remedies for denial or revocation are very limited. You might just be stuck without a job requiring a license for the forseable future.

Job Applications

Also, even if you do not need a license, but just want to get a job, you need to know that it is much easier nowdays for employers to do private computer database checks of criminal records of their job applicants. Such database companies hire people to go down to local courthouses and copy the public records of cases - both pending and resolved. They then enter them into their private system and sell them to companies as a service. Thus even the mere fact of having a case might appear. Since a pending case is just an unproven allegation, the bigger worry is the appearance of a conviction: a proven case. Discovery of such a conviction can prove problematical for job applicants, especially if it is for a crime of moral turpitude, drugs, guns or violence.

But I don’t need a license.

I always try to stress to people that even if they do not have a profession now, that they might want one in the future. People in transition, students, people coming out of the service all should think hard before pleading guilty to a “plea bargain” if it will cut off job chances in the future. I’ve already mentioned that just getting a job with a conviction can be harder now that it used to be.

What if I have a case now?

For people that have not already entered a guilty plea the key is to strongly consider whether you might be better off taking a case to trial. You might beat the case against you. Alternatively there are a number of potential creative ways to settle cases without a criminal conviction, with a postponed judgement, or with alternative counseling and dismissal of the case.

What if I have already been convicted?

If you have already suffered a conviction in California, in certain cases an attorney can apply to have a case retroactively dismissed. Or if you were arrested, and want to have the record of arrest sealed and destroyed, an attorney can apply to the court for that relief. If you can show that there was no probable cause to believe that you committed the offense, you have the legal right to be treated as an innocent person, and even your arrest record is destroyed. But don’t wait - you only have a few years to apply for this “factual finding of innocense.” After that you are cut off from relief, absent a unique showing to the judge.


Tell Us About Your Charges

(415) 764-4952
360 Ritch Street, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tel: (415) 764-4952
Fax: (415) 764-4953