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Unauthorized Practice of a Profession: NY ED Law 6512

You need not be a surgeon performing procedures nor an account engaged in financial services. Whether you are a dentist, masseuse, physician, lawyer, financial advisor, architect, or even a hairdresser, if you practice and engage in a profession requiring a license without that license, then you are subject to arrest and prosecution for Unauthorized Practice, New York Education Law 6512. In fact, not only will you find yourself before a judge and in need of legal representation from a criminal defense lawyer, know that this offense is a felony. Whether facing an indictment in New York City, the Hudson Valley counties of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, or elsewhere in the state, a failure to protect yourself will have dire and permanent consequences.

Elements of the Offense

The pertinent elements of Unauthorized Practice, aka, Unlicensed Practice, are that you practice or engage in a profession mandating licensure or offer to do the same. Further, it is criminal to merely hold yourself out as such a professional whether you had a license in another state or country or it was suspended, revoked or annulled. Even if you did not physically perform any professional services nor present another person with your ability to do so, if you fraudulently aid another person in obtaining or you furnish them with a diploma, license or permit to practice the profession he or she is not allowed, then you are also guilty of Unauthorized Practice of a Profession pursuant to Education Law 6512.

Penalties and Punishment

In the eyes of the justice system it is irrelevant that this offense is not codified in the Penal Law. That is, it is a class “E” felony with the same weight and force as any similar level crime. As such, a conviction for a first-time offender can land you in prison for up to four years or on probation while also requiring you to pay fines, restitution and be subject to other conditions imposed by the court.

Collateral Issues and Ramifications

What complicates this crime is if a patient is injured, or you have stolen money. In the former scenario you may face additional felonies including Reckless Endangerment or even worse. These offenses, such as Assault, Criminally Negligent Homicide and Manslaughter, can carry stiff and life altering incarceratory sentences. In the latter situation, where you have been paid money for services you either did not or could not provide, it is likely that prosecutors will pursue additional charges of Grand Larceny in the event the theft or thefts exceeded $1,000.00.

Setting aside the obvious of incarceration and a permanent record, if you were otherwise an authorized professional but you were licensed out of state or on probation, the likelihood of you being reinstated or certified is dramatically decreased. If you are not an American citizen, but a holder of a visa or green card, there could be significant adverse impacts to your legal status going forward depending on whether a conviction is deemed an Aggravated Felony due to other factors or a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude. Simply, it is imperative to recognize that even if you are not sentenced to the four years in prison as authorized by law, when you apply to graduate school, attempt to secure a legitimate certification, or you pursue careers in certain industries, there will be far more than a mere asterisk next to your name.

Hypothetical and Scenario

You are not really an immigration attorney, but clients pay you money for a service that maybe you can or maybe you cannot provide. Maybe you helped them or maybe you merely took their money, but either way the New York State Attorney General and investigators with the NYS Police are executing a search warrant on your purported office. Instead of practicing as a lawyer, you perform some medical or dental procedure after holding yourself out as a Board-Certified doctor or dentist irrespective of the specialty. Now, after servicing your clients in a professional or hack-like manner, detectives with the NYPD, with handcuffs at the ready, storm into your office to bring you face to face with the criminal justice system and the Manhattan District Attorney or other prosecutor’s office in New York City or the Hudson Valley. Outside the legal or medical setting, its possible that instead of being accused of a prostitution and escort related offense, you are providing illegal massages.

Your Case, Your Defense, Your Future

Because so much is at stake and you may have strong, viable and easily implemented defenses, it is critical to thoroughly examine your case before deciding the best defense to your arrest for NY Ed. Law 6512. Whether you ultimately pursue a mitigation defense or one based on a lack of the prosecution’s admissible evidence and sufficiency, the best way to move that strategy forward is with the knowledge, experience and advocacy. Saland Law’s New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors is the team that is ready to stand by your side and lead you through the justice system. Don’t fail yourself. Take control of your life now.

Call our New York criminal defense team and former Manhattan Prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today

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