The Florida Department of Children and Families has shut down a Westside Jacksonville child care center after the operator continued to watch children despite a Jacksonville battery conviction. The operator was arrested in October 2010 and pleaded no contest in the next morning. Battery is one of the charges that allows the state to revoke a child care provider license, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union.
After the conviction, state licensors told her to stop working at Tiny Blessings Day Care Center, but she refused. The state of Florida then took her to court and an administrative judge revoked her license. The business was shut down last week. This case highlights the importance of knowing the effect specific criminal charges will have on any licensing or governing body that regulates your profession. For example, people who drive a taxi or truck for a living can be out of work after a Florida DUI conviction. Issues like this often arise when people enter a plea in the jail courtroom the day after their arrest. The temptation is to get out of jail, do whatever is needed in the short term – not thinking of long-term costs.
If you are arrested in Jacksonville, you will be taken to a courtroom, referred to as J-1, within 24 hours of your arrest. The best option is to plead NOT GUILTY. This will give you time to consult with an attorney to determine the best way to proceed for you – personally and professionally. Often times, charges can be reduced or other punishments can be arranged – such as community service – that could allow people to continue work and being productive member of society. If you or a loved one is arrested, make sure you call a criminal attorney before just trying to get rid of the charges the morning after. An experienced Northeast Florida criminal defense attorney can analyze the state’s evidence against you and provide you with a proper defense strategy.