North Carolina residents who can’t get a business license because of their criminal history may get some relief.
Senate Bill 33, which would require occupational licensing boards to consider certain factors before denying applicants with criminal records, is currently in the Judiciary II Committee and is scheduled to be heard Feb. 28.
Also called Use of Criminal History Records by Lic. Bds., the bill was filed on Jan. 31 and is sponsored by State Rep. Fletcher Hartsell Jr. for District 36.
General Statute 93B-1 defines a license as “… any license (other than a privilege license), certificate, or other evidence of qualification which an individual is required to obtain before he may engage in or represent himself to be a member of a particular profession or occupation.”
The bill, if passed, will forbid a licensing board from automatically denying licensure on the basis of the applicant’s criminal history.
This does not guarantee a business license for everyone with a criminal history.
“If the board is authorized to deny a license to an applicant on the basis of conviction of any crime or for commission of a crime involving fraud or moral turpitude, and the applicant’s verified criminal history record reveals one or more convictions of any crime, the board may deny the license if it finds that denial is warranted … ,” the bill says.
The applicant could also be denied licensure if they refuse a criminal history check or “use of fingerprints or other identifying information required by the State of National Repositories of Criminal Histories,”according to the bill.
If passed, the bill would require licensing boards to consider such factors as the level and seriousness of the crime, the date of the crime, the age of the person at the time of the crime, the circumstances surrounding the crime, the connection between the criminal conduct and the prospective duties of the applicant and the prison, jail, probation, parole, rehabilitation and employment records of the applicant since the date the crime was committed.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.