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Instructors and other employees at public and private educational institutions in Florida can face several additional career-related penalties when they are arrested for alleged criminal offenses. Even alleged misdemeanor offenses can impact the professional licenses of teachers, school administrators, or other licensed employees.

Educators in Florida are required to report criminal convictions, findings of guilt, withholdings of adjudication, or guilty or nolo contendere pleas to the Florida Department of Education within 48 hours or face additional disciplinary measures. Convictions for crimes other than minor traffic violations may lead to possible suspension or revocation of a teacher's license.

Attorney for Educators in Gainesville, FL

Are you concerned about the effect that your recent arrest in north central Florida could have on your professional license? You will want to contact Galigani Law Firm for help achieving the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties.

Dean Galigani is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Gainesville who represents clients accused of various crimes all over the greater Gainesville area, including communities in Gilchrist County, Alachua County, Marion County, and Levy County.

Call (352) 375-0812 to have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.

Overview of Defending Educators in Alachua County

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Disciplinary Process for Educators in Gainesville

The Office of Professional Practices Services (PPS) investigates misconduct by educators who hold a Florida Educator Certificate or a valid application for a Florida Educator Certificate. After PPS receives information or complaints, the complaint will be reviewed to see if there is jurisdiction to investigate. If a case is opened, the educator and his or her employing school or school district will be notified of the investigation.

Following the investigation, legal counsel for PPS reviews the findings of the investigation to determine if there is cause to take action against the educator’s certificate. Decisions to recommend findings of probable cause against certificates have to be supported by clear and convincing evidence that the misconduct occurred and violated statute or rule.

The Commissioner of Education then reviews the findings of the investigation and determines if there is probable cause to warrant discipline against a certificate holder. A decision of “No Probable Cause” means that the educator's conduct warrants no action against the certificate holder, but a decision of Probable Cause means the conduct warrants disciplinary action against the educator's certificate and initiates proceedings pursuant to Chapter 120 of the Florida Statutes (the Administrative Procedures Act).

If Probable Cause is determined, educators have the following appeal options:

  • Certified educators can surrender their certificates for permanent revocation;
  • Educators may reach a settlement agreement (accepted by the EPC) with the Department of Education;
  • Informal hearing when educators admit to allegations in administrative complaints and elect to personally appear before the EPC to mitigate their cases; or
  • Formal hearing when the educator disputes the allegations in the complaint and elects to have a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the Division of Administrative Hearings.

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Consequences of Convictions for Educators in Alachua County

Florida Statute § 1012.315 establishes that a person is ineligible for educator certification, and instructional personnel and school administrators are ineligible for employment in any position that requires direct contact with students in a district school system, charter school, or private school that accepts scholarship students, if he or she has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense relating to battery (if the alleged victim was a minor) or luring or enticing a child, or any of the following felony offenses listed under Florida Statute § 1012.315(1):

  • Abuse, aggravated abuse, or neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult
  • Adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation of aged persons or disabled adults
  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated battery
  • Arson
  • Battery on a detention or commitment facility staff member or a juvenile probation officer
  • Carjacking
  • Causing, encouraging, soliciting, or recruiting another to join a criminal street gang
  • Child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or neglect of a child
  • Contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child
  • Coordinating the commission of theft in excess of $3,000
  • Dealing in stolen property
  • Drug abuse prevention and control (if the offense was a second-degree felony or greater severity)
  • Exhibiting firearms or weapons at a school-sponsored event, on school property, or within 1,000 feet of a school
  • Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult
  • False imprisonment
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Fraudulent sale of controlled substances
  • Home-invasion robbery
  • Incest
  • Introduction, removal, or possession of contraband at a correctional facility
  • Introduction, removal, or possession of contraband at a juvenile detention facility or commitment program
  • Kidnapping
  • Leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending custody proceedings
  • Leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending dependency proceedings or proceedings concerning alleged abuse or neglect of a minor
  • Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person or disabled person
  • Lewdness and indecent exposure
  • Luring or enticing a child
  • Manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, aggravated manslaughter of a child, or aggravated manslaughter of an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic
  • Murder
  • Obscenity
  • Possessing an electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon at a school-sponsored event or on school property
  • Prostitution
  • Resisting arrest with violence
  • Robbery
  • Robbery by sudden snatching
  • Sexual activity with or solicitation of a child by a person in familial or custodial authority
  • Sexual battery
  • Sexual misconduct in juvenile justice programs
  • Sexual misconduct with certain developmentally disabled clients and reporting of such sexual misconduct
  • Sexual misconduct with certain forensic clients and reporting of such sexual misconduct
  • Sexual misconduct with certain mental health patients and reporting of such sexual misconduct
  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Theft from persons 65 years of age or older
  • Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors
  • Video voyeurism
  • Voyeurism

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Educators Facing Criminal Charges Resources in Florida

Alachua County Education Association (ACEA) — The ACEA identifies itself as "a union of professionals that champions fairness, democracy, economic opportunity, and high-quality public education for our students, their families and our community." Visit this website to learn more about union representation, the teacher evaluation system, and creative benefits. You can also view a calendar of upcoming events and read about recent news and issues.

Alachua County Education Association
618 NW 13th Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 377-7635

Educator Certification | Florida Department Of Education — Learn more about educator certification on this section of the Department of Education website. You can look up a certificate, make certificate additions, and apply for or check the status of certification. You can also read more about general certification requirements.

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Galigani Law Firm | Gainesville Educators Defense Lawyer

If you are concerned about the impact that an arrest for an alleged criminal offense could have on your teaching license, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.

Galigani Law Firm defends individuals in Union County, Columbia County, Baker County, Bradford County, and several other surrounding areas of Gainesville.

Dean Galigani can review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (352) 375-0812 or submit an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation.

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Galigani Law Firm proudly serves Gainesville and surrounding areas of
North Central Florida.