What does everybody think about the new Florida Agent Registration laws?

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Jan 2, 2011 12:32 am

Unfortunately, I found out about the new laws that FL passed in March 2010 relating to criminal records and disqualification periods for registering in FL in any capacity.  Turns out, FL passed a new law in 2010 that prevents registration for 15 years if there is a felony on the applicants record.  Evidently, sale of marijuana constitutes the same 15 year disqualification period as armed bank robbery or murder. 

I found this out the hard way. After graduating from College in 2009, I applied for many jobs, until I finally got hired with a major brokerage firm.  I passed the 7 & 63, and got licensed in 49 States within a couple months.  FL denied my registration based on a marijuana sale incident  9 years ago on which the courts had withheld adjudication.  Seeing as though I LIVE IN FLORIDA, this is a big problem because of the home state requirements. I know I could always move to another state, but I am the sole caregiver to my Mother with Cancer and the fact that I own my house here, its just not possible.  

My employer had given me 6 months to get this cleared up.  It's been 5 months so far.  I am 3 months into the record seal process.  It should go through, but if not, I'm screwed, as FL is not flexible at all.  

Has anybody else had any experiences with registration issues like mine?  Or maybe know a good attorney in FL that specializes in these issues?  

Jan 2, 2011 12:16 pm

9 yrs ago, what, were you 15 yrs old or something? If you were a minor, maybe there is some wiggle room.

I know of three folks that have had similar issues with past record issues. One guy, about shop lifting when he was 17, the other stealing french fried potatoes at 7-11, another guy about lying to an officer regarding a minor in possession. Serious, very expensive career obstacles in all cases. Worse yet, they've become bigger issues than what they were even 5 yrs ago. One guy got denied a very large 6 figure forgivable loan and spot at another firm, and now he's stuck at a firm that has gotten very bad after a merger/take over. The 7-11 guy is out of work, very unlikely to ever get a job in the biz again, not sure about the other one.

You're lucky to still have a job, as I'm assuming that they hired you without your disclosure of this. Like the shop lifter friend I have, he thought his record had been "sealed", but somehow they were able to dig it up when doing a background check. I'd work real hard at "fixing the problem", but you should probably be prepared for the worst case scenario. So, either you're going to be fired, given the opportunity to relocate, or you'll need to work at another firm AND out of state.

Hey, at least you've come here, with 3 months to go, instead of after it being too late.

Jan 2, 2011 9:02 pm

Wow, so it turns out if I don't select the option to "Leave a shadow Copy, " when a topic gets moved, there is no way to add to the post.  I spent an hour trying to figure out why I could not comment.  

I was barely 18 when I got into trouble.  I disclosed my criminal background up front when I got hired.  This law became effective after I was hired, but before I submitted my U4's.  Very bad timing.  I do wish my site compliance officer had been aware of this pending legislature earlier on, because I could have started the seal process much earlier.  

Good news is that when my record is sealed, I can update my U4 to show no criminal history, and by law, FL cannot consider the offense in the approval process.  It's like it never happened.  That is true only if I originally disclosed it, which I did.  So I guess everything is riding on the FDLE to hurry up and get my record seal application processed.  

My employer has been great through this.  They had me sign an agreement stating that I would be eligible for re-hire once I got this cleared up, they would not contest any unemployment claim, and that I can look for jobs inside or outside of the company while at work, plus they will give me 2 hours off time per week for interviews, if needed.

Jan 3, 2011 11:24 am

Wow, holy cow batman, PM who this employer is. Hard to find good guys these days!

Hey, good for you, that you were more than upfront and honest from the beginning. Really important in this business. Time reveals EVERYTHING in this business, good and bad.