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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
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Real Estate Broker Discipline and Criminal Convictions in California

By Spodek Law Group | June 22, 2021

Real Estate Broker Discipline and Criminal Convictions in California
Real estate brokers in California who get convicted of a crime face the possibility of disciplinary proceedings by the Department of Real Estate (DRE). This can result in the broker’s license getting suspended or possibly revoked.
A criminal record can also stop a person from even getting a broker’s license. Any applicant who has been convicted of a crime within the last seven years may be denied if the case was substantially relating to brokering duties, like fraud.  Certain criminal convictions of any age can an disqualify applicant.
Spodek Law Group’s our California Criminal Defense Lawyers are at your service. We are criminal defense attorneys with years of experience and a proven track record.   If you are facing criminal charges and professional discipline, or if you have questions after reading this article, you should contact us for a consultation.

In this article, we will teach you about:

  1. What regulating body covers real estate brokers in the state of California?
  2. What is the department’s perception of a conviction?
  3. How is a conviction classified as “substantially related”?
  4. Will I be able to fight for my real estate license?
  5. Can I apply the 7-year rule in my case?

What regulating body covers real estate brokers in the state of California?
There are more than 450,000 real estate brokers, agents and salespeople in California.  They all fall under the watchful eye of The Department of Real Estate (DRE). The department’s goal is to protect the public in real estate transactions.  Under the leadership of a commissioner, the DRE conducts licensee discipline in accordance with real estate laws and regulations.

What is the department’s perception of a conviction?
For DRE purposes, a conviction can include a guilty plea or verdicts.  Additionally “no contest” pleas also fall in range, as do convictions that have been expunged.

How is a conviction classified as “substantially related”?
In simple terms, a conviction that is “substantially related” to the qualifications, functions or duties of a real estate licensee can warrant disciplinary action.  Beyond this, no precise, concrete definition of “substantially related” exists.   Nonetheless, an experienced attorney can rely upon regulations and case law for guidance in your matter.

Driving and Abuse of Controlled Substances
Any conviction involving drugs and alcohol also can be problematic. DRE regulations state that two or more criminal convictions involving the consumption or use of alcohol or drugs can be counted when at least one of those convictions involves driving.

Sex Offenders
The Commissioner’s regulations also include in the “substantially related” category convictions that involve “sexually related conduct affecting a person who is an observer or non-consenting participant in the conduct or convictions which require registration pursuant to the provisions of Section 290 of the Penal Code.”

The Role of Rehabilitation in Real Estate Broker Discipline
The Commissioner of the DRE is obligated to look at evidence that the licensee in question has been rehabilitated.  Factors include but are not limited to expungement, payment of restitution, and any programs and courses.
Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations provides a comprehensive list of rehabilitation criteria.
The California Criminal Defense Team at Spodek Law Group can help you devise an effective “rehabilitation” plan to demonstrate to the Commissioner that you have changed and are now fit to practice.

Will I be able to fight for my real estate license?
Indeed you can fight for your license.  Just as in real estate transactions, sound strategy and tactical negotiation are keys to succeeding in your case.  Along the same vein, having a strong criminal defense team on your side is just as important as having a knowledgeable broker when dealing in real estate.

Can I apply the 7-year rule in my case?
It can apply, but there are exceptions.  Certain crimes can draw disciplinary action no matter how old they are.  These include (but are not limited to) such serious offenses as burglary, assault, murder, rape, arson and weapons offenses.   You have the right to appeal any decision the Commissioner hands down.
Apart from these, the DRE may not deny brokers licenses to persons with criminal convictions that are older than seven as long as the applicant completed all their sentencing requirements

Contact Spodek Law Group for more information and to schedule your free consultation.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

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~George Cherubini

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