Practicing without a license
|Part of the common law series|
|Estates in land|
|Future use control|
|Other common law areas|
Practicing without a license is the act of working without proper licensure for that occupation, as required in that jurisdiction. Most activities that require licensure also have penalties in place for those who practice them without valid, current licenses. Practicing without a license is often a crime.
Fields where practicing without a license may carry civil or criminal penalties include lawyer, physician, physician assistant, surgeon, coroner, medical examiner, paramedic, funeral director, osteopath, chiropractor, dentist, pharmacist, engineer, pilot, broadcasting, nurse, veterinarian, midwife, teacher, psychologist, surveyor, detective, social worker, architect, barber, hairdresser, electrologist, tattooist, cosmetologist, real estate agent, plumber, florist, accountant, and masseuse. If a person offering their services is licensed in one of these professions, any member of the public has a right to know if that person is validly licensed or not by the licensing authority. Anyone who claims to have a license and refuses to identify themselves properly by first and last name can possibly lose any one or all of their licenses. In many jurisdictions, it is illegal for service providers to hide their identities for purposes of making it difficult to verify licensure and past disciplinary actions or license violations.
Other unlicensed activity
Other occupations, such as operating a business or working as a professional driver or mariner, may require specialized licensure as well. Operating a business without proper licenses can result in financial and sometimes criminal penalties. These licenses can include a general business license, a liquor license, a specialized drivers license, and other types regulated by local, regional, state, or federal requirements. Certain occupations may require obtaining appropriate intellectual property licenses, such as music licensing, brand licensing, patent licensing, software licensing, and other permissions for use.
Non-professional activities may also require licenses for participation. These include driver's license, amateur radio license, dog license, firearms license, hunting license, marriage license, pilot license. Using certain products or services may also require obtaining a license, such as a software license. Operating without these licenses can lead to civil and criminal penalties.
Penalties vary depending on the severity of the infraction, but practicing without a valid, current license may be punishable by one or more methods, including community service, fine, restitution, probation and temporary or permanent loss of the license. Criminal charges can lead to incarceration, as they can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the severity of the infraction.
One famous incident was on July 6, 1885 when Louis Pasteur, a chemist who was a pioneer in microbiology, treated Joseph Meister after the boy was mauled by a dog infected with rabies with a vaccination treatment that was thus far only tested on animals. This deed was technically illegal considering Pasteur was not a licensed physician, but he and his colleagues agreed that it was necessary considering his treatment seemed the only way to save the boy from a likely death. As it happens, the treatment was successful and Pasteur as feted as a hero and possible criminal charges were waived under the circumstances.
- Springhouse Corporation (2004). Nurse's legal handbook. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, ISBN 9781582552804
- Galaty, Fillmore W. et al. (2001). Modern Real Estate Practice in Illinois. Dearborn Trade Publishing, ISBN 9780793142576
- Golder, Daniel T. (2000). Practicing dentistry in the age of telemedicine. The Journal of the American Dental Association June 2000 vol. 131 no. 6 734-744
- Circo, Carl J. [ed.] (2009).A State-by-state Guide to Construction & Design Law: Current Statutes and Practices. American Bar Association, ISBN 9781604425543
- Murphy, Timothy F. (2004). Case Studies Biomedical Research Ethics. MIT Press, ISBN 9780262632867
|This law-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|