The commission of certain crimes may subject an atty to discipline, regardless of the outcome of the criminal proceeding. CPR subjects to discipline attys who committ a crime involving "moral turpitude" or any other act (criminal or not) which involves "dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation," or otherwise adversely reflects on the atty's fitness to practice law.
Several states follow the C/L rule that a felony conviction per se is automatic grounds for discipline.
Types of crimes resulting in discipline are those which (1) indicate inherent untrustworthiness, (2) necessarily involve an intent to defraud or intentional dishonesty for personal gain, or (3) are extremely repugnant to accepted moral standards (murder, serious sexual offenses) lies on bar admission application, and lies on resume. Intentional filing of a false tax return makes an attorney subject to disbarrment, but not the negligent failure to file tax returns with mitigating circumstances. Possessing small amounts of controlled substances for personal use will not prevent you from joining, but obtaining larger amounts for financial gain is a different matter. However, an atty who gave small amounts of marijuana and cocaine to the 13-year-old son of a friend with the friend's consent was merely suspended for 2 years. Sexual misconduct and sexual exploitation subjects an atty to discipline because such acts indicate that he is unworthy of confidence as an attorney.