Administrative Law Topics: Criminal Convictions

The effect of criminal convictions on California professional licenses

RN with DUI Wins Public Reproval After Administrative Hearing in LA

Our client is an RN who was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) with a blood alcohol level measured at 0.20%. There was also a minor rear-end collision, but the registered nurse was off duty.  This was an isolated incident by an excellent RN who has strong support from a supervisor and colleagues.  Furthermore, an addiction psychiatrist determined that our client does not have an alcohol problem.

Reporting Criminal Convictions to the CA Board of Registered Nursing

California Registered Nurses (RNs) have always been required to disclose criminal convictions on license applications and on license renewal applications.  However starting in July of 2014, the Board imposed a duty on Registered Nurses to self-report felony and misdemeanor convictions within 30 days.  Nursing regulation section 1441 (16 CCR 1441) defines unprofessional conduct to include:

(c)  Failure to report to the board, within 30 days, any of the following:

Stephen Boreman Calls on Medical Board to End Probation for Single DUI Convictions

California's attitudes toward drunk driving and the laws reflecting those attitudes, including the laws, policies and regulations of the Medical Board of California, find their roots in the political success of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a private, non-profit organization. In 1980, Candace "Candy" Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) after her thirteen year old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver with a record of prior drunk driving offenses.  By 1984 the organization had attracted the attention of U.S. politicians.

Licensed Dentist with DUI Gets Clear License from Medical Board of California

This case involves two California agencies: The Dental Board and the Medical Board.  Our client is a licensed dentist and physician.

As a California dental surgeon (DDS), our client entered an M.D. degree program in surgery. Unfortunately, in the last few months of residency, the surgeon suffered a DUI conviction. The DUI was an isolated incident, and the surgeon reported the conviction to the Dental Board. Our client does not have an alcohol problem. The Dental Board of California recongized that disciplinary action was not warranted in this case.  

Unrestricted CA Medical License Granted to Rehabilitated Medical School Graduate

An applicant with an expunged felony conviction record for possession of drugs applied to and graduated from medical school after completing probation on the criminal charges. The applicant was completely transparent with the medical school and all subsequent training programs regarding the prior conviction. He fully disclosed the record to the Medical Board on his license application, understanding that even expunged records must be reported under California law.

California Medical License Applications, Criminal Offenses, and Deferred Entry of Judgment

A California medical resident was applying for his Physician and Surgeon's Certificate. Question No. 55 on the Medical Board's application form asked for disclosure of all criminal offenses, including felonies, misdemeanors and infractions, except for charges "dismissed under section 1000.3 of the California Penal Code or equivalent non-California laws".  The resident did not know if this meant he had to disclose three offenses committed when he was an adult but treated as a minor relative to alcohol and False I.D. matters that occurred while he was in college in another state.

Nurse With DUI Wins Back Revoked License After New Administrative Hearing

Our client is a California registered nurse who was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) with a high blood alcohol level and a minor accident. The arrest was an isolated incident by an RN who had no prior record. A psychiatrist evaluated the nurse and found no indication of a substance abuse problem. 

Occupational Therapist Convicted of DUI Reaches Settlement After Suing CBOT

Our client is a California OT, who was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) for the second time. The DUI was not work related and a psychologist determined that our client does not have an alcohol problem.

Deferred Entry of Judgment: Do I Have to Report it to My Licensing Agency in CA?

After successful completion of diversion or deferred entry of judgment in California under Penal Code sections 1001.9 and 1000.4,the arrest and diversion or deferred entry of judgment is deemed not to have occurred, and the licensee or applicant “may indicate in response to any question concerning his or her prior criminal record that he or she was not arrested or diverted [or granted deferred entry of judgment] for the offense….” (Penal Code sections 1001.9 and 1000.4.)

Should CA RNs Report Pending DUI Cases?

California RNs often ask the question: "I have a DUI case pending in criminal court and I may go to trial or settle, should I report the case on my license renewal application?"

The answer is No.  As of the date of this article, the CA Board of Registered Nursing's license renewal application requires disclosure of criminal convictions, but not pending cases.  Some nurses ask whether they should report the case anyway to make the Board of Registered Nursing look upon them more favorably.  We have no data to suggest this approach would be helpful and do not recommend it.