The California Medical Board issued physician and surgeon certificates (medical licenses) to three license applicants who were arrested in different states. Each of the doctors applying for a California medical license had a criminal case which resulted in deferred entry of judgment rather than conviction.
One was arrested for misdemeanor shoplifting on the East Coast. The case ended in "Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal." There was no guilty plea or conviction. The charges were later dismissed.
The second was a misdemeanor trespass charge from the South. Here too, there was no guilty plea. The matter was deemed "deferred" and ultimately dismissed.
The last case was an alcohol-related misdemeanor offense in the Southwest which was also deferred. Following alcohol counseling, it was dismissed.
In all three cases the California Medical Board demanded arrest records and court records. In two of the three, the Board asked why the applicants "failed to disclose" these matters. Failure to disclose a criminal conviction could be grounds for denial on the grounds of dishonesty. We determined that California Penal Code sections 1000 and 1001.9 should apply and prevent the Medical Board from demanding criminal information in cases such as these. Penal Code section 1000.4 provides:
Any record filed with the Department of Justice shall indicate the disposition in those cases deferred pursuant to this chapter. Upon successful completion of a deferred entry of judgment program, the arrest upon which the judgment was deferred shall be deemed to have never occurred. (Emph. added.) The defendant may indicate in response to any question concerning his or her prior criminal record that he or she was not arrested or granted deferred entry of judgment for the offense, except as specified in subdivision (b).
Free and clear licenses were granted in each case cited above.
Stephen M. Boreman is an attorney with the law firm of Slote & Links. Lawyers at Slote & Links defend California physicians before the Medical Board of California.