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. However, when his application for a California medical license was pending, he was arrested and charged with a DUI (which he also reported to the Medical Board). While the expunged conviction was eight years remote in time, the new charge presented a real danger that the applicant might be denied a license or, at best, offered only a probationary license.
Based on the facts of the case, we were able to work with the applicant's criminal defense attorney to seek a reduction of the DUI charge to lesser plea of "Wet Reckless" driving. We also coordinated all communications with the Medical Board. Transparency and candor were key factors. We assisted the applicant with the preparation of a written response and submission of appropriate documentation and support materials to the Board and provided a transmittal communication to the Board suggesting consideration of the client's unique achievement of completing medical school following a difficult period and prior criminal conviction, and the isolated and uncharacteristic nature of the new DUI charge, which had been reduced due to low blood alcohol and lack of directly related criminal history.
Following submission of the client's statement to the Board with appropriate documentation, an unrestricted, "free and clear" license was issued. The client resolved to avoid alcohol altogether in the future in order to preserve his hard-won privilege to practice medicine.