Administrative Law Topics: Criminal Convictions

The effect of criminal convictions on California professional licenses

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.

Medical Board Terminates Physician's Probation Early

The Medical Board of California granted our Petition for Penalty Relief after an administrative hearing.  Our client is a physician who accepted his original California Medical License with five years of probation because of a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol as a medical resident.  After two years of probation, we petitioned for early termination of the California medical license probation.  

CA Physicians Licensed After Arrest and Deferred Entry of Judgment

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. 

Doctor Discloses DUI -- No Action by Medical Board of California

Our client is a medical doctor who was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in California. California physicians are required to report misdemeanor criminal convictions within 30 days. (See Business and Professions Code section 802.1.)  We prepared a report letter disclosing the conviction and explaining the circumstances.  Fortunately, the doctor's DUI was a first time offense and his or her blood alcohol level was close to the legal limit.

Embarrassing Conviction Did Not Prevent Issuance of Real Estate License

Our client disclosed a common misdemeanor conviction on an application for a California real estate salesperson's license.  The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) asked our client for detailed information surrounding the conviction.  Unfortunately, the arrest involved conduct of a sexual nature that is not reflected in the conviction.  The good news is that the event happened many years ago when our client was very young.

Avoiding Denial of a California Medical License by Withdrawing the Application

NOTE: The Medical Board no longer allows applicants to withdraw license applications to avoid a Statement of Issues (Updated June 29, 2017)

Medical license applicants in California may have the option to withdraw their applications before a final license denial.  Here is how it works:

Occupational Therapists (OTs) Arrested for DUI in California Face Investigation by the Board of Occupational Therapy Within Days of Arrest

California Occupational Therapists (OTs) arrested for DUI can now expect investigation letters from the Board of Occupational Therapy (CBOT) within days of arrest. CBOT receives notice of the arrest from the California Department of Justice, which cross-references criminal records against professional licensing records.  Occupational Therapists can expect a letter from the Board requesting a detailed description of the events that led to the arrest under penalty of perjury along with case information for the pending criminal case.

Teacher with DUI: California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Cannot Automatically Suspend or Revoke Credential

If a teacher has a DUI conviction, can the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) utilize a “per se” standard and conclude that the person is aromatically disqualified as a matter of law from teaching in California?  The answer is no.  In the case of Broney v. California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the court rejected use of a  “per se” rule. 

Medical License Approved After Misdemeanor Criminal Conviction and Failure to Disclose

An out-of-state applicant for a California medical license had a misdemeanor conviction for petty theft which occurred more than twenty years ago when the applicant was a teen-age undergraduate.  At the time of conviction,  a 3 month summary probation was imposed and the court as well as the applicant's attorney indicated that the matter would be expunged and need not be reported.  This information, however, was erroneous and Business and Professions Code section 480(a)(1) was clearly applicable, making expunged criminal records reportable notwithstanding a motion to expunge under Penal Cod