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Do I Need to Notify the CA Board, Bureau, Commission or Department of Consumer Affairs if I am Arrested, Convicted or Have Another License Disciplined?

California’s numerous professional licensing boards, commissions, bureaus and departments are governed by numerous statutes, rules and regulations specific to the particular license at issue. For example, the key statutes pertaining to the CA Dental Board, the CA Board of Registered Nursing, the CA Board of Vocational Nursing, the CA Physical Therapy Board, the CA Bureau of Real Estate (formerly the Department of Real Estate), the CA Medical Board, the CA Board of Real Estate Appraisers, the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences (therapist licenses), the CA Department of Consumer Affairs, the CA Department of Insurance, the CA Board of Psychology and most other Boards are found within the CA Business & Professions Code. The statutes pertaining to the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing are primarily found in the CA Education Code.

Additionally, many of the rules pertaining to California’s Boards and Licensing Agencies are found within the vast CA Code of Regulations.

Again, each Board and Agency has its own specific laws, rules and regulations governing its operations. As such, from licensing board to licensing board the rules vary as to when a licensee is required to report an arrest, criminal conviction or license discipline to the Board.

Some licensing agencies only require that criminal convictions have to be self-reported. However, most boards tend to require that a licensee notify them soon after (usually within 30 days) a criminal arrest. This generally includes arrests for misdemeanors as well as felonies. Depending on the offense and the type of professional license at issue the board may temporarily suspend the license while the criminal process plays out. For example, a teacher arrested for sexual abuse of a child will likely have their credential immediately suspended until at least the criminal matter resolves.

Even if a particular board does not require reporting right away of a criminal arrest or conviction, one can expect that the board will find out about the criminal matter when the licensee comes up for renewal of the license and has to reveal the criminal matter. Of course, some professional license applications only require disclosure of convictions thus a criminal matter resulting in only an arrest may not need to be disclosed.
Nearly all CA licensing boards’ applications require disclosure of criminal matters even if the matter was later expunged (for example under CA Penal Code section 1203.4) or if the matter was resolved for deferred prosecution or judgment commonly referred to as “DEJ.” However, drug cases wherein the defendant participates in “Drug Diversion” under Penal Code section 1000 successfully cannot be used to deny or discipline a professional license.

In short, when it comes to criminal arrests or convictions, there is a good chance the matter does need to be reported to your licensing board within a specific period of time (usually within 30 days). Thus, if you are arrested or convicted and possess a professional license, it is recommended you contact a CA professional license defense attorney like Jonathan Turner to determine your licensing reporting obligations.

Perhaps even more confusing are cases wherein a CA licensee possesses or possessed a professional license in another state and that out of state license is disciplined. Many boards require disclosure right away (again, usually within 30 days) if another license has been disciplined by a different licensing board. For example, many medical doctors, dentists and insurance brokers have licenses in CA as well as other states. If that medical or dental license is disciplined by another state, the doctor or dentist will likely have to notify the CA Medical or Dental Board of such within 30 days. Failure to do so can be separate grounds for license suspension.
The tricky part however regarding disclosure of license discipline is determining what exactly constitutes “discipline.” For example, suspension or revocation of a license clearly equals discipline. But what about probation, private reprimands, public reprovals, citations, fines, informal dispositions, etc…? Again, this is where it is important to contact a CA professional license defense specialist like Jonathan Turner to advise you what, if anything, you need to disclose to your particular licensing board or agency.