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What Do If You Have a Professional License and are Arrested for a Crime

The impact a criminal arrest can have on a professional license such as a teaching credential, nursing license, real estate license, pharmacy license, medical/health services license, psychology and therapy license, etc… can be immediate. Some licensing boards and agencies requires licensees to report immediately any criminal arrest. Also, because most licensing agencies have every license holders fingerprints on file, they are alerted immediately when a license holder is arrested (and fingerprinted).

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Professional License Discipline & Stipulated Settlement Agreements

Initially a California licensing board or agency, such as the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Board of Registered Nursing, Board of Behavioral Sciences, or Department of Consumer Affairs, will seek to deny, suspend or revoke a license based on an allegation of misconduct such as a criminal conviction or fraud.

Normally, this intent to discipline is expressed in either a letter from the board to the licensee or through a formal complaint (Accusation or Statement of Issues). At this point the license holder or applicant has no options other than to either accept the discipline effectively jeopardizing their career, or request an administrative hearing contesting the discipline before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

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How to Respond to an Accusation

If you are a professional licensee in California, such as a credentialed teacher, registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, contractor, medical doctor or physician’s assistant, insurance agent or broker, real estate agent, broker or appraiser, court reporter, dentist or dental assistant, veterinarian, chiropractor, pharmacist, etc… there is nothing more unsettling than receiving an Accusation from your licensing board in the mail. The Accusation likely includes much legalize and cites numerous statutes (from the CA Government Code) and regulations (from the CA Code of Regulations) and often seeks suspension or revocation of the CA professional license at issue.

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Character Support Letters & Personal Statements

If you are subjected to an investigation regarding your moral character by one of California’s Professional Licensing Boards or Agencies including the Department of Consumer Affairs, the CA Medical Board, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Board of Registered Nursing, the Department of Insurance, the Bureau of Real Estate, the Dental Board, the Board of Occupational Therapy, the Physical Therapy Board, the Psychology Board, the Board of Behavioral Sciences, or the Department of Social Services, you should consult an experienced professional license defense attorney like Jonathan Turner right away.

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License Citations, Informal Conferences and Administrative Hearings

Many of California’s professional licensing agencies including the CA Podiatric Medical Board, CA Osteopathic Medical Board, the CA Medical Board, the CA Dental Board, the CA Board of Registered Nursing, the CA Pharmacy Board, the CA Chiropractic Board, the CA Board of Psychology, the CA Bureau of Automotive Repair, the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences, may issue citations for alleged misconduct. However, these citations can act as a black mark on a CA licensed healthcare professionals or other professionals licensing record.

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DO I HAVE TO NOTIFY MY EMPLOYER AND/OR MY PROFESSIONAL LICENSING AGENCY IF I AM ARRESTED FOR A CRIME?

When a person is arrested for a crime, even a misdemeanor, it is common for them to wonder whether they need to notify their employer regarding the arrest.

Likewise, if the person possesses a professional license, such as a teaching credential or nursing license or a license under the auspices of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, they may not know whether they need to immediately notify the licensing agency.

The first thing the arrestee should do is contact an attorney well-versed in both criminal defense law as well as employment and professional license defense. Sacramento, California attorney Jonathan Turner is that rare attorney experienced in the aforementioned areas of law.

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Interim Suspension Orders

Interim Suspension Orders or “ISOs” are sought by a number of California professional licensing boards when the agency, represented normally by the Attorney General’s Office, believes the California licensed professional is unsafe to practice their profession. Often the CA Medical Board, CA Osteopathic Medical Board, CA Dental Board, CA Board of Registered Nursing, CA Board of Pharmacy, the CA Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the CA Respiratory Care Board, etc… will seek an ISO if the doctor or nurse is suspected of having a substance abuse problem or accused of sexual misconduct. Many times the CA licensed professional will receive notice of the Interim Suspension Order while they have criminal charges pending.

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What is a Stipulated Settlement in a California Professional License Disciplinary Matter?

A disciplinary action brought by a CA licensing board or agency, such as the CA Medical Board, the CA Osteopathic Medical Board, the CA Physicians Assistant Board, the CA Chiropractic Board, the CA Board of Registered Nursing, the CA Occupational Therapy Board, the CA Speech Pathology Board, the CA Physical Therapy Board, the CA Respiratory Care Board, the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the CA Veterinary Medicine Board, the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences, the CA Board of Psychology, etc…, formally begins with the receipt of several documents in the mail – an Accusation (if you are a license holder) or a Statement of Issues (if you are a license applicant), a Notice of Defense, a Request for Discovery and a Statement to Respondent.

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Professional Licensing Board Diversion Programs

Many of California’s professional licensing boards, especially those within the health care field (CA Medical Board, CA Dental Board, CA Board of Registered Nursing, CA Board of Occupational Therapy, CA Board of Physical Therapy, CA Board of Licensed Vocational Nursing, CA Board of Psychology, CA Board of Behavioral Sciences, CA Chiropractic Board, CA Osteopathic Medical Board, CA Board of Respiratory Care, etc…) have diversion programs for licensees suspected of drug or alcohol problems. (Note, these Board-driven diversion programs are separate and distinct from criminal diversion programs enumerated in CA Penal Code section 1000.)

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Citations Brought by the CA Bureau of Automotive Repair

The California Bureau of Automotive Repair frequently monitors authorized Automotive Repair Shops and licensed Smog Shops all over California. As part of its monitoring process the BAR will conduct undercover operations. These operations may include bringing in a car to a repair shop to see if the shop makes unnecessary repairs and overcharges the customer.

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LEGAL TROUBLE WITH YOUR PROFESSIONAL LICENSING BOARD?

If you received a denial of a professional license or any threat to your ability to continue practicing your profession, please contact attorney Jonathan Turner using this contact form or call (916) 471-6506 for a personal conversation.





    Do you currently hold the license? Yes or No

    Have you received an Accusation or Statement of Issues?