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.
There are two main types of nursing licenses (RN and LVN) in California and they are governed by separate licensing agencies/boards.
Licensed Vocational Nurses or LVNs obtain licenses from the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. Registered Nurses or RN Licenses are governed by the Board of Registered Nursing.
CA Medical Board, CA Dental Board and CA Psychology Board Investigations and Interviews of Licensees and Doctors
When a California professional licensing board receives a complaint against a licensee or information of misconduct (such as a criminal or driving under the influence arrest or conviction), the board will conduct an investigation. The California Department of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the CA Pharmacy Board, the CA Board of Registered Nursing, the CA Chiropractic Board and a number of other licensing boards in the healthcare field has legions of investigators whose job it is to contact licensees and inquire into the alleged misconduct, gross negligence, and/or unprofessional conduct.
California’s professional licensing boards are increasingly becoming more vigilant in scrutinizing those who hold or are applying for a professional license such as a teaching credential, nursing license, real estate license, health services license, etc…
Such disciplinary actions often begin with a complaint lodged by a former employer or because of a criminal conviction. The California Licensing Board, such as the Board of Behavioral Sciences, the Board of Real Estate, the Board of Psychology, the Nursing Board, or the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, usually begins with an informal investigation asking for a written explanation from the professional license holder or applicant.
Many California physicians including those licensed by the CA Medical Board, CA Osteopathic Medical Board, CA Board of Podiatry, as well as registered nurses and other health care professionals possess professional licenses in not only California but other states as well. If an out of state license is disciplined including suspended, revoked, placed on probation, or surrendered in lieu of revocation, this likely will have consequences on the licensee’s California medical or nursing license.
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing issues various credentials, beyond simply teaching credentials, allowing one to work in California’s public schools. These include:
Administrative Services Credentials – These allow one to work in administration such as being a principal or an assistant principal. Administrators are not immune from being disciplined by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing including having their credentials denied, suspended or revoked. Similar to teachers, administrators may be subject to investigations conducted by the Commission’s Division of Professional Practices and its Committee of Credentials for reasons such as the conviction of a crime, misdemeanor or felony, or resigning from employment due to allegations of misconduct.
New California Professional Licensing Laws and Regulations: Expungements and Penal Code Section 1203.4 Relief More Important than Ever for CA Professionals Facing Denial, Suspension and Revocation of Licenses.
California’s professional licensing agencies in Sacramento continue to amend their laws and regulations so as to give more benefits to license holders and applicants who are facing potential discipline based on a criminal conviction if the conviction is expunged i.e. dismissed pursuant to CA Penal Code section 1203.4.
Specifically, newly added CA Penal Code section 851.91 allows adults’ arrest records to be sealed and no longer deemed “arrests” if the matter did not result in a conviction. Likewise, adult arrest records in which charges were dismissed following compliance with a diversion program may also now be sealed. Lastly, nearly all juvenile records, even those involving serious offenses, may now be sealed. However, obtaining such relief requires the filing of a petition with the courts and thus is best handled by an experienced attorney like Jonathan Turner.
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.
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.