Professional licensing board’s have the right to discipline (e.g. statement of reproval, fine, compel attendance at mandatory education courses, compel restitution, suspension, probation, revocation, etc.) licensees for any violation of their rules and regulations. The rules and regulations for the profession are typically found within the California Business & Professions Code and the California Code of Regulations.
However, within the California Business & Professions Code is a statute that greatly increases the ability of every professional licensing board to impose discipline. It is found at sections 490-494 of the California Business & Professions Code. It provides that “a [professional licensing] board may suspend or revoke a license on the ground that the licensee has been convicted of a crime, if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the license was issued.”
As one can guess, most professional licensing boards have found conviction of almost any crime as being “substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the profession.” This includes almost all felonies and the vast majority of misdemeanors. This includes many vehicular crimes, most notably, driving under the influence of a controlled substance, such as alcohol or marijuana.
Furthermore, successful completion of an alcohol or drug problem assessment and rehabilitation program does not prohibit the licensing board from still pursuing license discipline. A plea of no contest or nolo contendere and even a later expungement of the record of the conviction are not enough to overcome the ability of the licensing board to issue its independent discipline.
Thus, it is imperative that licensees when facing criminal charges or investigations consult with an experienced professional licensing attorney, such as those as Simas & Associates, Ltd. Such a consultation might prevent you from plea bargaining into a license revocation.
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