If you were arrested and hold a professional, medical, or vocational license, your license or certification might be at risk. In some cases, you are required to notify your licensing board of an arrest, charge, indictment, or criminal conviction. However, you should never assume that you are required or are not required to report an address. Making either one of these assumptions could cause more harm than good. As a result, if you are in this situation, you must contact a licensing defense lawyer to evaluate your situation and give you legal advice about your proper course of action.
Every Licensing Board Follows Different Rules and Laws
Each Texas licensing board or regulatory agency has its own set of rules, regulations, and laws that you must follow to maintain your license or certification. Therefore, it is essential that you understand the potential effects of an arrest on your license and whether you are required to report your arrest to your licensing agency proactively.
The effects of an arrest on your occupational license or certification may vary widely. Still, in some cases, it could result in disciplinary action against your license, even resulting in the permanent loss of your license. For some professions, arrests or criminal charges are sufficient to make you unsuitable to hold a license, whether you are convicted of a crime or not. In other cases, whether you are convicted can make a difference in the outcome of your disciplinary proceedings.
Even where your licensing agency does not automatically bar individuals with arrests from holding licenses, it may consider your moral character as a factor in determining whether you can continue to hold a license. As a result, certain arrests or criminal activities can lead a licensing board to conclude that you do not have the moral character necessary to hold the license in question.
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The Type, Severity, and Frequency of Arrests Matter
The type and severity of the criminal charges underlying your arrest can also impact whether you receive sanctions from your applicable licensing agency. Your previous criminal history also may be a factor in this determination. For example, an arrest for a minor traffic crime would be far less problematic than an arrest for embezzling from your employer or for assaulting a police officer.
Your previous history also can affect the outcome of any disciplinary proceedings concerning your license. For instance, if you are arrested for a minor alcohol-related crime and have no prior criminal history, you may not even face any disciplinary action. However, if you have been arrested for your third DWI in three years, you may be in greater danger of a suspension or revocation of your license, depending on your situation.
Reporting Arrests to the Texas Board of Nursing
One common question is whether you must contact the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) when you are arrested. Typically, you don’t have to report a minor misdemeanor arrest, such as DWI or criminal trespass, but you do have to report a felony arrest. You also generally do not have to provide documentation of misdemeanor convictions to the BON unless the BON has reasonable cause to request that you do so.
However, you must submit fingerprints and disclose all criminal history when renewing your nursing license. You typically must renew your nursing license every two years. When you renew your license, you must disclose all criminal convictions, whether misdemeanors or felonies, and any arrests or pending criminal cases. Ultimately, you will have to report arrests to the BON immediately or during the license renewal process. As a result, you should get legal guidance about handling the situation in the manner most beneficial to you.
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Reporting Arrests to the Texas Medical Board
Doctors and other medical professionals regulated by the Texas Medical Board (TMB) may also wonder whether they should self-report when they are arrested for a crime. Whether you are required to report the arrest and whether you should report the arrest depends on the nature of the crime and the situation. Unfortunately, again, many people make the mistake of self-reporting when not required, which can cause unwanted discipline against their licenses. Others make the mistake of not reporting an incident that they must report, which is a violation itself. Failing to report an arrest mandatorily also could be an aggravating factor for the TMB in any disciplinary proceeding against your license.
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Get the Advice You Need About Maintaining Your Occupational License
Getting arrested is scary, even for a minor criminal offense. You could face unwanted repercussions that impact you not only personally but professionally. You need to be aware of your reporting requirements to the agency that regulates your license or certificate and how that report will impact your ability to maintain that license. The experienced occupational license defense attorneys at Bertolino, LLP, can look at your circumstances and help you devise the best strategy to protect your license. Call us today at (512) 476-5757 or get more information about us online.