Recently a new graduate from dental school applying for licensure to the Dental Board of California, contacted our office anxious about her application because she had a misdemeanor conviction for petty theft. She was distraught, and after years of education and a stellar clinical record, she was worried that even if she received a licensure there would be restrictions placed on it and it would become part of her licensure public record.
The Dental Board of California outlines that the Board may deny a license on the grounds that the applicant has suffered a criminal conviction. (Business and Professions Code Section 480). Additionally, as outlined within the Board’s Disciplinary Guidelines, a licensee with a conviction (such as theft) may suffer consequences that impact their ability to practice. These consequences include: probation, supervision, suspension, community service, completion of ethics courses, etc. (Business and Professions Code Section 1670.1).
Given the potential denial and/or encumbrance, namely probation of our Client’s dental license, it was advised that our Client disclose and mitigate the conviction at the first available opportunity – while submitting the initial application. The Dental Board publishes its terms of probation in its Disciplinary Guidelines at https://www.dbc.ca.gov/formspubs/pub_dgml.pdf, along with factors it considers for Rehabilitation when evaluating applications and convictions. Given the gravity of a potential license denial, despite years of hard work and a significant financial investment in schooling, our office skillfully defended this new graduate and drafted a full and inclusive mitigation packet outlining our client’s acceptance of responsibility, extenuating circumstances at the time of conviction, and mitigating and rehabilitative factors in line with the Dental Board’s Criteria.
Submitting the mitigation packet at the first available opportunity was the most advantageous strategy in this client’s matter as it (1) showed full transparency with the Board and (2) allowed for review and decision making by the Board prior to the imposition of license discipline – which is published online.
After review of our Client’s application and the mitigation packet drafted by our office outlining the justification for deviation from the Board’s Disciplinary Guidelines, the Board issued a full and unencumbered dental license to our Client and she avoided a public record of the conviction on the Board’s website.
If you are applying for a professional license, including a dental license, and have suffered a criminal conviction, contact our office.
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 If you are applying for a professional license and have sustained a conviction, please contact our office to discuss how Assembly Bill 2138 (effective July 1, 2020) may amend the Board’s ability to deny and/or discipline your license for a conviction. Specifically, Assembly Bill 2138 (effective July 1, 2020) prohibits a Board from denying a license based upon a conviction unless the conviction (1) is substantially related to the qualification of the license AND (2) occurred within the last seven years.