The Board does not pre-evaluate criminal convictions; the evaluation is a part of the application process. Since the Board has the responsibility to protect the public, a primary objective of the Board is to ensure registrations or licenses are not issued to applicants who have serious criminal convictions substantially related to the practice of the professional license. For this reason, the Board evaluates all misdemeanor and felony convictions in the same manner for each type of professional license. Refer to Section 480 of the Business and Professions Code for acts disqualifying an applicant.
All applicants are required under law to report all misdemeanor and felony convictions. "Conviction" includes a plea of no contest and any conviction that has been set aside or deferred, including infractions, misdemeanor and felonies. Convictions must be reported even if they have been expunged under Penal Code Section 1203.4. Convictions for an infraction with a fine of less than $300 do not need to be reported unless the infraction involved alcohol or controlled substances. Failure to report prior convictions is considered falsification of an application and is grounds for denial of an application.
When reporting convictions, the applicant is required to provide a complete explanation of the underlying circumstances, sufficient rehabilitation evidence and a certified copy of the court documents. The Board evaluates each application with any reported convictions on a case-by-case basis to make a determination concerning the applicant's ability to practice with safety to the public. Included in the Board's evaluation is the nature and severity of the offense, additional subsequent acts, recency of crime, compliance with sanctions and evidence of rehabilitation.
If the applicant has a conviction history, the processing time may be longer than the normal processing time. Additional processing time is normally required to obtain additional documentation showing sufficient evidence of rehabilitation.