Criminal Convictions and Pharmacist Discipline in California
California Criminal Defense Lawyers

Two men meet on a street corner and exchange cash for pills.  Both are convicted of crimes - one for grand theft and one for knowing or willing a false statement.

Both men are registered pharmacists in California, former pharmacy school buddies who kept in touch.  The seller stole his merchandise from the hospital pharmacy where he works and the buyer plied the goods in the neighborhood pharmacy he runs.

Can these men lose their pharmacist licenses on top of whatever criminal penalties they will endure?

Turns out they can.1 Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can be disciplined after receiving certain kinds of criminal convictions.

Our California Criminal Defense Lawyers represent people accused of crimes and we have experience helping pharmacists avoid loosing their licenses in disciplinary actions.2

If you find yourself caught up in a swirl of accusations and want to do everything possible to stay out of jail and protect your livelihood, or have further questions after reading this article, we invite you to contact us for a consultation.

This article covers:

1. Who regulates pharmacists in California?
2. What convictions trigger Board discipline?
3. What can I do to fight for my license?

(Click on a title to proceed directly to that section)

1. Who regulates pharmacists in California?

The Board of Pharmacy, a governmental agency within the California Department of Consumer Affairs, regulates pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns.

The Board enforces California pharmacy laws and implements regulations in accordance with its mission of public protection.3

As part of its responsibility, the Board can discipline licensees convicted of certain crimes by placing them on probation or suspending or revoking their licenses.

2. What convictions trigger Board discipline?

Criminal convictions that are "substantially related" to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a pharmacist, pharmacy technician or pharmacy intern can trigger Board discipline.4

The Board of Pharmacy also can deny a license application in the first place on the basis of a substantially related conviction.5

The substantially related requirement is based in statute, but it's also grounded in the Constitution.  People have a right to practice their chosen profession and this right can only be denied for a reason that relates to the person's fitness to practice that profession.6

"substantially related"

A substantially related conviction is one that "evidences present or potential unfitness of a licensee or registrant to perform the functions authorized by his license or registration in a manner consistent with the public health, safety, or welfare."7

Statutes and Pharmacy Board documents indicate that convictions for the following crimes are substantially related to pharmacy work:

This is by no means an exhaustive list. The Board and/or a court might consider other kinds of convictions to be substantially related to pharmacy work.

Additionally, an administrative law judge may rule differently than the Board in a given case, just as a reviewing court may rule differently than an administrative law judge.

For example, in one case the Board maintained that a conviction for domestic violence (corporal injury) was substantially related to pharmacy. In a hearing on the matter, however, an administrative law judge disagreed.19

Criminal convictions are classified in the Board's Disciplinary Guidelines as either Category II or Category III violations, with recommended minimum discipline of three to five years probation plus possible license suspension and maximum discipline of license revocation.

Convictions

Convictions include felony and misdemeanor convictions secured through guilty pleas and verdicts, "no contest" pleas and convictions that may later be expunged under California Penal Code Section 1203.4.  The Board can take disciplinary action even if you successfully complete a court ordered diversion program.20

Generally speaking, the Board can act with respect to a conviction when the time for appeal has passed, the judgment has been affirmed on appeal, or an order granting probation is made.  However, the Board will take expedited action when:

    • the licensee is incarcerated for a felony
    • the licensee is convicted of a felony that was committed

      • in the course of business for which his or her license was granted OR a victim of the licensee's felony crime was a client or patient; AND
      • the offense involved an intent to deceive or defraud OR the illegal sale of a controlled substance21
  • the licensee is convicted of a felony substantially related crime22

The Board has ways to find out about concealed convictions, so it is wise to be honest.  Court clerks must report to the Board licensee convictions within 10 days of judgment.23

Additionally, effective December 7, 2010, a new Board regulation will take effect requiring license renewal applicants to submit fingerprint information and disclose convictions.24 A similar requirement likely will be enacted for pharmacy technicians, according to the Board's Final Statement of Reasons.

Rehabilitation

A conviction does not always tell the whole story.  People can be rehabilitated from their criminal activities and change for the better.

Luckily, the Board is required to consider evidence of such rehabilitation in making discipline decisions.25 The Board will look at the whole picture, including:

  • evidence of remorse or restitution
  • evidence of participation in counseling and/or group therapy
  • evidence of volunteer work and community engagement
  • letters of reference from employers and/or probation officials26
  • length of time since conviction with a clean record27

In one case the Board sought to revoke the license of a pharmacy technician who sustained two recreational drug convictions in circumstances unrelated to his work.

The administrative law judge (often referred to as the "ALJ") acknowledged that such convictions can form the basis for license revocation. But the ALJ recommended a less severe punishment of probation because of mitigating factors indicating rehabilitation:

[Licensee's] use of illegal drugs did not result in any actual harm to the public, although there was a potential for harm.  [Licensee] has no other criminal record, as would be expected if he were addicted to illegal drugs and needed to steal or engage in other unlawful activities to support a drug habit..[Licensee] briefly failed in his first effort at sustained sobriety, but he has succeeded since.. [Licensee] accepted full responsibility for his misconduct, he cooperated with law enforcement, he cooperated with the Board's investigator, he expressed sincere remorse, and he is well into the process of rehabilitating himself.28

Regulatory proceedings are not designed to "punish" a licensee like criminal proceedings.  Instead they are designed to help the Board assess whether a licensee poses a danger to the public.

The Board is not thinking:  "We want to get that licensee and make him feel bad and punish him for getting that conviction".  Rather, the Board is thinking:  "Our job is to protect pharmacy customers in California and we must look very carefully at this conviction to see whether it indicates the licensee presents a danger to the public."

You want the Board to see that you are sincere in your remorse and have taken the steps necessary to overcome the past. You want the Board to feel confident that you pose no danger to the public if you keep working."29

Reinstatement

Even if you end up loosing your license, don't give up.  Eventually you can apply to have your license reinstated and at that time the Board will again look at rehabilitation evidence.30

In one case a pharmacy technician had her license revoked after pleading guilty to identity theft.  Even though her license was revoked, the ALJ gave her hope for the future, noting that she was on the right track by expressing remorse, complying with her probation terms, taking intermittent work and participating in worthy church activities:

It is understood that respondent strived very hard to become a pharmacy technician and wants very much to keep her registration.  Due, however, to the seriousness of her offenses and the access that a pharmacy technician can have to patients' private and confidential information at a pharmacy, public safety and welfare require that respondent's registration be revoked.  Respondent is encouraged to apply for reinstatement of her registration after she completes her criminal probation, obtains reduction or expungement of her offenses, and has rehabilitated herself.31
3. What can I do to fight for my license?

If you receive an Accusation from the Board notifying you that the Board seeks to discipline you by suspending or revoking your license, all is not lost.32

You (or your attorney) may be able to negotiate a settlement with the Board to limit the extent of discipline.

You can also opt for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, where you will have the right to introduce evidence and cross-examine witnesses.33

In preparing your case, you will have the right to "discovery of relevant evidence.34

The hearing will generally take place in a building located near you in Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles or San Diego.35 The Board will be represented by a lawyer from the California Attorney General's Office and we highly recommend that you have an attorney by your side, as well.

If you want a hearing before an ALJ, it is very important that you act quickly.  If you don't respond within 15 days, you will be presumed to have given up your chance for a hearing.36

We discuss the hearing process in more detail in our related article Administrative Hearings.

Our California Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help.
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If you or loved one is charged with a crime and are a pharmacist and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

Helpful links:

Board of Pharmacy

California Office of Administrative hearings

References:

1In the Matter of the Accusation Against Nolan Wong, infra; In the Matter of the Accusation Against George Chiu, infra.

2Our California Criminal Defense Lawyers have local offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, San Diego, San Francisco, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier.

3See California Business and Professions Code Section 4000 et seq.  See also California Code of regulations Title 16, Division 17 (California State Board of Pharmacy).

4See California Business and Professions Code Section 4301(f),(j),(k),(l):  "The board shall take action against any holder of a license who is guilty of unprofessional conduct or whose license has been procured by fraud or misrepresentation or issued by mistake.  Unprofessional conduct shall include, but is not limited to, any of the following.. (f) The commission of any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or corruption, whether the act is committed in the course of relations as a licensee or otherwise, and whether the act is a felony or misdemeanor or not.. (j) The violation of any of the statutes of this state, of any other state, or of the United States regulating controlled substances and dangerous drugs.  (k) The conviction of more than one misdemeanor or any felony involving the use, consumption, or self-administration of any dangerous drug or alcoholic beverage, or any combination of those substances.  (l) The conviction of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a licensee under this chapter.  The record of conviction of a violation of Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 801) of Title 21 of the United States Code regulating controlled substances or of a violation of the statutes of this state regulating controlled substances or dangerous drugs shall be conclusive evidence of unprofessional conduct.  In all other cases, the record of conviction shall be conclusive evidence only of the fact that the conviction occurred.  The board may inquire into the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, in order to fix the degree of discipline or, in the case of a conviction not involving controlled substances or dangerous drugs, to determine if the conviction is of an offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a licensee under this chapter.  A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this provision.  The board may take action when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment."  SEE ALSO California Business and Professions Code Section 490, which provides:  "(a) In addition to any other action that a board is permitted to take against a licensee, a 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.  (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a board may exercise any authority to discipline a licensee for conviction of a crime that is independent of the authority granted under subdivision (a) only if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the licensee's license was issued.  (c) A conviction within the meaning of this section means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere.  Any action that a board is permitted to take following the establishment of a conviction may be taken when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under the provisions of Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code.  (d) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the application of this section has been made unclear by the holding in Petropoulos v. Department of Real Estate (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 554, and that the holding in that case has placed a significant number of statutes and regulations in question, resulting in potential harm to the consumers of California from licensees who have been convicted of crimes.  Therefore, the Legislature finds and declares that this section establishes an independent basis for a board to impose discipline upon a licensee, and that the amendments to this section made by Senate Bill 797 of the 2007-08 Regular Session do not constitute a change to, but rather are declaratory of, existing law."

5California Business and Professions Code Section 480 provides:  "(a) A board may deny a license regulated by this code on the grounds that the applicant has one of the following:  (1) Been convicted of a crime.  A conviction within the meaning of this section means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere.  Any action that a board is permitted to take following the establishment of a conviction may be taken when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under the provisions of Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code.  (2) Done any act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with the intent to substantially benefit himself or herself or another, or substantially injure another.  (3) (A) Done any act that if done by a licentiate of the business or profession in question, would be grounds for suspension or revocation of license.  (B) The board may deny a license pursuant to this subdivision only if the crime or act is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which application is made.  (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, no person shall be denied a license solely on the basis that he or she has been convicted of a felony if he or she has obtained a certificate of rehabilitation under Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 4852.01) of Title 6 of Part 3 of the Penal Code or that he or she has been convicted of a misdemeanor if he or she has met all applicable requirements of the criteria of rehabilitation developed by the board to evaluate the rehabilitation of a person when considering the denial of a license under subdivision (a) of Section 482.  (c) A board may deny a license regulated by this code on the ground that the applicant knowingly made a false statement of fact required to be revealed in the application for the license."

6In Hughes v. Board of Architectural Examiners, 17 Cal.4th 763 (1998), a case involving discipline of an architect, the Supreme Court of California affirmed this principle:  "It is axiomatic that the right of an individual to engage in any of the common occupations of life is among the several fundamental liberties protected by the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Therefore, for example, a statute constitutionally can prohibit an individual from practicing a lawful profession only for reasons related to his or her fitness or competence to practice that profession." (at 788, internal citations omitted)

7California Code of Regulations, Title 16, � 1770 provides: "For the purpose of denial, suspension, or revocation of a personal or facility license pursuant to Division 1.5 (commencing with Section 475) of the Business and Professions Code, a crime or act shall be considered substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a licensee or registrant if to a substantial degree it evidences present or potential unfitness of a licensee or registrant to perform the functions authorized by his license or registration in a manner consistent with the public health, safety, or welfare."

8See California Business and Professions Code Section 4301(l), supra.  See also California Business and Professions Code Section 4311(c)(4), infra.

9B&P �4311(c)(4), Id.

10Id.

11Id.

12In the Matter of the First Amended Accusation Against Lisa Anne Panab (RPH) Case No. 3050 (licensee placed on 5 years of probation with 12 month license suspension).

13In the Matter of the Accusation Against Richard Castaneda (TCH) Case No. 3121 (license revoked)

14In the Matter of the Accusation Against Jennifer York (TCH) Case No. 3129 (license revoked by default decision).

15In the Matter of the Accusation Against Nolan Wong (RPH) Case No. 3025 (voluntary surrender of license).

16In the Matter of the Accusation Against George Chiu (RPH) Case No. 2367 (license revoked); In the Matter of the Accusation Against Teresa Marie Brock (TCH) Case No. 3147 (license revoked by default decision)

17In the Matter of the Accusation Against Melissa Dawn Owenby-Collins (TCH) Case No. 3079 (license revoked).

18In the Matter of the Accusation Against Rashandra Johnson (TCH) Case No. 3060 (license revoked).

19In the Matter of the Accusation Against Richard Castaneda, supra (The ALJ held that:  "Legal grounds to revoke respondent's registration exist by virtue of his two alcohol-related driving convictions because they are substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a licentiate.  Legal grounds to revoke respondent's registration do not exist by virtue of respondent's spousal abuse conviction, since it was not established that such a conviction is substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a licentiate.  Legal grounds to revoke respondent's registration do not exist by virtue of respondent's arrest for violating Penal Code section 647, subdivision (f), since it was not established that respondent engaged in such conduct." Legal Conclusion No. 11)  Regarding domestic violence convictions and professional licenses, Section 2.13 of CEB's Professional Licensing provides:  "Whether a conviction of spousal battery or domestic violence is substantially related to a license depends on the profession.  For example, domestic violence is probably not related to the license of an auto mechanic, because a mechanic is unlikely to be in physical contact or confrontation with a customer, but it maybe related to health care professions involving physical care of patients.  See, e.g. 16 Cal Code Regs �1444 (conviction for violation of act listed in Pen C � 11160(d) (abuse of spouse or cohabitant) substantially related to practice of nursing)."

20California Business and Professions Code Section 492 provides:  "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, successful completion of any diversion program under the Penal Code, or successful completion of an alcohol and drug problem assessment program under Article 5 (commencing with Section 23249.50) of Chapter 12 of Division 11 of the Vehicle Code, shall not prohibit any agency established under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of this code, or any initiative act referred to in that division, from taking disciplinary action against a licensee or from denying a license for professional misconduct, notwithstanding that evidence of that misconduct may be recorded in a record pertaining to an arrest.  This section shall not be construed to apply to any drug diversion program operated by any agency established under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of this code, or any initiative act referred to in that division."

21California Business and Professions Code Section 4311(a) and (b) provide:  "(a) Any license issued by the board, or the holder thereof, shall be suspended automatically during any time that the person is incarcerated after conviction of a felony, regardless of whether the conviction has been appealed.  The board, immediately upon receipt of a certified copy of a record of a criminal conviction, shall determine whether the person has been automatically suspended by virtue of incarceration pursuant to a felony conviction and, if so, the duration of that suspension.  The board shall notify the person so suspended of the suspension and that the person has a right to request a hearing, solely as to whether he or she is incarcerated pursuant to a felony conviction, in writing at that person's address of record with the board and at the facility in which the person is incarcerated.  (b) In addition to any suspension under subdivision (a), the board shall summarily suspend any license issued by the board where a conviction of the holder of the license meets the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2).  (1) A felony that was either of the following:  (A) Committed in the course of a business or practice for which the board issues a license.  (B) Committed in a manner that a client, customer, or patient of the licensee was a victim.   (2) Where an element of the offense involves either of the following:  (A) The specific intent to deceive, defraud, steal, or make a false statement.  (B) The illegal sale or possession for sale of or trafficking in any controlled substance.  (3) The suspension shall continue until the time for appeal has elapsed, if no appeal is taken, or until the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or has otherwise become final, and until further order of the board.   (4) The board shall immediately send notice in writing of the suspension to the licensee, or the holder of any other board-issued license, at his or her address of record and, if incarcerated at the time, at the facility in which the person is incarcerated.  The notice shall include notification of that person's right to elect to have the issue of penalty heard as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), and of the right to request a hearing to contest the summary suspension.  Any request for a hearing under this paragraph must be received by the board within 15 days following receipt of the notice provided for by this paragraph.  (5) The hearing shall be before an administrative law judge, a committee of the board sitting with an administrative law judge, or the board sitting with an administrative law judge, at the board's discretion, and shall be subject to review by the board, at its discretion.  The hearing shall be limited to (A) whether there has been a felony conviction as stated in the board's notice, and (B) whether the conviction meets the criteria of this subdivision, except where the licensee chooses to proceed as provided by paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), or where the board has also filed and served an accusation as provided in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and given notice of the hearing as required by that chapter; provided that if an accusation under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code is also to be heard, only an administrative law judge sitting alone or the board, sitting with an administrative law judge, may hear the case."

22California Business and Professions Code Section 4311(c) through (g) provide:  "(c) In addition to any suspension under subdivision (a), the board shall also suspend any license issued by the board, or the holder thereof, if the board determines that the felony conviction of the holder of the license is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the licensee.  (1) Notice of the board's determination shall be sent to the licensee, or the holder thereof, at that person's address of record with the board and, if the person is incarcerated at the time, the facility in which the person is incarcerated.  The notice shall advise the person that the license shall be suspended without hearing unless, within 15 days following receipt of the notice, a written request for hearing is delivered to the board.  (2) Upon receipt of a timely request for hearing, a notice of hearing shall be sent to the person at least 10 days before the date scheduled for the hearing.  The notice of hearing shall include notification of that person's right to elect to have the issue of penalty heard as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d).  (3) The hearing to determine whether a felony conviction is substantially related for purposes of an interim suspension under this subdivision shall be separate from any hearing on an accusation under the Administrative Procedure Act, except where the licensee elects to proceed under paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), or where the board has filed and served an accusation as provided by Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and given notice of hearing as required by that chapter.  The hearing on whether the felony conviction is substantially related shall be heard either by an administrative law judge sitting alone, by a committee of the board sitting with an administrative law judge, or by the board sitting with an administrative law judge, at the board's discretion, and shall be subject to review by the board, at its discretion.  However, if an accusation under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code is also to be heard, only an administrative law judge sitting alone or the board, sitting with an administrative law judge, may hear the case.  Except where a person proceeds under paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), or the board proceeds with an accusation at the same time, any suspension imposed under this subdivision shall continue until an accusation is filed under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and a final decision is rendered by the board.  (4) A conviction of any crime referred to in Section 4301, or for violation of Section 187, 261, or 288 of the Penal Code, shall be conclusively presumed to be substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee of the board.  Upon its own motion or for good cause shown the board may decline to impose a suspension under this subdivision or may set aside a suspension previously imposed when it appears to be in the interest of justice to do so, with due regard to maintaining the integrity of and confidence in the practice of pharmacy and the handling of dangerous drugs and devices.   (d) (1) Discipline may be ordered in accordance with Section 4300 or an application denied when the time for appeal has elapsed, the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, complaint, information, or indictment.  (2) The issue of penalty shall be heard by an administrative law judge sitting alone or with a committee of the board or with the board itself, at the board's discretion, and any decision shall be subject to review by the board, at its discretion.  The hearing shall not be held until the judgment of conviction has become final or, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code, an order granting probation has been made suspending the imposition of sentence, provided that a licensee may, at his or her option, elect to have the issue of penalty decided before those time periods have elapsed.  Where the licensee so elects, the issue of penalty shall be heard in the manner described in this section at the hearing to determine whether the conviction was substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the licensee.  If the conviction of a licensee who has made this election is overturned on appeal, any discipline ordered pursuant to this section shall automatically cease.  Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit the board from pursuing disciplinary action based on any cause, including the facts underlying the conviction, other than the overturned conviction.  (3) The record of the proceedings resulting in the criminal conviction, including a transcript of any testimony taken in connection with the proceeding, may be received in evidence in any administrative proceeding to the extent the testimony would otherwise be admissible under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.  A certified copy of the criminal conviction shall be conclusive proof of the fact of the conviction.  (e) Other provisions of this chapter setting forth procedures for the suspension or revocation of a license issued by the board shall not apply to proceedings conducted pursuant to this section, except as specifically provided in this section.   (f) For purposes of this section, a crime is a felony if it is specifically declared to be so or is made a felony by subdivision (a) of Section 17 of the Penal Code, unless it is charged as a misdemeanor pursuant to paragraph (4) or (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 17 of the Penal Code, irrespective of whether in a particular case the crime may be considered a misdemeanor as a result of postconviction proceedings.  For purposes of this section, a felony also includes a conviction under federal law, or the law of any other state of the United States, of the District of Columbia, or of any territory or possession of the United States.  A conviction includes a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere.  (g) The board may delegate the authority to issue a suspension under subdivision (a) or (b) or a notice of suspension under subdivision (c) to the executive officer of the board."

23California Business and Professions Code Section 803 provides:  "(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), within 10 days after a judgment by a court of this state that a person who holds a license, certificate, or other similar authority from the Board of Behavioral Sciences or from an agency mentioned in subdivision (a) of Section 800 (except a person licensed pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1200)) has committed a crime, or is liable for any death or personal injury resulting in a judgment for an amount in excess of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) caused by his or her negligence, error or omission in practice, or his or her rendering unauthorized professional services, the clerk of the court that rendered the judgment shall report that fact to the agency that issued the license, certificate, or other similar authority.  (b) For purposes of a physician and surgeon, osteopathic physician and surgeon, or doctor of podiatric medicine, who is liable for any death or personal injury resulting in a judgment of any amount caused by his or her negligence, error or omission in practice, or his or her rendering unauthorized professional services, the clerk of the court that rendered the judgment shall report that fact to the agency that issued the license."

24California Code of Regulations, Title 16, � 1702 provides:  "(a) A pharmacist applicant for renewal who has not previously submitted fingerprints as a condition of licensure or for whom an electronic record of the licensee's fingerprints does not exist in the Department of Justice's criminal offender record identification database shall successfully complete a state and federal level criminal offender record information search conducted through the Department of Justice by the licensee's renewal date that occurs on or after December 7, 2010.  (1) A pharmacists shall retain for at least three years as evidence of having complied with subdivision (a) either a receipt showing that he or she has electronically transmitted his or her fingerprint images to the Department of Justice or, for those who did not use an electronic fingerprint system, a receipt evidencing that his or her fingerprints were recorded and submitted to the Board.  (2) A pharmacist applicant for renewal shall pay the actual cost of compliance with subdivision (a).  (3) As a condition of petitioning the board for reinstatement of a revoked or surrendered license, or for restoration of a retired license, an applicant shall comply with subdivision (a).  (4) The board may waive the requirements of this section for licensees who are actively serving in the United States military. The board may not return a license to active status until the licensee has complied with subdivision (a).  (b) As a condition of renewal, a pharmacist applicant shall disclose on the renewal form whether he or she has been convicted, as defined in Section 490 of the Business and Professions Code, of any violation of the law in this or any other state, the United States, or other country, omitting traffic infractions under $500 not involving alcohol, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances.  (c) Failure to provide all of the information required by this section renders an application for renewal incomplete and the board shall not renew the license and shall issue the applicant an inactive pharmacist license. An inactive pharmacist license issued pursuant to this section may only be reactivated after compliance is confirmed for all licensure renewal requirements."

25California Business and Professions Code Section 482 provides:  "Each board under the provisions of this code shall develop criteria to evaluate the rehabilitation of a person when:  (a) Considering the denial of a license by the board under Section 480; or  (b) Considering suspension or revocation of a license under Section 490.   Each board shall take into account all competent evidence of rehabilitation furnished by the applicant or licensee."

26One decision indicates that such letters are more convincing if signed under penalty of perjury.  See In the Matter of the Accusation Against Richard Castaneda, supra.

27California Code of Regulations, Title 16, � 1769 provides:  "(a) When considering the denial of a facility or personal license under Section 480 of the Business and Professions Code, the board, in evaluating the rehabilitation of the applicant and his present eligibility for licensing or registration, will consider the following criteria:  (1) The nature and severity of the act(s) or offense(s) under consideration as grounds for denial.  (2) Evidence of any act(s) committed subsequent to the act(s) or crime(s) under consideration as grounds for denial under Section 480 of the Business and Professions Code.  (3) The time that has elapsed since commission of the act(s) or crime(s) referred to in subdivision (1) or (2).  (4) Whether the applicant has complied with any terms of parole, probation, restitution or any other sanctions lawfully imposed against the applicant.  (5) Evidence, if any, of rehabilitation submitted by the applicant.  (b) When considering the suspension or revocation of a facility or a personal license on the ground that the licensee or the registrant has been convicted of a crime, the board, in evaluating the rehabilitation of such person and his present eligibility for a license will consider the following criteria:  (1) Nature and severity of the act(s) or offense(s).  (2) Total criminal record.  (3) The time that has elapsed since commission of the act(s) or offense(s).  (4) Whether the licensee has complied with all terms of parole, probation, restitution or any other sanctions lawfully imposed against the licensee.  (5) Evidence, if any, of rehabilitation submitted by the licensee."

28In the Matter of the Accusation Against Richard Paul Mason (TCH) Case No. 3119.

29See Hughes v. Board of Architectural Examiners, 17 Cal.4th 763, 787, supra ("Following Webster, several decisions recognized that such administrative proceedings are not intended to punish the licensee, but rather to protect the public.")

30California Business and Professions Code Section 4313 provides:  "In determining whether to grant an application for licensure or whether to discipline or reinstate a license, the board shall give consideration to evidence of rehabilitation.  However, public protection shall take priority over rehabilitation and, where evidence of rehabilitation and public protection are in conflict, public protection shall take precedence."  SEE ALSO California Business and Professions Code Section 4309, which provides:  "(a) A person whose license has been revoked or suspended or who has been placed on probation may petition the board for reinstatement or modification of penalty, including modification or termination of probation, after not less than the following minimum periods have elapsed from the effective date of the decision ordering disciplinary action:  (1) At least three years for reinstatement of a revoked license.  (2) At least two years for early termination of probation of three years or more.  (3) At least one year for modification of a condition, or reinstatement of a license revoked for mental or physical illness, or termination of probation of less than three years.  (b) The petition shall state any facts required by the board, and the petition shall be accompanied by two or more verified recommendations from holders of licenses issued by the board to which the petition is addressed, and two or more recommendations from citizens, each having personal knowledge of the disciplinary penalty imposed by the board and the activities of the petitioner since the disciplinary penalty was imposed.  (c) The petition may be heard by the board sitting with an administrative law judge, or a committee of the board sitting with an administrative law judge, or the board may assign the petition to an administrative law judge.  Where the petition is heard by a committee of the board sitting with an administrative law judge or by an administrative law judge sitting alone, the decision shall be subject to review by the board pursuant to Section 11517 of the Government Code.  (d) In considering reinstatement or modification of penalty, the board, committee of the board, or the administrative law judge hearing the petition may consider factors including, but not limited to, all of the following:  (1) All the activities of the petitioner since the disciplinary action was taken.  (2) The offense for which the petitioner was disciplined.  (3) The petitioner's activities during the time the license was in good standing.  (4) The petitioner's documented rehabilitative efforts.  (5) The petitioner's general reputation for truth and professional ability.  (e) The hearing may be continued from time to time as the board, committee of the board, or the administrative law judge designated in Section 11371 of the Government Code finds necessary.  (f) The board, committee of the board, or administrative law judge may impose necessary terms and conditions on the licensee in reinstating the license.  (g) No petition under this section shall be considered while the petitioner is under sentence for any criminal offense, including any period during which the petitioner is on court-imposed probation or parole.  No petition shall be considered while there is an accusation or petition to revoke probation pending against the person.  The board may deny without a hearing or argument any petition filed pursuant to this section within a period of two years from the effective date of the prior decision following a hearing under this section.  (h) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to amend or otherwise change the effect or application of Sections 822 and 823.  (i) The board may investigate any and all matters pertaining to the petition and documents submitted with or in connection with the application."

31Id.

32California Government Code Section 11503 provides:  "A hearing to determine whether a right, authority, license or privilege should be revoked, suspended, limited or conditioned shall be initiated by filing an accusation.  The accusation shall be a written statement of charges which shall set forth in ordinary and concise language the acts or omissions with which the respondent is charged, to the end that the respondent will be able to prepare his defense.  It shall specify the statutes and rules which the respondent is alleged to have violated, but shall not consist merely of charges phrased in the language of such statutes and rules.  The accusation shall be verified unless made by a public officer acting in his official capacity or by an employee of the agency before which the proceeding is to be held.  The verification may be on information and belief."

33California Government Code Section 11513 provides:  "(a) Oral evidence shall be taken only on oath or affirmation.  (b) Each party shall have these rights:  to call and examine witnesses, to introduce exhibits; to cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues even though that matter was not covered in the direct examination; to impeach any witness regardless of which party first called him or her to testify; and to rebut the evidence against him or her.  If respondent does not testify in his or her own behalf he or she may be called and examined as if under cross-examination.  (c) The hearing need not be conducted according to technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses, except as hereinafter provided. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the sort of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might make improper the admission of the evidence over objection in civil actions.  (d) Hearsay evidence may be used for the purpose of supplementing or explaining other evidence but over timely objection shall not be sufficient in itself to support a finding unless it would be admissible over objection in civil actions.  An objection is timely if made before submission of the case or on reconsideration.  (e) The rules of privilege shall be effective to the extent that they are otherwise required by statute to be recognized at the hearing.  (f) The presiding officer has discretion to exclude evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the probability that its admission will necessitate undue consumption of time."

34California Government Code Section 11507.5 provides:  "The provisions of Section 11507.6 provide the exclusive right to and method of discovery as to any proceeding governed by this chapter."  California Government Code Section 11507.6 provides:  "After initiation of a proceeding in which a respondent or other party is entitled to a hearing on the merits, a party, upon written request made to another party, prior to the hearing and within 30 days after service by the agency of the initial pleading or within 15 days after the service of an additional pleading, is entitled to (1) obtain the names and addresses of witnesses to the extent known to the other party, including, but not limited to, those intended to be called to testify at the hearing, and (2) inspect and make a copy of any of the following in the possession or custody or under the control of the other party:  (a) A statement of a person, other than the respondent, named in the initial administrative pleading, or in any additional pleading, when it is claimed that the act or omission of the respondent as to this person is the basis for the administrative proceeding;  (b) A statement pertaining to the subject matter of the proceeding made by any party to another party or person;  (c) Statements of witnesses then proposed to be called by the party and of other persons having personal knowledge of the acts, omissions or events which are the basis for the proceeding, not included in (a) or (b) above;  (d) All writings, including, but not limited to, reports of mental, physical and blood examinations and things which the party then proposes to offer in evidence;  (e) Any other writing or thing which is relevant and which would be admissible in evidence;  (f) Investigative reports made by or on behalf of the agency or other party pertaining to the subject matter of the proceeding, to the extent that these reports (1) contain the names and addresses of witnesses or of persons having personal knowledge of the acts, omissions or events which are the basis for the proceeding, or (2) reflect matters perceived by the investigator in the course of his or her investigation, or (3) contain or include by attachment any statement or writing described in (a) to (e), inclusive, or summary thereof.  For the purpose of this section, "statements" include written statements by the person signed or otherwise authenticated by him or her, stenographic, mechanical, electrical or other recordings, or transcripts thereof, of oral statements by the person, and written reports or summaries of these oral statements.  Nothing in this section shall authorize the inspection or copying of any writing or thing which is privileged from disclosure by law or otherwise made confidential or protected as the attorney's work product."

35California Government Code Section 11508 provides:  "(a) The agency shall consult the office, and subject to the availability of its staff, shall determine the time and place of the hearing.  The hearing shall be held at a hearing facility maintained by the office in Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, or San Diego and shall be held at the facility that is closest to the location where the transaction occurred or the respondent resides.  (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the hearing may be held at either of the following places:  (1) A place selected by the agency that is closer to the location where the transaction occurred or the respondent resides.  (2) A place within the state selected by agreement of the parties.   (c) The respondent may move for, and the administrative law judge has discretion to grant or deny, a change in the place of the hearing.  A motion for a change in the place of the hearing shall be made within 10 days after service of the notice of hearing on the respondent.  Unless good cause is identified in writing by the administrative law judge, hearings shall be held in a facility maintained by the office."

36California Government Code Section 11506 provides:  ("(a) Within 15 days after service of the accusation the respondent may file with the agency a notice of defense in which the respondent may:  (1) Request a hearing.  (2) Object to the accusation upon the ground that it does not state acts or omissions upon which the agency may proceed.  (3) Object to the form of the accusation on the ground that it is so indefinite or uncertain that the respondent cannot identify the transaction or prepare a defense.  (4) Admit the accusation in whole or in part.  (5) Present new matter by way of defense.  (6) Object to the accusation upon the ground that, under the circumstances, compliance with the requirements of a regulation would result in a material violation of another regulation enacted by another department affecting substantive rights.  (b) Within the time specified respondent may file one or more notices of defense upon any or all of these grounds but all of these notices shall be filed within that period unless the agency in its discretion authorizes the filing of a later notice.  (c) The respondent shall be entitled to a hearing on the merits if the respondent files a notice of defense, and the notice shall be deemed a specific denial of all parts of the accusation not expressly admitted.  Failure to file a notice of defense shall constitute a waiver of respondent's right to a hearing, but the agency in its discretion may nevertheless grant a hearing.  Unless objection is taken as provided in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), all objections to the form of the accusation shall be deemed waived.  (d) The notice of defense shall be in writing signed by or on behalf of the respondent and shall state the respondent's mailing address.  It need not be verified or follow any particular form.  (e) As used in this section, "file," "files," "filed," or "filing" means "delivered or mailed" to the agency as provided in Section 11505."

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