Can You Become a Doctor With a Domestic Violence Charge?
Medical students invest thousands of dollars in their education, as well as countless hours studying and preparing to pass their examinations. Being charged with an offense as serious as domestic violence can have a devastating impact on a prospective doctor’s career. One of the most serious repercussions of a medical student having a domestic violence charge is the very real chance that your application for a medical license will be denied.
Due to the serious consequences related to a domestic violence charge, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney as you prepare to apply for your medical license. In some cases, an attorney may be able to help you have the domestic violence charge expunged from your record.
If you are a medical student with a domestic violence charge who is seeking medical licensure, you are required to disclose your domestic violence conviction on your license application. According to California’s Medical Board, applicants must disclose all convictions, and all cases that they were involved in that resulted in a not guilty or nolo contendere plea, including charges that have been expunged from their record: “this includes every citation, infraction, misdemeanor and/or felony including traffic violations.” If you do not disclose your domestic violence charge, your entire application may be rejected on the grounds of a violation of professional ethics and misconduct.
Once you have disclosed your domestic violence charge on your medical license application, there is a large amount of uncertainty as to how the charge will affect your application. The California Medical Board website states that, in addition to considering the charge or conviction, underlying issues and surrounding circumstances are also taken into account when determining whether to accept an application for a medical license.
Factors that the California Medical Board will consider include:
- The type of conviction
- When the conviction occurred
- The circumstances surrounding the conviction
- The number of convictions
- Whether you complied with the court’s terms and conditions
The California Medical Board also warns that, although a conviction or charge may appear to be unrelated to the practice of medicine at first, crimes such as DUIs, sexual assaults or charges involving violence may be found to be related to the applicant’s ability to practice medicine in a professional and ethical manner.
The Board has several options when considering an application for licensure. They can choose to accept the application, deny the application, or issue a probationary license. The determination of which option the Board will exercise can be largely determined by the applicant’s criminal charges or convictions.
If you are a medical student with a domestic violence charge who is pursuing a medical license, consulting an attorney will afford you the opportunity to fully understand the implications of your criminal history as well as exploring the possibility of expunging the charge from your record in some circumstances.
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If you’re trying to become a doctor, a domestic violence conviction could seriously derail your plans. Those who would like to have their case evaluated for free by one of our experienced legal professionals can do so by calling (888) 250-2865 or filling out the contact form on this page.