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Criminal charges affect doctors far more severely than most criminal defense lawyers know. You need a criminal defense lawyer who also specializes in medical license law or you can fall into a trap that follows you your entire life. This is true with state cases and particularly true with all federal crimes. The section that tags doctors with added penalties for any criminal conviction (or deferred plea) is not found in the Penal Code. It is buried in the Business & Professions code (B&P 492) where most criminal defense attorneys never venture.

Medical license lawyers understand that laws that protect most people, do not protect doctors. Small nuances in how plea deals are made can greatly impact the effect of a criminal charge on your medical license.

Criminal cases that are sealed or criminal convictions that are deferred are common ways that “normal people” resolve petty crimes, drunk driving cases, drunk boating cases and domestic violence cases. For the “normal person” this means they can deny the event ever happened and go on with their lives. Not doctors. You will suffer sanctions that can impact your life and career – forever. To say that this is unfair is an understatement but to a medical license lawyer it is a reality.

California Business & Professions Code section 492 says:

“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.”

That means that even a top criminal defense lawyer who is unfamiliar with the special dispensations against doctors, may have you enter a deferred or mitigated plea and not understand that the medical board can proceed against you as if it were full criminal conviction.

Call our medical license lawyers at (925) 283-1863