I receive many calls inquiring about what legal documents relating to prior arrests, convictions, or investigations need be attached to a professional license original or renewal application. These questions come from qualified individuals with some prior criminal entanglements which may/must be disclosed to a licensing board. Disclosure of criminal convictions, felony arrests, or prior disciplinary actions are typically required upon initial application regardless of when they occurred. Renew application are more difficult to address.
Understanding what must be disclosed is the first step. From the criminal record standpoint, pending misdemeanor cases (typically DUI’s) at renewal need to be disclosed. Open and pending felony charges for which there is no conviction, also need to be disclosed at renewal or in the initial application. Misdemeanor convictions, ARD, or other non-trial dispositions that have not been expunged need to be disclosed at both times. Only expunged matters based upon enrolling in ARD or a dismissal need not be disclosed. Disclosure requires production of a certified criminal record secured from the county courthouse in which the manner was handled.
Immediate disclosure is not required of any initial contact with the law. It is only upon renewal or initial licensing that the criminal contacts must be disclosed.Any pending professional disciplinary action may need to be disclosed. “May” depends on the nature of the pending investigation. If the investigation is a PHMP referral to the VRP and the licensee has not elected to enroll, disclosure is not required as there is no pending disciplinary action. Even if there is a petition for a mental and physical valuation for which a probable cause screening committee has required a mental and physical evaluation, if the results of that evaluation have not come back yet, there is no pending investigation. There’s been no formal disciplinary action filed. As such, disclosure is not required. Formal disciplinary action would need to be disclosed.Any decision to enter the PHMP through the VRP, with a signed consent agreement that is been entered as a Board order from a licensing board, requires disclosure. If a licensee has decided to enter the VRP disclosure maybe necessary. Here, disclosure is required to other states for which the licensee hold a license and is typically a condition of the PHMP/VRP consent agreement.
Mere contact by Commonwealth or other state’s narcotics enforcement officers or Pennsylvania professional board investigators regarding workplace related issues, for which neither a criminal prosecution nor state board investigation has commenced, does not require disclosure. Mere contacts, without the filing of formal charges or disciplinary action do not constitute an investigation. This much more the case in the criminal context, which must be initiated by the filing of a criminal complaint.
This blog focuses on the reporting requirement in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Disciplinary or criminal action from outside the Commonwealth may require reporting in that home state that is different from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s reporting requirements. Formal filing of criminal charges outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by other states or the federal authorities will require reporting in Pennsylvania if felony charges are filed and you are in your renewal period. Providing copies of the documents in relation to that action or charges will be necessary. The same applies for disciplinary action by other state licensing boards.Medicaid and Medicare preclusion letters may constitute an investigation by an agency requiring disclosure. Obviously, the preclusion letter would be based upon conduct of which the licensee has already been aware, charged criminally, or may constitute the basis of a pending disciplinary action. These preclusion letters nonetheless may require reporting to your licensing board.
Please call me to discuss any of the issues presented by Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or other states or federal authorities disciplinary or criminal action that affects your Pennsylvania professional license.