A traffic violation could result in a driver’s license suspension, but could it also endanger your license to practice? When renewing or applying for a medical license, the Medical Board of California looks at more than your credentials. They also consider any criminal convictions, regardless of how minor they might be.
Should you disclose traffic violations?
Concerns about how a criminal conviction could affect your medical license are valid. However, you may find solace in knowing that they are not always detrimental to your career.
During an investigation, the medical board will evaluate various factors, including the reasons for your arrest and conviction. Crimes closely related to the “qualifications, functions, or duties of a physician” are those that often lead to disciplinary action.
The board may be able to look past minor traffic violations such as speeding but not severe crimes. An arrest for crimes such as a hit-and-run, reckless driving or driving under the influence (DUI) could prompt a board investigation.
Although not all traffic violations constitute unprofessional behavior, as a medical practitioner, you must still declare all offenses. Only those with a fine of less than $300 are exempt unless they involve alcohol or illicit drugs.
Failure to report is a public offense punishable that may land you up to $5,000 in fines. Besides, the board may discover your criminal history during a background check. An investigation for a crime that seems unrelated to your practice may reveal unexpected results.
Your honesty may not guarantee a license renewal or approval, but it is vital to maintaining your professional integrity. When your medical license is at stake, seeking advice from an attorney could prevent a minor traffic violation from escalating into a more serious situation.