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Doctors – You Got Arrested – Must You Report Yourself to the Medical Board?

You Got Arrested
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Section 802.1 of the California Business and Professions Code states:

(a)(1) A physician and surgeon, osteopathic physician and surgeon, and a doctor of podiatric medicine and a physician assistant shall report either of the following to the entity that issued his or her license:

(A) The bringing of an indictment or information charging a felony against the licensee.

(B) The conviction of the licensee, including any verdict of guilty, or plea of guilty or no contest, of any felony or misdemeanor.

(2) The report required by this subdivision shall be made in writing within 30 days of the date of the bringing of the indictment or information or of the conviction.

(b) Failure to make a report required by this section shall be a public offense punishable by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).

An arrest and the filing of a criminal complaint is not the same as an Indictment or an Information. An Indictment is issued by a Grand Jury. An Information is filed after a probable cause hearing is held before a judge. The arrest does not trigger reporting and the filing of an initial complaint which is just an accusation is not a medical board reporting trigger.


Note: Daniel Horowitz is a criminal defense Specialist – Call if you need help. (925) 291-5388

An Indictment bypasses the complaint process because it is a probable cause determination by the Grand Jury. A complaint triggers the preliminary hearing which then allows the filing of the Indictment on any charges where the judge finds a reasonable suspicion that the person might be guilty.

The Indictment/Information process is only for serious crimes (felonies). Misdemeanors proceed by complaint only and are reportable only on conviction.

However, there are other reporting requirements that may come into play depending on the circumstances of the arrest and the actions taken by law enforcement and other agencies.

Here are some important points to consider:

Hospital Privileges: If the doctor has hospital privileges, the hospital might have reporting requirements for arrests or other adverse events involving its medical staff. Hospitals often have internal policies and protocols that dictate when and what incidents should be reported to maintain patient safety and the integrity of the healthcare environment.

Medical Board Investigation: If the doctor’s arrest is related to their professional practice or involves allegations of unprofessional conduct, it is possible that the law enforcement agency handling the case or the court may notify the California Medical Board or other relevant medical licensing authorities. This could trigger an investigation by the Medical Board to assess the doctor’s fitness to practice medicine.

Criminal Convictions: California doctors, like all licensed professionals, are required to disclose any criminal convictions when renewing their medical license. If a doctor is convicted of a crime, they must report the conviction on their license renewal application. Failure to do so could lead to disciplinary action by the Medical Board.

Professional Responsibility: While not a legal requirement, doctors have a professional responsibility to uphold ethical standards and maintain the public’s trust. In some cases, a doctor might voluntarily report their arrest to their employer, the hospital, or the Medical Board as a matter of transparency and accountability.

It’s important to note that laws and regulations can change over time, so it is crucial for healthcare professionals, including doctors in California, to stay informed about their reporting obligations and other legal responsibilities. If a doctor is uncertain about their obligations following an arrest, they should seek legal advice to ensure they are complying with all relevant laws and regulations.

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If you have been arrested – Call Immediately! (925) 291-5388

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