(a) A license or an endorsement of the department shall be suspended automatically during any time that the licensee is incarcerated after conviction of a felony, regardless of whether the conviction has been appealed. The department shall, immediately upon receipt of the certified copy of the record of conviction, determine whether the license or endorsement has been automatically suspended by virtue of the licensee’s incarceration, and if so, the duration of that suspension. The department shall notify the licensee of the suspension and of his or her right to elect to have the issue of penalty heard as provided in subdivision (d).
(b) If after a hearing before an administrative law judge from the Office of Administrative Hearings it is determined that the felony for which the licensee was convicted was substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee, the commissioner upon receipt of the certified copy of the record of conviction, shall suspend the license or endorsement until the time for appeal has elapsed, if no appeal has been taken, or until the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or has otherwise become final, and until further order of the department.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a conviction of a charge of violating any federal statute or regulation or any statute or regulation of this state regulating dangerous drugs or controlled substances, or a conviction of Section 187, 261, 262, or 288 of the Penal Code, shall be conclusively presumed to be substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee and no hearing shall be held on this issue. However, upon its own motion or for good cause shown, the commissioner may decline to impose or may set aside the suspension when it appears to be in the interest of justice to do so, with due regard to maintaining the integrity of, and confidence in, the practice regulated by the department.
(d) (1) Discipline may be ordered against a licensee in accordance with the laws and regulations of the department when the time for appeal has elapsed, the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, complaint, information, or indictment.
(2) The issue of penalty shall be heard by an administrative law judge from the Office of Administrative Hearings. The hearing shall not be held until the judgment of conviction has become final or, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code, an order granting probation has been made suspending the imposition of sentence, except that a licensee may, at his or her option, elect to have the issue of penalty decided before those time periods have elapsed. Where the licensee so elects, the issue of penalty shall be heard in the manner described in subdivision (b) at the hearing to determine whether the conviction was substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee. If the conviction of a licensee who has made this election is overturned on appeal, any discipline ordered pursuant to this section shall automatically cease. Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit the department from pursuing disciplinary action based on any cause other than the overturned conviction.
(e) The record of the proceedings resulting in a conviction, including a transcript of the testimony in those proceedings, may be received in evidence.
(f) Any other provision of law setting forth a procedure for the suspension or revocation of a license or endorsement issued by the department shall not apply to proceedings conducted pursuant to this section.
(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 712, Sec. 11. (SB 706) Effective January 1, 2012.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018