OPTOMETRISTS CHARGED WITH CRIMES

The California Board of Optometry is tasked with imposing discipline for any licensed Optometrists pursuant to B & P § 3110. A new applicant, and a renewal applicant, must disclose each conviction for a misdemeanor, felony, and some infractions. Furthermore, each new applicant or renewal applicant must submit to live scan fingerprinting.

Conviction includes a plea of guilty or no contest and any conviction that has been set aside or deferred pursuant to Sections 1000 or 1203.4 of the Penal Code, including infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. An infraction with a fine less than $300 need not be reported, unless the infraction involved alcohol or a controlled substance. However, any convictions in which a plea of no contest was entered and any convictions that were subsequently set aside or deferred pursuant to Sections 1000 or 1203.4 of the Penal Code must be disclosed. License includes permits, registrations, and certificates. According to our criminal defense lawyers, discipline includes, but is not limited to, suspension, revocation, voluntary surrender, probation, reprimand or any other restriction on a license held by you.

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B & P 3110 The board may take action against any licensee who is charged with unprofessional conduct, and may deny an application for a license if the applicant has committed unprofessional conduct. In addition to other provisions of this article, unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly assisting in or abetting the violation of, or conspiring to violate any provision of this chapter or any of the rules and regulations adopted by the board pursuant to this chapter.

(b) Gross negligence.

(c) Repeated negligent acts. To be repeated, there must be two or more negligent acts or omissions.

(d) Incompetence.

(e) The commission of fraud, misrepresentation, or any act involving dishonesty or corruption that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of an optometrist.

(f) Any action or conduct that would have warranted the denial of a license.

(g) The use of advertising relating to optometry that violates Section 651 or 17500.

(h) Denial of licensure, revocation, suspension, restriction, or any other disciplinary action against a health care professional license by another state or territory of the United States, by any other governmental agency, or by another California health care professional licensing board. A certified copy of the decision or judgment shall be conclusive evidence of that action.
(i) Procuring his or her license by fraud, misrepresentation, or mistake.

(j) Making or giving any false statement or information in connection with the application for issuance of a license.

(k) Conviction of a felony or of any offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of an optometrist, in which event the record of the conviction shall be conclusive evidence thereof.

(l) Administering to himself or herself any controlled substance or using any of the dangerous drugs specified in Section 4022, or using alcoholic beverages to the extent, or in a manner, as to be dangerous or injurious to the person applying for a license or holding a license under this chapter, or to any other person, or to the public, or, to the extent that the use impairs the ability of the person applying for or holding a license to conduct with safety to the public the practice authorized by the license, or the conviction of a misdemeanor or felony involving the use, consumption, or self-administration of any of the substances referred to in this subdivision, or any combination thereof.

(m) (1) Committing or soliciting an act punishable as a sexually related crime, if that act or solicitation is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of an optometrist.

(2) Committing any act of sexual abuse, misconduct, or relations with a patient. The commission of and conviction for any act of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, or attempted sexual misconduct, whether or not with a patient, shall be considered a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee. This paragraph shall not apply to sexual contact between any person licensed under this chapter and his or her spouse or person in an equivalent domestic relationship when that licensee provides optometry treatment to his or her spouse or person in an equivalent domestic relationship.

(3) Conviction of a crime that requires the person to register as a sex offender pursuant to Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 290) of Title 9 of Part 1 of the Penal Code. A conviction within the meaning of this paragraph means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere. A conviction described in this paragraph shall be considered a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee.

(n) Repeated acts of excessive prescribing, furnishing, or administering of controlled substances or dangerous drugs specified in Section 4022, or repeated acts of excessive treatment.

(o) Repeated acts of excessive use of diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, or repeated acts of excessive use of diagnostic or treatment facilities.

(p) The prescribing, furnishing, or administering of controlled substances or drugs specified in Section 4022, or treatment without a good faith prior examination of the patient and optometric reason.

(q) The failure to maintain adequate and accurate records relating to the provision of services to his or her patients.

(r) Performing, or holding oneself out as being able to perform, or offering to perform, any professional services beyond the scope of the license authorized by this chapter.

(s) The practice of optometry without a valid, unrevoked, unexpired license.

(t) The employing, directly or indirectly, of any suspended or unlicensed optometrist to perform any work for which an optometry license is required.

(u) Permitting another person to use the licensee’s optometry license for any purpose.

(v) Altering with fraudulent intent a license issued by the board, or using a fraudulently altered license, permit certification or any registration issued by the board.

(w) Except for good cause, the knowing failure to protect patients by failing to follow infection control guidelines of the board, thereby risking transmission of bloodborne infectious diseases from optometrist to patient, from patient to patient, or from patient to optometrist. In administering this subdivision, the board shall consider the standards, regulations, and guidelines of the State Department of Public Health developed pursuant to Section 1250.11 of the Health and Safety Code and the standards, guidelines, and regulations pursuant to the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 (Part 1 (commencing with Section 6300) of Division 5 of the Labor Code) for preventing the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B, and other bloodborne pathogens in health care settings. As necessary, the board may consult with the Medical Board of California, the Board of Podiatric Medicine, the Board of Registered Nursing, and the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, to encourage appropriate consistency in the implementation of this subdivision.

(x) Failure or refusal to comply with a request for the clinical records of a patient, that is accompanied by that patient’s written authorization for release of records to the board, within 15 days of receiving the request and authorization, unless the licensee is unable to provide the documents within this time period for good cause.

(y) Failure to refer a patient to an appropriate physician in either of the following circumstances:

(1) Where an examination of the eyes indicates a substantial likelihood of any pathology that requires the attention of that physician.

(2) As required by subdivision (c) of Section 3041.

Important Board of Optometry Forms

http://www.optometry.ca.gov/formspubs/tpa-cert.pdf

http://www.optometry.ca.gov/licensee/livescan.pdf

Our criminal defense lawyers make every endeavor to avoid a criminal conviction that could lead to a disciplinary action; but if that is not possible, we will guide you in the best way possible to mitigate any damage to your licensing and your livelihood.