You should seek legal opinion now!
I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.
You should probably consult with someone who represents license holders before the Dept. of Consumer Affairs Board of Pharmacy. Among other things, an attorney familiar with this situation can help you get your application in order and help minimize the impact as well as position you for any potential future hearings you may need to fight any decision denying your application.
No attorney-client relationship is established between this lawyer and the originator of the question. This answer is provided for informational purposes only and is provided purely to assist the questioner in determining whether to consult with an attorney to obtain legal advice specific to their matter.
You will greatly benefit from protecting your valuable career options by meeting with a professional criminal defense attorney in person in your area to receive a legally accurate approach to deal with that situation that has a direct effect on you getting the above license.
Remember, a stich in time saves nine.
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I agree with my colleagues that you should consult an attorney familar with professional licensing for pharmacists in your state, and that you should do so now before you apply. Since the criminal charge against you was dismissed it will have no direct bearing on your application. However, the licensing board may be entitled to inquire into the underlying facts that gave rise to the criminal allegation, and those might cause you a problem particularly if drugs or dishonesty were involved. Waiting until after you are denied to hire an attorney would be a major mistake and could cost you your license.
My practice handles a lot of Pharmacy Board matters and I offer these general principles that may be useful to you in your application effort:
Whether it is in your case a sound strategy to defer hiring professional licensing counsel until there has been an initial denial or utilize an attorney to assist in preparation of your application from the beginning depends almost entirely on the nature of the charge that you faced. (You have not described or identified the charge(s) in the prior case.) Like most California licensing agencies, CPB is very harsh about specific kinds of misconduct, in particular those that raise issues of alcohol and/or drugs, domestic violence, violence and firearms, and any kind of sexual offense. Other kinds of misconduct may be less difficult to finesse in the application. But in all events the Board is looking for some very particular insights and statements in the narrative statement, so if the prior charge is one of the "hot" ones, it is likely a worthwhile financial investment to use the expertise of a professional licensing practitioner from the outset. The costs for this degree of representation should be modest, relative to what is at stake.
In all events, as you seem to know, you will be required to provide a narrative statement that sets forth the underlying facts and circumstances of the prior charge. California law (Business & Professions Code § 480) specifically provides that CPB can deny a license for improper actions notwithstanding the absence of a conviction or even a prosecution, but the burden for the licensing agency is substantially higher in cases where there is no record of conviction.
There is sound information to be gleaned from a thorough review of the Board's disciplinary guidelines (http://www.pharmacy.ca.gov/laws_regs/1760_guidelines.pdf) and also the reported cases of prior license denials and appeals for the past several years (available on line).
Good luck to you.
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
Seek legal representation now. Professional Licensing attorneys know how to present your application in the best light. They will do that by first reviewing your application for completeness. Second, they will advise you on the types of rehabilitation, mitigation, and character evidence you should compile and submit, notwithstanding the dismissal. Third, they are there to help advise you any follow-up questions that the Board may have. And finally, they might be able to help negotiate a probationary license upon admittance if the Board continues to have concerns.
Many offer a free and confidential consultation, so there really is nothing to lose by at least calling and speaking with one.