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Problem ! Past felony conviction from 6 years ago , recently had reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed . 17b and 1203 . 4 .

San Francisco, CA |

I was attending college , for a medical profession to become a Physical therapist . I was not able to complete my clinical rotations due to them finding my felony background PC 245 ( A ) ( 1 ) . To make the story short , I was devastated all the years of school and hard work has landed back to step 1 . The school told me if I clean up my record they will except me back in the school , so I cleaned up my record or did I ? I Hired a lawyer , was explained to me it was a wobbler that can be reduced and dismissed not expunged . My question , will the school take me back for sure ? and will a clinical allow me to complete my rotations even if they somehow find out I have this arrest record and what it was for ? The last clinic to run my background was through a credit agency will it show up ? Thank you Pp

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

The school will most likely re-admit you when you have remedied your record to a point where the Physical Therapy Board will likely grant you a license. Reputable schools are working hard to stay aligned with the State licensing agencies' standards so that students do not spend years chasing a career that they cannot obtain licensure in.

PTB has the right to deny a license based on any criminal conviction, and PTB's statutory right to make that decision is not affected by post-conviction remedies such as dismissal under P. C. 1203.4. However, once such remedies have been obtained, whether PTB will issue you a license depends almost entirely on the statutory factors of mitigation, and the most important of those (after "passage of substantial time with no new offenses") is the "underlying facts and circumstances" of the original offense. Simply put, the licensing agency will consider whether the facts of your 245 and your post-offense rehabilitation profile make you a good bet for the kind of work that is enabled by the license. This is an exercise in judgment, persuasion, and advocacy and you are likely to need legal counsel to cause it to result in the issuance of a PTA or RPT license.

Most persons with your calibre of prior criminal history can eventually be licensed by the State of CA, but it will usually require some persistence, expense, and pursuit of administrative appeals processes. You would benefit from an hour or so of consultation with a skilled and experienced professional/occupational licensing attorney who works actively and extensively with PTB and other health care State licensing agencies. A skilled licensing attorney can assist you by charting the most likely path to success in PTB licensure, and can bring a lot of skill to bear in negotiations with the licensing agency to make that path effective.

You can always order your own Live Scan (Google for outlets all over the State; very cheap fast reliable) to make sure that the current state of your criminal record is what you believe it to be.

Good luck to you.

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Thank you for the very detailed explanation, its is beyond helpfull. I now understand this process, and really I'm no suprised, because For the last 6 years I have had to fight and explain everything for my background checks. I do beleive a Attorney who specializes with license boards can assist me affectively obtaining my license. Thank you again, for the explaination its appreciated.


These questions are less criminal defense questions and more questions about the particular policy of the medical program requirements. As for the legal side of your question, the expungement actions doesn't completely eliminate the offense from your record. It does allow the court to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, however, the way it shows up on a background check is with a notation that the matter was reduced. Good luck.


Pay attention to Ms. McCall for details on the licensing issue. Beyond that be aware that it is very difficult to have anything completely removed from your criminal record in CA. We don't have true expungements which would wipe your record clean. We do have the reduction and dismissal process which your former attorney described to you accurately as not constituting an expungement. Your criminal history is summarized in your rap sheet which only certain specified agencies can get their hands on. In applying for a state license that includes the licensing agency. Even if you have done all you can do to clean up your rap sheet it will still show the arrest, the conviction and the dismissal. There is no way to change that here. The next highest level of relief is a certificate of rehabilitation and a governor's pardon but neither changes the arrest and conviction. Your best arguments are stated by Ms. McCall.