Followers of our blog know the uphill battle California nursing applicants face when they suffer more than one conviction for alcohol-related conduct. Because current California law allows for significant discipline and denial after even a single instance of DUI, multiple convictions can mean a denial and an unwillingness to settle for nurses who have more than one conviction. However, in 2015, we pursued a case to the administrative hearing and won the client a two-year probationary license. This is a significant departure from the LVN recommended guidelines, which call for a three-year probation at minimum in cases like these.
Critical to our victory was the relative age of the conviction suffered by the client. Both convictions were expunged, the client held two other professional licenses in good standing, and most importantly, the client fully acknowledged the wrongfulness of the past conduct and had taken affirmative steps to change the behavior that led to the conviction.
We successfully convinced the Administrative Law Judge to deviate from the disciplinary guidelines in the Proposed Decision, and the Decision was upheld by the agency. This case teaches prospective nurses an important lesson: the disciplinary guidelines do not represent the guaranteed result for any particular case. A poor case presentation can result in a denial or revocation even when the conduct is relatively minor. An excellent case presentation, coupled with extraordinary evidence, can result in softer discipline, sometimes even less discipline than what the Board would consider the “minimum” discipline.
This case result does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or even a prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.