Dealing with a drug-related conviction can turn your life upside down. Not only do you have to address the punitive part of the conviction, but you also have to handle the implications a drug-related conviction has on your career.
In many cases, a drug-related conviction could have a negative impact on your job prospects, especially if a court handed down a felony conviction. If you work in the healthcare industry as a nurse, a drug-related conviction has the potential to severely limit your upward mobility.
A career in nursing represents one of the best jobs you can have in the United States. With staggering high job growth and plenty of advancement opportunities, a career as a nurse is a rewarding career both financially and professionally. When you apply for a nursing position, you can expect to be fingerprinted and fill out a disclosure sheet that lists any criminal convictions. A drug-related conviction may adversely impact your ability to find gainful employment as a nurse.
Anyone with a drug-related conviction on his or her record should consult with a Texas licensed criminal defense attorney. This is a particularly important word of advice for a nurse that wants to know if a drug-related conviction will affect my chances of getting a job as a nurse.
The Role of the Texas Board of Nursing
When you apply for a license with the Texas Board of Nursing, you will have to complete a section of the application that asks whether you have ever received a conviction for any type of crime. You will have to include information concerning a case that a court technically dismissed after deferred adjudication. Texas law also requires you to confirm whether you successfully completed a pre-trial diversion program.
According to the Texas Administrative Code, Rule 213.28 states the Texas Board of Nursing can stop you from taking the nursing license exam because of a drug-related conviction. The Texas Board of Nursing also has the legal power to refuse to issue you a nursing license and refuse to renew your nursing license, if a drug-related conviction appears on your criminal record.
Additional Factors under Consideration
If you are burdened professionally by a drug-related conviction, the dream of becoming a nurse to help others is not necessarily a pipe dream. The Texas Board of Nursing will review other circumstances of the drug-related conviction, including the seriousness of the conviction and whether becoming a nurse might cause you to engage in another drug-related offense. Since you will work in an environment that requires the administration of medications, the Texas Board of Licensing has the legal discretion to prohibit you from working in a job that requires you to handle prescribed medicines.
The Texas Board of Nursing will also examine your criminal history, as well as how old you were at the time of the drug-related conviction. Another possible factor that improves your chances of earning a nursing license is whether you committed another crime at the time of the drug-related charge. The Texas Board of Nursing might look favorably on an applicant who has just a drug-related conviction on his or her record. Completing a drug rehabilitation program and the proper corresponding documents verifying rehabilitation is another factor that might be in your favor.
Are There Legal Loopholes for Earning a Texas Nursing License?
One potential loophole to consider is tucked within Rule 213.28. The loophole refers to “youthful indiscretion.” A drug-related conviction that prevents you from obtaining a Texas nursing license can be mitigated by introducing the “youthful indiscretion” legal argument. However, several factors must be met, including that you were younger than 22 years old at the time of the drug-related arrest. There also has to be enough evidence to convince the Texas Board of Nursing that you have made positive contributions to society since the drug-related arrest.
The Importance of an Expungement Order
A type of drug-related conviction remedy in Texas is called an expungement order. If you were arrested for a drug-related offense and the State of Texas did not get a conviction for the arrest, the drug-related arrest can still prohibit you from acquiring a Texas nursing license. This is because a drug-related arrest is considered a violation of the Nursing Practice Act or a violation of the rules established by the Texas Nursing Board. Nonetheless, the State of Texas grants you the right to apply for an expungement order that, if approved, means you do not have to disclose the arrest on your Texas nursing license application.
Contact Adam Capetillo
Even if you have a drug-related conviction on your criminal record, it is possible in the State of Texas to earn a Texas nursing license. Although the conviction itself can be a major impediment, there are other factors an experienced criminal defense lawyer can introduce to improve the chances of you gaining a license as a nurse in the Lone Star State.
To see if you are eligible for expungement or another legal remedy, call us at (346) 249-5544 or submit the convenient online form to schedule a meeting with a highly rated criminal defense attorney. Adam Capetillo.