24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

California Criminal Arrests, Convictions and Doctor Discipline

California Criminal Arrests, Convictions and Doctor Discipline

At What Point Can the Medical Board Suspend Your License?

If you have ever been charged with a drug or sex offense, you’ll quickly discover that the legal and medical worlds can intersect in an unsavory way. Criminal arrests or convictions can negatively impact your license to practice medicine.

Are you caught up in a net of criminal and disciplinary action? If so,  our California Criminal Defense Attorneys might be able to help. We represent physicians and other healing arts professionals with license discipline matters. We’re only a phone call away.


In this article, you will learn about criminal convictions and physician discipline in California. If you still have questions after reading it, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

We will cover:

  1. What regulating body oversees doctors in California?
  2. What convictions can invoke Board discipline?
  3. Will I be able to fight for my license?


Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

What regulating body oversees doctors in California?

Physicians and allied healthcare professionals, including licensed midwives and medical assistants, are regulated the Medical Board of California, a state governmental agency under the auspices of the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

Disciplinary action that is conviction-related can take the form of warnings, probation, license suspension or even license revocation.


According to the Medical Board’s Disciplinary Guidelines, probation conditions may include such measures as biological fluid testing, community service, psychiatric evaluation and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) permit surrender, among others.


On top of your livelihood being at stake in a discipline case, your reputation is also on the line. Potential patients and interested parties can access your discipline-related documents with just one click on the Board’s website, including discipline summaries which are published in medical board newsletters.


What convictions can invoke Board discipline?

Any criminal conviction that is “substantially related” to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a doctor can bring about Board discipline.

This “substantially related” requirement is based in statute and in the US Constitution. A person’s legal right to practice their chosen profession of medicine may only be impeded for a reason that directly brings your fitness to practice into question

“Substantially related” Defined

What qualifies as a substantially related conviction?  No concise and easy answer to this question exists.  In actuality, a broad array of convictions appears to be included.


Some of the crimes that are classified as “substantially related” to the practice of medicine, according to statutes, cases and Medical Board documents are:

  • Any Medical Practice Act violations
  • Offences requiring registration as a sex offender8
  • Murder (Penal Code 187 PC)
  • Rape (Penal Code 261 PC)
  • Lewd acts with a minor (Penal Code 288 PC)
  • Drug offences
  • DUI – driving under the influence
  • Conviction as an accessory to medical fraud

This list is by no means an exhaustive.

If you have any questions about the “substantially related” criterion, you should consult a California criminal defense attorney regarding the possibility of disciplinary consequences for your specific conviction.


A conviction can include felonies and misdemeanors secured through guilty pleas and California jury trial verdicts, “no contest” pleas and even convictions that might later be expunged under California Penal Code Section 1203.4

The Board can take disciplinary action against you even if you successfully complete a court-ordered drug diversion program such as Penal Code 1000.


For the most part, the Board can respond to a conviction even when the time for appeal has passed, the judgment has been affirmed on appeal, or an order granting probation is made.

In scenarios where a licensee has been incarcerated after conviction of a felony, the Board takes expedited action.

Misconduct Off-the-Job

Alcohol-related driving offenses have the potential to form the basis for physician discipline.

One appellate court examined this issue in the case of a physician who was convicted of three alcohol-related driving offenses.  “In relation to multiple convictions involving driving and alcohol consumption,” the judge held, “we reject the argument that a physician can seal off or compartmentalize personal conduct so it does not affect the physician’s professional practice.”

The court’s position was one of prevention rather than cure.

Reporting Requirements

As a board licensee, your obligation according to Section 802 to disclose convictions doesn’t end when you submitted your license application. Unlike in other California professionals, doctors have an ongoing duty to report any felony and misdemeanor convictions as well as felony indictments to the Medical Board.


Can I fight for my California medical license?

At multiple stages in the enforcement process, you have an opportunity to challenge (or negotiate with) the Board as to discipline and/or penalty.

You might be able to convince the Board that your conviction does not fit the “substantially related” criterion or that less severe discipline is warranted because of mitigating factors.

You may also have a statute of limitations defense or be capable of demonstrating rehabilitation.

Additionally, you have the right to a hearing before an administrative law judge on the Medical Quality Hearing Panel.

Should your license get revoked in spite of your best efforts, rehabilitation efforts can help you get your license reinstated down the road.


The journey through professional discipline can be difficult.  Nevertheless, if you stay the course it can lead you back to where you want to be – a place and position where you can use your valuable skills and expertise as a member in good standing of the healing arts.


The California Criminal Defense Attorneys at Spodek Law Group Can Help.

If you or a loved one is a doctor who got charged with a criminal offence and you are looking to get a lawyer, we invite you to contact us at Spodek Law Group. We offer a free consultation in office or by phone.

You might also be interested in reading our related professional discipline articles on Nurse License

For more information visit:

California Department of Consumer Affairs

Center for Public Interest Law



Schedule Your Consultation Now