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RULE §271.7Criminal History Evaluation Letters

(a) Authority. A person may request the Board to issue a criminal history evaluation letter regarding the person's eligibility for a license as authorized by Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code.

(b) Eligibility. Only a person planning to enroll or who is enrolled in optometry school and who has reason to believe that the person is ineligible for licensure due to a conviction or deferred adjudication for a felony or misdemeanor offense may request the criminal history evaluation letter.

(c) Request. The request must include:

  (1) A completed Board request form available from the Board;

  (2) A statement by the person of the basis for the person's potential ineligibility;

  (3) The required fee set out in §273.4 of this title (relating to Fees (Not Refundable));

  (4) Official copies of all court documentation regarding a conviction or deferred adjudication which the person believes may make that person ineligible for license; and

  (5) Proof that the person has requested the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide a criminal history report to the Board based on fingerprints submitted by the person.

(d) Investigation. The Board has the same powers to investigate a request submitted under this section and the person's eligibility that the Board has to investigate a person applying for a license. The Board may request additional information from the person in order to complete the investigation. The person must timely respond to requests from the Board.

(e) Issuance of Letter. The Board will issue a letter stating that a ground for ineligibility does not exist or a letter setting out each basis for potential ineligibility and the Board's determination as to eligibility, within 90 days of the receipt of the items listed in subsection (c) of this section, and receipt of the criminal history report on the person from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Department of Public Safety. The 90 day period may be extended if the person has not timely provided information requested by the Board.

(f) Limitation of Board's Determination. In the absence of new evidence known to but not disclosed by the person or not reasonably available to the Board at the time the letter is issued, the Board's ruling on the request determines the person's eligibility with respect to the grounds for potential ineligibility set out in the letter. The letter is limited to the law in effect on the date the letter is issued.

Source Note: The provisions of this §271.7 adopted to be effective June 13, 2010, 35 TexReg 4716

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