|(a) The Act, §351.501(a)(3), and Texas Occupations Code Chapter 53, provide that the board may suspend or revoke an existing valid license, disqualify a person from receiving a license, or deny to a person the opportunity to be examined for a license because of a person's conviction of a felony or misdemeanor, including being placed on deferred adjudication or court ordered community or mandatory supervision, with or without an adjudication of guilt, or revocation of parole, probation or court ordered supervision, if the crime directly relates to duties and responsibilities of a licensed optometrist or therapeutic optometrist. (b) A licensee or applicant receiving a felony or misdemeanor criminal conviction, including deferred adjudication or court ordered community or mandatory supervision, with or without an adjudication of guilt, or revocation of parole, probation or court ordered supervision, shall report the order of conviction, deferred adjudication or court ordered community or mandatory supervision, or revocation of parole, probation, or supervision within 30 days of the date the court issued the order. This subsection does not require the reporting of a Class C Misdemeanor traffic violation. The failure of a licensee or applicant to report a conviction is deceit, dishonesty and misrepresentation in the practice of optometry and authorizes the board to take disciplinary action under §351.501 of the Act. The licensee shall furnish any document relating to the conviction as requested by the Board. (c) The Texas Optometry Act authorizes licensees to provide health services. (d) A person currently incarcerated because of a felony conviction or revocation of parole, probation or court ordered supervision in a felony case may not sit for examination, obtain a license under this act, or renew a previously issued license to practice optometry or therapeutic optometry. (e) In considering whether a criminal conviction directly relates to the occupation of an optometrist or therapeutic optometrist, the Board shall consider the factors listed in Texas Occupations Code §53.022. (f) The practice of optometry and therapeutic optometry places the optometrist or therapeutic optometrist in a position of public trust. A licensee practices in an autonomous role in treating patients young and old; in prescribing, administering and safely storing dangerous drugs including controlled substances; in preparing and safeguarding confidential records and information; and in accepting client funds. Therefore the crimes considered by the Board to relate to the practice of optometry and therapeutic optometry include, but are not limited to: (1) any felony or misdemeanor of which fraud, dishonesty or deceit is an essential element; (2) any criminal violation of the Optometry Act, or other statutes regulating or pertaining to the practice or profession of optometry and therapeutic optometry; (3) any criminal violation of statutes regulating other professions in the healing arts; (4) any crime involving moral turpitude; (5) murder; (6) burglary; (7) robbery; (8) theft; (9) sex offense; (10) perjury; (11) child molesting; and (12) substance abuse or substance diversion. (g) In determining the present fitness of a person who has been convicted of a crime, the Board shall consider the factors listed in Texas Occupations Code §53.023. (h) It shall be the responsibility of the applicant for license to secure and provide to the Board the recommendations of the prosecution, law enforcement, and correctional authorities regarding all offenses. (i) The applicant for license shall also furnish proof in such form as may be required by the Board, that the licensee maintained a record of steady employment and has supported licensee dependents and has otherwise maintained a record of good conduct and has paid all outstanding court costs, supervision fees, fines and restitution as may have been ordered in all criminal cases in which the licensee has been convicted. (j) Upon suspension or revocation of a license, or denial of an application for license or examination because of the person's prior conviction of a crime and the relationship of the crime to the license, the Board shall notify the person in writing: (1) of the reasons for the suspension, revocation, denial, or disqualification; (2) of the review procedure provided by Texas Occupations Code §53.052; and (3) of the earliest date that the person may appeal. (k) The board, however, shall be under no duty to generate evidence with respect to the matters listed in Texas Occupations Code Chapter 53.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §277.5 adopted to be effective August 11, 1983, 8 TexReg 2934; amended to be effective January 7, 1994, 18 TexReg 9931; amended to be effective March 18, 2004, 29 TexReg 2642; amended to be effective August 28, 2011, 36 TexReg 5362