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RULE §575.50Criminal Convictions

(a) In a process under Chapter 53, Occupations Code, the Board may suspend or revoke an existing license, disqualify a person from receiving a license, or deny a person the opportunity to be examined for a license because of a person's conviction of a felony or misdemeanor if the crime directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of a veterinarian, a licensed veterinary technician, or an equine dental provider. This subsection applies to persons who are not imprisoned at the time the Board considers the conviction.

(b) The Board shall revoke a license upon the imprisonment of a licensee following a felony conviction or revocation or felony community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision. A person currently incarcerated because of a felony conviction may not sit for license examination, obtain a license under the Veterinary Licensing Act, Occupations Code, Chapter 801, or renew a previously issued license.

(c) The Board shall, in determining whether a criminal conviction directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of a licensee, consider the factors listed in the Occupations Code, §53.022.

(d) In determining the present fitness to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of a licensee who has been convicted of a crime, the Board shall consider, in addition to the factors referenced in subsection (c) of this section, the factors listed in the Occupations Code, §53.023.

(e) Under Occupations Code §801.402, a person is subject to denial of a license or to disciplinary action under Occupations Code §801.401 if the person engages in illegal practices connected with the practice of veterinary medicine or the practice of equine dentistry.

(f) The professional practices of veterinarians, licensed veterinary technicians, and equine dental providers place those licensees in positions of public trust. A licensee practices in an autonomous role in the treating and safekeeping of animals; preparing and safeguarding confidential records and information; accepting client funds; and, if the licensee is a veterinarian, prescribing, administering and safely storing controlled substances. The following crimes therefore relate to and are connected with the practices of veterinarians, licensed veterinary technicians, and equine dental providers because the commission of each indicates a violation of the public trust, and a lack of integrity and respect for one's fellow human beings and the community at large:

  (1) any felony or misdemeanor conviction of which fraud, dishonesty or deceit is an essential element;

  (2) any criminal violation of the Veterinary Licensing Act, or other statutes regulating or pertaining to the licensee's practice or profession;

  (3) any criminal violation of statutes regulating other professions in the healing arts;

  (4) deceptive business practices;

  (5) a misdemeanor or felony offense involving:

    (A) murder;

    (B) assault;

    (C) burglary;

    (D) robbery;

    (E) theft;

    (F) sexual assault;

    (G) injury to a child or to an elderly person;

    (H) child abuse or neglect;

    (I) tampering with a government record;

    (J) animal cruelty;

    (K) forgery;

    (L) perjury;

    (M) bribery;

    (N) mail fraud;

    (O) diversion or abuse of controlled substances, dangerous drug, or narcotic; or

    (P) other misdemeanors or felonies, including violations of the Penal Code, Titles 4, 5, 7, 9, and 10, which indicate an inability or tendency of the person to be unable to perform as a licensee or to be unfit for licensure, if action by the Board will promote the intent of the Veterinary Licensing Act, Board rules, including this chapter, and the Occupations Code, Chapter 53.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) - (f) of this section, the Board shall suspend or revoke a licensee's license in accordance with the Occupations Code, §801.406, where the licensee has been convicted of a felony under the Health and Safety Code, §485.033, or the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 481 or 483.

Source Note: The provisions of this §575.50 adopted to be effective July 13, 2008, 33 TexReg 5528; amended to be effective June 20, 2012, 37 TexReg 4429; amended to be effective May 12, 2013, 38 TexReg 2764; amended to be effective December 23, 2013, 38 TexReg 9366; amended to be effective May 4, 2014, 39 TexReg 3430

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