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TITLE 37PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS
PART 15TEXAS FORENSIC SCIENCE COMMISSION
CHAPTER 651DNA, CODIS, FORENSIC ANALYSIS, AND CRIME LABORATORIES
SUBCHAPTER CFORENSIC ANALYST LICENSING PROGRAM
RULE §651.216Disciplinary Action

(a) The Commission may take disciplinary action against a license holder or applicant for a license under certain limited circumstances as set forth in Article 38.01, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(b) Professional Misconduct Finding. On a determination by the Commission that a license holder or applicant for a license has committed professional misconduct in accordance with the definition provided in §651.202 of this subchapter (relating to Definitions) and under Article 38.01, Code of Criminal Procedure or violated Article 38.01, Code of Criminal Procedure, or a rule or order of the Commission under Article 38.01, Code of Criminal Procedure, the Commission may:

  (1) revoke or suspend the person's license;

  (2) refuse to renew the person's license;

  (3) reprimand the license holder; or

  (4) deny the person a license.

(c) Probation. The Commission may place on probation a person whose license is suspended. If a license suspension is probated, the Commission may require the license holder to:

  (1) report regularly to the Commission on matters that are the basis of the probation; or

  (2) continue or review continuing professional education until the license holder attains a degree of skill satisfactory to the Commission in those areas that are the basis of the probation.

(d) Disciplinary Proceedings by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission. The Commission shall give written notice by certified mail of a determination described by subsection (a) of this section to a license holder who is the subject of the determination. The notice must:

  (1) include a brief summary of the alleged misconduct or violation;

  (2) state the disciplinary action taken by the Commission; and

  (3) inform the license holder of the license holder's right to a hearing before the Judicial Branch Certification Commission on the occurrence of the misconduct or violation, the imposition of the disciplinary action, or both.

(e) Hearing Request. Not later than the 20th day after the date the license holder receives the notice under subsection (d) of this section, the license holder may request a hearing by submitting a written request to the Judicial Branch Certification Commission. If the license holder fails to timely submit a request, the Commission's disciplinary action becomes final and is not subject to review by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission.

(f) Judicial Branch Certification Commission Hearing. If the license holder requests a hearing, the Judicial Branch Certification Commission shall conduct a hearing to determine whether there is substantial evidence to support the determination under subsection (a) of this section that the license holder committed professional misconduct or violated this subchapter or a Commission rule or order under this subchapter. If the Judicial Branch Certification Commission upholds the determination, the Judicial Branch Certification Commission shall determine the type of disciplinary action to be taken. The Judicial Branch Certification Commission shall conduct the hearing in accordance with the procedures provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 153, Government Code, as applicable, and the rules of the Judicial Branch Certification Commission.

(g) License Status.

  (1) If a license holder makes timely and sufficient application for the renewal of a license, the existing license does not expire until the application has been finally determined by the Commission. If the application is denied or the terms of the new license are limited, the existing license does not expire until the last day for seeking review of a Commission decision or a later date fixed by order of the Judicial Branch Certification Commission or Administrative Regional Presiding Judges.

  (2) A revocation, suspension, annulment, or withdrawal of a license is not effective unless, before institution of Commission proceedings:

    (A) the Commission gives notice by personal service or by registered or certified mail to the license holder of facts or conduct alleged to warrant the intended action; and

    (B) the license holder is given an opportunity to show compliance with all requirements of law for the retention of the license.

  (3) A Forensic Analyst License remains valid unless it expires without timely application for renewal, is amended, revoked, suspended, annulled or withdrawn, or the denial of a renewal application becomes final. The term or duration of a license is tolled during the period the license is subjected to review by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission or Administrative Regional Presiding Judges. However, the term or duration of a license is not tolled if, during review by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission or Administrative Regional Presiding Judges, the licensee engages in the activity for which the license was issued.

(h) Interpreters for Deaf or Hearing Impaired Parties and Witnesses.

  (1) In an appeal of a disciplinary action by the Commission, the Commission shall provide an interpreter whose qualifications are approved by the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services to interpret the proceedings for a party or subpoenaed witness who is deaf or hearing impaired.

  (2) In this section, "deaf or hearing impaired" means having a hearing impairment, whether or not accompanied by a speech impairment, that inhibits comprehension of the proceedings or communication with others.

(i) Informal Disposition of Disciplinary Action Appeals. Unless precluded by law, an informal disposition may be made of an appeal of a disciplinary action by the Commission by:

  (1) stipulation;

  (2) agreed settlement;

  (3) consent order; or

  (4) default.


Source Note: The provisions of this §651.216 adopted to be effective May 16, 2018, 43 TexReg 3106; amended to be effective July 15, 2019, 44 TexReg 3549; amended to be effective September 15, 2019, 44 TexReg 4875

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