Utah Criminal Defense


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UTAH DOPL ATTORNEYJAKE GUNTER CALL/TXT (801) 373-6345DOPL, or the “Division of Professional Licensing” manages some 60 licensures in Utah. Dentists, massage therapists, medical doctors, chiropractors and nurses to name a few. DOPL is statutory required to manage and discipline these licensures as dictated by administrative rule and Utah law. See Utah Code Professions and Occupation, 58-1-101 and the Utah Office of Administrative Rules, R156-1 through 88a.

Utah Criminal Charges and your Utah Licensure.

Self-Reporting. If you are licensed through DOPL and receive criminal charges you should worry. Many professions not regulated by DOPL have a self-reporting requirement of all charges and convictions. For example, the Utah State Bar licensed lawyers, State Board of Education licensed teachers, police and military personnel all have a duty to self-report. Even if your specific licensure doesn’t have a self-reporting requirement, self-reporting could aid your license renewal cause and should be considered. Telling them first is generally better than them finding out.

Renewal. Clearly at your renewal cycle any Utah criminal charges or convictions will be picked up by DOPL staff processing your license renewal. All renewal applications and initial applications for licensure will have background criminal, financial and personal history releases required. They are signed under penalty of perjury.  See the nursing license application HERE:   aprn-crna-application DOPL application 20240201.

DOPL Criminal History Guidelines. DOPL does a great job at posting criminal history guidelines applicable to renewal and initial application. Each professional license regulated by DOPL has criminal history matrix which is a starting point.

Nursing Criminal History. The snippet of the nursing criminal history guidelines are seen below. The full nursing criminal history guidelines can be found here: https://dopl.utah.gov/nursing/criminal-history-guidelines/

Criminal Convictions Revoking, Suspending or Placing you on Probation. Often criminal conduct and criminal convictions will suspend, revoke or place you on a probationary status. The ultimate decision maker to revoke, suspend or discipline your license is the respective board and DOPL. Further you can negotiate and agree to prescribed probationary terms and avoid a full disciplinary board hearing.

Stipulations. Normally you have some chance of negotiating proposed probationary terms saving or limiting your suspension period. Your probation for drug and alcohol abuse could be 3-5 years and include substance abuse evaluations and treatment follow-through with rigorous random testing and monthly board meetings.

Notice Agency Action. If you can’t reach an agreement for discipline with DOPL, a Notice of Agency Action will issue stating DOPL intends to discipline your license and your ability to seek a board hearing. This is your constitutionally required due process before a state actor can take a property interest from you.

Board Hearings. Each DOPL profession regulated by DOPL has a board composed of that profession and sometimes lay public members. If you can’t agree or negotiate disciplinary terms, the board will hear the matter and make a decision. See the nursing board here:

A respectable advocate attorney will greatly improve your chances if you go in-front of the board and plead your case.

Mitigating Dangers of Criminal Convictions and DOPL Discipline. UTAH DOPL ATTORNEY JAKE GUNTER CALL/TXT (801) 373-6345

DOPL will always be using the underlying facts of the criminal charges or convictions, regardless of whether you took a diversion (Code 77-2-5) agreement or plea in abeyance (Code 77-2a-1). Just because you received a favorable plea agreement to a disorderly conduct, non-domestic violence tagged from assault, doesn’t mean that DOPL will forget about what happened. Yet, pleading to a more favorable lower offense is generally better, but you are not off the hook.

Diversion agreements and plea in abeyances are good, with diversion agreements being the best because there is no adjudication of guilt and no guilty plea is entered. Whereas pleas in abeyance require a guilty or no-contest plea to enter.

Pleading to charges that are more palpable to DOPL is a good start when dealing with your criminal charges.

DOPL Boad Hearings and Pending Criminal Charges. Many people will have pending criminal charges and be summoned to a DOPL board hearing or have DOPL disciplinary proceedings initiated against them at the same time.

The DANGER of having concurrent DOPL and criminal proceedings is that any statements made in the DOPL proceeding can be used against you in the criminal proceeding. You need to be concerned about what you say in DOPL pleadings or hearings as it could drastically affect your criminal case.


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