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RULE §681.164Licensing of Persons with Criminal Convictions

(a) This section establishes guidelines and criteria for the eligibility of persons with criminal convictions to obtain and retain licenses as professional counselors.

(b) The board shall consider the criminal conviction of a licensee or applicant as possible grounds for disciplinary action or application denial.

(c) 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 licensee or if the crime involves moral turpitude which are those crimes including but not limited to dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, deliberate violence, or that reflect adversely on a licensee's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness to practice under the scope of the person's license. In considering whether a criminal conviction directly relates to the profession of counseling, the board shall consider but not limited to:

  (1) the nature and seriousness of the crime;

  (2) the relationship of the crime to the purposes for requiring a license to practice counseling;

  (3) the extent to which a license might offer an opportunity to engage in further criminal activity of the same type as that in which the person previously had been involved; and

  (4) the relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, or fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of a counselor. In making this determination, the board will apply the criteria outlined in Texas Occupations Code, §53.023 (relating to Additional Factors).

(d) The following felonies and misdemeanors directly relate to the duties and responsibilities of a licensee:

  (1) the misdemeanor of knowingly or intentionally practicing counseling without a license;

  (2) an offense involving moral turpitude;

  (3) the misdemeanor of failing to report child abuse or neglect;

  (4) a misdemeanor involving deceptive business practices;

  (5) the offense of assault or sexual assault;

  (6) the felony offense of fraud;

  (7) a misdemeanor and/or a felony offense under various titles of the Texas Penal Code:

    (A) concerning Title 5 which relates to offenses against the person;

    (B) concerning Title 7 which relates to offenses against property;

    (C) concerning Title 8 which relates to offenses against public administration;

    (D) concerning Title 9 which relates to offenses against public order and decency;

    (E) concerning Title 10 which relates to offenses against public health, safety, and morals; and

    (F) concerning Title 4 which relates to offenses of attempting or conspiring to commit any of the offenses in subparagraphs (A) - (E) of this paragraph; or

  (8) any other misdemeanor or felony directly relating to the duties and responsibilities of a licensee.

(e) Procedures for disciplinary action or application denial against persons with criminal convictions:

  (1) The board's executive director will give written notice to the person that the board intends to take disciplinary action or deny the application after a hearing in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, and the board's hearing procedures in Subchapter L of this chapter (relating to Formal Hearings).

  (2) If the board takes disciplinary action or denies an application under these sections, the executive director will give the person written notice of the reasons for the decisions.

Source Note: The provisions of this §681.164 adopted to be effective September 1, 2003, 28 TexReg 4134; amended to be effective September 1, 2005, 30 TexReg 4978; amended to be effective April 27, 2008, 33 TexReg 3268; amended to be effective September 1, 2010, 35 TexReg 7801; amended to be effective December 12, 2013, 38 TexReg 8889

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