Can I Become a Veterinarian If I Have a Criminal Conviction?

Veterinarians do the important work of making sure that our pets are healthy and ready to make us happy. But what happens when a veterinarian is accused or convicted of a crime? Unlock Legal, an Orange County-based professional license defense firm, wants you to know that veterinarians will probably run into trouble with the Veterinary Medical Board, which could suspend or revoke theirs depending on the circumstances of each case.

Will I Lose My Veterinary License Over a Criminal Conviction?

The type of criminal conviction you’re facing will determine the sanctions you’ll receive on your license. According to the Veterinary Medical Board, a conviction of a crime “substantially related” to the qualifications of being a veterinarian carries a maximum penalty of the loss of the veterinary license and a $5,000 fine. However, the maximum penalty is only enforced when the crime caused or threatened harm to a person or animal, or the licensee made little effort at rehabilitation, among other things. 

It’s up to the Veterinary Medical Board to determine whether the crime is related to your duties as a veterinarian. If your crime was a one-time mistake, and you’ve made efforts at rehabilitation like volunteering, the odds of your license being revoked are reduced. But you can still face sanctions like probation, a fine, or restrictions on your practice. 

Can I Become a Veterinarian If I Have a Criminal Conviction?

Yes, you still have a shot at becoming a veterinarian even if you have a criminal record. Like most licensing boards, California’s Veterinary Medical Board does a background check on license applicants. Your criminal history will appear when the board looks for it. It is important to note that the Veterinary Medical Board says it evaluates applicants’ criminal histories on a case-by-case basis. 

If you’re worried that a criminal conviction will lead to sanctions on your veterinary license, or that your veterinary license application will be denied because of a criminal conviction in your past, you should contact a professional license defense firm like Unlock Legal. Unlock Legal has helped many licensed professionals in California navigate through the license defense process and fight for their ability to practice as a veterinarian. 

Let the Unlock Legal team help you defend your career. Email us today or give us a call at Orange County offices at (833) 865-6253. 

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