ALERT: Effective January 1, 2018, the titles for Marriage and Family Therapist Interns, and Professional Clinical Counselor Interns will change. More Information

Criminal Convictions

The Board does not pre-evaluate criminal convictions. The evaluation of any prior criminal conviction(s) is part of the application process. The Board is responsible for ensuring that consumers receive mental health services from safe practitioners. Through the investigation of all misdemeanor and felony criminal convictions, the Board achieves its consumer protection mandate. Applicants who have prior criminal convictions that are substantially related to the practice of the professional license will be denied if they cannot prove sufficient rehabilitation for safe practice. Refer to Section 480 of the Business and Professions Code for acts that may disqualify an applicant.

  • All applicants are required under law to report all misdemeanor and felony convictions, EXCEPT for:
    • Convictions adjudicated in the juvenile court
    • Convictions under California Health and Safety Code section 11357 (b), (c), (d), (e), or section 11360(b) which are two years or older.
    • Charges dismissed under section 1000.3 of the Penal Code.

    All other convictions must be reported even if they have been dismissed under Penal Code Section 1203.4 1203.4a or 1203.41.

  • Do not include:
    • Offenses prior to the applicant's 18th birthday
    • Any traffic violations for which a fine of $500.00 or less was imposed.
    • An infraction of law

    Traffic violations which result in a felony or misdemeanor conviction must be reported.

  • Failure to report prior convictions is considered falsification of an application and is grounds for denial of an application.

For each reportable conviction, the applicant is required to provide:

  • A detailed written statement using the Background Statement Form to describe the actions which led to the arrest and/or convictions. All Background Statement Forms must have an original signature and be dated;
  • Copies of police reports;
  • Certified copies of the court documents; and
  • Sufficient evidence of rehabilitation which can include proof of compliance with voluntary or court ordered programs and letters of recommendation from employers, instructors or others,
  • See application instructions for additional details.

Also see FAQ's for Applicants Who Must Disclose Convictions for additional information on how and where to obtain required documentation. Also see the Background Statement Form instructions for additional details.

The Board evaluates each application with any reported convictions on a case-by-case basis to make a determination concerning the applicant's ability to practice with safety to the public. Included in the Board's evaluation is the nature and severity of the offense, additional subsequent acts, recency of crime, compliance with sanctions and evidence of rehabilitation.

NOTE: If the applicant has a conviction history, the processing time may be longer than the normal processing time and will be dependent on the applicant providing all information required by the Board.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Board of Behavioral Sciences at (916) 574-7890 or send an e-mail to