Criminal History Evaluation

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The Texas Department of State Health Services (Department) reviews an applicant’s and/or certified/licensed EMS personnel criminal background to determine eligibility for EMS certification.  Below are common questions and an explanation about the criminal review process.  Also listed below are links to Department forms needed to investigate a criminal background.

Questions regarding the criminal history review process can be directed to our criminal background investigators at (512) 834-6700.  An investigator can NOT make a determination about an individual’s criminal history over the telephone.



What would prevent me from being eligible for certification or cause me to lose my EMS certification/license?

How can I get my criminal history evaluated prior to enrolling in an EMS course?

I have a criminal history record.  What documentation may I be required to send to your Department?

How will I be notified on whether I am eligible for certification?

How do I report that I have been arrested and/or have final outcome of a criminal offense?

What EMS laws/rules relate to criminal history?


What would prevent me from being eligible for certification or cause me to lose my EMS certification/license?

Certain offenses will prevent an individual from receiving an EMS certification in Texas or result in the revocation of an EMS certificate or license. Any person that has been convicted of, placed on deferred adjudication community supervision, or deferred disposition for any of the criminal offenses listed below are NOT qualified to obtain or maintain an EMS certification:

(1) murder [Texas Penal Code (PC) Section 19.02];

(2) capital murder [PC Section 19.03];

(3) indecency with a child; [PC Section 21.11 (a)(1)]

(4) aggravated kidnapping; [PC Section 20.04]

(5) aggravated sexual assault; [PC Section 22.021]

(6) aggravated robbery; [PC Section 29.03]

(7) substance abuse offenses, as described in Health and Safety Code, Chapter 481, for which punishment is increased under:

(a) Health and Safety Code, §481.140, regarding the use of a child in the commission of an offense; or

(b) Health and Safety Code, §481.134(c), (d), (e) or (f), regarding an offense committed within a drug free zone, if it is shown that the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense for which punishment was increased under one of those subsections;

(8) sexual assault; [PC Section 22.011]

(9) An offense, other than an offense committed on or after September 1, 2009, for which the person is subject to register as a sex offender under Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 62.

All other criminal offenses are considered on a case by case basis. The following includes some of the factors the Department uses to determine whether a criminal offense directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of EMS personnel and uses to determine the person’s ability to carry out those duties and responsibilities.  

  • the nature and seriousness of the crime
  • the relationship of the crime to the purposes for requiring a certification to engage in emergency medical services
  • the extent to which certification might offer an opportunity to engage in further criminal activity of the same type as that in which the person previously had been involved
  • the relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, or fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of EMS personnel
  • the extent and nature of the person’s past criminal activity
  • the age of the person when the crime was committed
  • the amount of time that has elapsed since the person’s last criminal activity
  • the conduct and work activity of the person before and after the criminal activity
  • evidence of the person’s rehabilitation or rehabilitative effort while incarcerated or after release
  • evidence the person has maintained a record of steady employment; supported their dependents; maintained a record of good conduct; paid all outstanding court costs, supervision fees, fines and restitution ordered in any criminal case.

In addition, the Department will also apply the above referenced factors in considering same or similar criminal offenses, resulting in a conviction, deferred adjudication or deferred disposition under other state law, federal law or the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

How can I get my criminal history evaluated prior to enrolling in an EMS course?

A determination of certification eligibility based on a criminal background history cannot be made over the phone.  Our procedure allows us to assess your past criminal history only after we have received the proper documentation and fee.  A petitioner should submit a fully completed Department Petition for EMS Criminal History Pre-Screening form for EMS personnel along with the required fee and completion of a FAST fingerprint based background check.

The Petition for EMS Criminal History Pre-Screening form and the FAST fingerprint form are available at www.dshs.state.tx.us/emstraumasystems/formsresources.shtm.

Most evaluations are completed within three to six months.

I have a criminal history record.  What documentation may I be required to send to your Department?

Upon receiving the Application form/Prescreening Petition, the fee and fingerprint results, a criminal history packet may be sent to the applicant/petitioner in order for the Department to gather more information related to the applicant’s or petitioner’s criminal history. An applicant/petitioner can refer to the EMS Documentation Guide for possible records the Department may ask the applicant/petitioner to furnish.  It is the responsibility of the applicant/petitioner to ensure that all of the information that is requested is supplied to the Department.  Due to the complexity of the criminal history of the applicant/petitioner and/or the failure of the applicant/petitioner to submit the proper documentation, the evaluation process may be delayed.

How will I be notified on whether I am eligible for certification?

Once all of the documentation has been received, the Department’s Enforcement Review Committee (ERC) will review and make a determination of eligibility.  The Department will notify the applicant/petitioner if a determination has been made that the applicant/petitioner is not eligible for certification.  If the application is approved it will be forwarded for processing.  If the petitioner is not eligible for certification, he/she will be notified by letter.

How do I report that I have been arrested and/or have a final outcome of a criminal offense?

Texas Administrative Code 157.36 requires any individual that holds an EMS certificate or license to timely notify the Department when they are arrested, charged, or indicted and when the charge either results in a conviction, deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition by completing and timely submitting to the Department a fully completed Criminal History Report Form.    

What EMS rules/laws relate to criminal history?

Chapter 773 of the Health and Safety Code (HSC), Section 773.0614authorizes the Department of State Health Services (Department) to suspend or revoke an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) certificate or license, to disqualify a person from receiving a certificate or license, if that individual has been convicted of, placed on a deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition for an offense that relates to the duties and responsibilities of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. 

HSC Section 773.0615(a) lists four major factors to be considered in determining whether a criminal offense relates to EMS.  And HSC Section 773.0615(b)lists additional factors applicable to determining a person’s (with a criminal history) fitness to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of an EMS personnel.

HSC Section 773.0614(c) makes reference to several types of crimes for which a person’s EMS certificate or license will be revoked without regard to, or utilization of, those determining factors, noted above.

Emergency Medical Services Rule 157.37, entitled: “Certification of Persons With Criminal Backgrounds” provides additional procedures used in dealing with EMS certificate holders and licensees who have a criminal history.


Articles on criminal history:

 

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Last updated February 10, 2014