TX State Board of Nursing - Endorsement Legal Question

  1. During a snowstorm in January, I was walking my dog... slipped on some ice and my siberian husky ran away, leash attached. He was later found by animal control and I picked him up at a shelter.

    At the shelter, I was told since he was found with his leash still attached that there would be no fine as I made a good faith effort to confine the animal. Great. Signed some paperwork stating I was the owner of the dog and me and the pooch went home.

    Fast forward three months to 4/28/09. This morning I awoke to loud banging on my door. Two police officers, their two police cars with lights on in my parking lot. My first thought was that someone had died and I was being notified. I was quickly told that I had a warrant out for my arrest for, "failure to confine an animal and failure to appear in court". I begged to disagree. I had not received any fines related to my husky being captured by animal control. I had not received any mail related to a court date, etc.

    I was not allowed to change out of my pajamas. I was not even allowed to close my front door (the officer made sure to put his boot in the door jam - so I wouldn't, "lock" the door and refuse to come with them). The officers pushed hard for me to "bring a credit card" and I was swiftly handcuffed in front of all of my neighbors (I live in a prestigious area of town) and put into the back of a police car. Again, I stated that I had no knowledge of this offense.

    At the police station, I was made to wait 45 minutes in handcuffs and I was placed in a locked small cell with a fabulous metal toilet. They didn't take a mug shot or take a set of prints. After a while, the officer came in with my "file" and said that he had my signature on a "ticket". I thought, I did fall that day, maybe I just didn't realize what I was signing?

    A few minutes later I was in front of the judge pleading guilty, when suddenly I saw the "ticket" with my own eyes. My signature was not on it! Someone else had signed for me, followed by a badge number #359. Yay! I wasn't crazy. I quickly changed my plea to "not guilty," posted bond ($300.00) and a court date was set for June 8th.

    Now, doesn't this whole ordeal sound a bit ridiculous? I think I was unfairly racially profiled (I'm Hispanic) and treated horribly given the circumstances. I have been applying for jobs and as a RN, we all know they conduct a rigorous background check and I'm sure this outstanding "warrant" prevented me from obtaining employment!

    I'm freaking out... after two months of looking for a job I finally was offered two in Texas.

    The officer said that this wouldn't "go on my record," but I'm not sure if I need to check "yes" when I apply for endorsement into Texas? Does my pending court date constitute any "pending charges"?

    Has anyone had a prior "arrest" (omg I can't believe I just typed that) and applied for endorsement into TX? What is the process like? Can I at least receive a temporary permit? Or should I call the judge and try to get it expunged?

    All this, because my dog ran away!!!!!!!
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    About sunshineyday

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 60; Likes: 39
    Registered Nurse
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Critical Care


  3. by   mommybess
    How awful!!! I hope thisgets cleared up and you are cleared of this insanity. You need to divulge this. The Board would be more upset with you for trying to hide it. I havefriends who have past issues with thelaw and they divulged it but were allowed a TX license. Good luck!
  4. by   NurseGuyBri
    While I can't offer any advice, I'm in a similar situation (except that I actually was guilty of something very minor). After talking to the Board, everything seems as if it will go well as long as you dont lie about it and also as long as it wasnt a "barrier" crime (abuse, sexual assault, etc.) you will be fine - I was told that the process may take a little longer than normal, but you absolutely won't be denied for endorsement> I'm not sure exactly of the box you are asking about (if you should check it or not), but if it applies to you (i.e. mine was a misdemeanor, so I have to check that i have had a misdemeanor/felony), then check it, attach a statement of what happened, and you will be fine!
  5. by   Kyrshamarks
    A ticket is a CIVIL matter not a criminal matter. You are not loooking at jail time and as the matter goes you are innocent until proven guilty in a court. The BON cannot refuse you licensure for a civil matter such as tickets.
  6. by   fbashum
    Hi saw you noted something about "barrier" crime. I know someone with history of a dismissed ticket related to abuse. This person is thinking about applying for license from NJ to TX. Do you think this he will be able to obtain the license in Texas? Please help!
  7. by   twentytenRN
    From the TX BON website:

    Eligibility Issues

    Applicants must be able to answer "No" to the following questions in order to use the online application. All other applicants may download a complete application packet. Review of applicants with eligibility issues can take three (3) to six (6) month to complete.
    • For any criminal offense, including those pending appeal, have you:
      A. been convicted of a misdemeanor?
      B. been convicted of a felony?
      C. pled nolo contendere, no contest, or guilty?
      D. received deferred adjudication?
      E. been placed on community supervision or court-ordered probation, whether or not adjudicated guilty?
      F. been sentenced to serve jail or prison time? court-ordered confinement?
      G. been granted pre-trial diversion?
      H. been arrested or have any pending criminal charges?
      I. been cited or charged with any violation of the law?
      J. been subject of a court-martial; Article 15 violation; or received any form of military judgment/punishment/action?
      (You may only exclude Class C misdemeanor traffic violations.)
    Failure to reveal an offense, arrest, ticket, or citation that is not in fact expunged or sealed, will at a minimum, subject your license to a disciplinary fine. Non-disclosure of relevant offenses raises questions related to truthfulness and character.

    You will need to contact the TX BON and submit a Declatory Order declaring the charges pending against you. It costs $39 to do this unless they have to dig really deep, then they bill you an additional $150 if they have to do more research on you (usually for big offenses). Here's a link to the form you need:


    We can't give legal advice nor can we tell you exactly what the BON will say about your offense, but it seems pretty minor. Be aware that it takes them a little while longer to process this Order and clear you for licensure. It is way better to be truthful and disclose the offense rather than them find out about it because they will become suspicious of you at that point. Sorry this happened to you, and best of luck!
  8. by   all_good_names_gone
    My question is since the Article 15 is "Non-Judicial Punishment" a hand slap for something stupid you did, why is it reportable? Furthermore there are 3 types and the TX BON does not specify so the answers must be all inclusive by law. The "Summarized" is not reported outside the immediate command and therefore can't even be traced.

    Laws and rules need to make sense people, get a grip
  9. by   Racharina
    oh wow!!! I read your story and it should be use in a movie. Totally unfair. Seems like your case is pending and if the officer said it is not going to show, believe me, it will show in your background... but you also commented you have two offers already so I don't think you should worry.

    I wonder who signed your ticket... I assume this can be proven that you didn't.

    Good luck.