Criminal History

We review someone’s criminal background to see if they are eligible for EMS certification. We do this for an applicant or for a certified or licensed EMS employee.  

We’ve compiled a list of common questions about this process and some helpful links to related pages.  

Complaints and Criminal History

You can download the EMS Criminal History Pre-Screen application here.  

Criminal History Evaluation

These are common questions and an explanation about the criminal review process.  We’ve also included links to forms you need to investigate a criminal background.  

Please send an email to EMS Licensing and Certification and request the code and the link to schedule the fingerprint-based background check. 

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 am I Required to Send to You? 

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? What Could Cause Me to Lose my EMS Certification/License? 

Certain offenses will prevent you from getting your Texas EMS certification. These offenses can also get your EMS certificate or license revoked.   

Anyone who 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 we use to determine whether a criminal offense directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of EMS personnel and uses. This helps us decide 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, we will also apply these for the 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?

We cannot determine your certification eligibility based on a criminal background history over the phone. You should submit:

  • our Petition for EMS Criminal History Pre-Screening form,
  • the required fee, and
  • a completed Texas Fingerprint Service Code based background check.

We will evaluate your past criminal history after we have receive the proper documentation and fee. Most evaluations are completed within three to six months.

Complete this Petition for EMS Criminal History Pre-Screening form and the Texas Fingerprint Service Code form.

I have a criminal history record. What documentation am I required to send to you? 

When we've gotten:

  • the application form or prescreening petition,
  • the fee, and 
  • fingerprint results,  

We may send a criminal history packet to the applicant.  This helps us gather more information about the applicant’s criminal history.  

You can review the EMS Documentation Guide for possible records we may ask you to send.  It is your responsibility to make sure that you send all the requested information to us. The evaluation process might be delayed because of: 

  • the complexity of the applicant's criminal history and/or 
  • the applicant's failure to submit the proper documentation.

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

Our Enforcement Review Committee (ERC) will review and decide your eligibility when they have all your documentation. We will tell you if they decide that you aren't eligible for certification.  We will forward the application for processing if we approve it. If not, we will notify you by letter. 

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

Texas Administrative Code 157.36 requires anyone with an EMS certificate or license to timely notify us when they are:  

  • arrested,
  • charged, or
  • indicted, 
  • and when the charge results in:
    • a conviction,
    • a deferred adjudication community supervision, or
    • a deferred disposition.

Complete this Criminal History Report Form and send it to us to notify us.     

What EMS rules/laws relate to criminal history?

Chapter 773 of the Health and Safety Code (HSC), Section 773.0614 authorizes us to:

  • suspend or revoke an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) certificate or license or
  • disqualify someone from getting a certificate or license 

if that person:

  • has a conviction,
  • is on a deferred adjudication community supervision, or
  •  deferred adjudication

for an offense related to the duties and responsibilities of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel.  

HSC Section 773.0615(a) lists four major factors whether a criminal offense relates to EMS. 

HSC Section 773.0615(b) lists more factors applicable to a person with a criminal history. These factors help us decide if a person can do the duties and responsibilities of an EMS personnel. 

HSC Section 773.0614(c) explains the types of crimes that would get someone's EMS certificate or license revoked. We would have to revoke a certificate or license without considering other factors. 

Emergency Medical Services Rule 157.37 is “Certification of Persons with Criminal Backgrounds”. These are more procedures that we use with EMS certificate holders and licensees with a criminal history. 

Last updated June 29, 2022