Can My Professional License Be Affected By Substance Abuse Issues?

How Substance Abuse Can Result in License Sanction

You may think that what you do in your private time should not have an effect on a professional state-issued license, but you would be wrong. While most personal activities are not within the purview of state licensing boards, issues related to substance abuse can result in license sanction, suspension, and/or even revocation. If you are convicted of a DUI or a controlled substance offense, then your state licensing board will likely initiate proceedings to determine if your professional license should be affected by your conviction. In particular, medical professionals are held to specific standards relating to alcohol as well as drugs, as they are easier to access for medical professionals than they are for regular people. 

Depending on your circumstance, you will need to craft a defense that either demonstrates that your alcohol or drug offense is an isolated incident, a product of poor judgment or just mistake or, a defense that focuses on demonstrating that despite a substance abuse problem you are safe to continue practicing your profession. 

For the former type of defense, you may want to consult specialists who can opine that you do not suffer from a substance abuse problem, may want to solicit references from others who can attest to the fact that you don’t have substance abuse issues, and you will want to ensure full compliance with any court orders that may exist as a result of the alcohol or drug use. 

For the latter type of defense, It can be important to detail what you are doing to maintain sobriety to help convince your licensing board that your substance abuse is under control and won’t affect your ability to work in your professional field competently. Each situation involving substance abuse is reviewed individually to determine whether the licensee is taking the appropriate steps to handle any substance abuse issues. If you are facing disciplinary action against your professional license because of a substance abuse issue, then it is important that you speak to an experienced professional license defense attorney to best guide you.

How An Attorney Can Help

An experienced attorney will be able to explain to you how your substance abuse issues can affect your professional license, if at all. If you are being falsely accused of a criminal offense or substance abuse issue, then an attorney can help defend your case to avoid both criminal and professional licensing sanctions. If you have been found guilty or pled guilty to an offense related to substance abuse or the possession or use of a controlled substance, then an attorney can help negotiate a plan and help minimize the sanctions that can be levied against you. It is important to take initiative when dealing with a professional licensing board as a failure to respond or participate in proceedings can result in an administrative suspension of your professional license due to default. State licensing board actions are administrative in nature and follow specific rules similar to those that exist in civil litigation. Make sure you understand these rules, and how to approach the defense of your case. If you have legal questions, then call us at The SJ Harris Law Office so we can help!

SJ Harris Law Free Consultation

The S.J. Harris Law Office is proud to offer FREE 30-minute consultations to any licensed professional facing legal issues. We realize that licensees who are facing criminal charges and potential discipline against their licenses prefer representation that values proper discretion and privacy. All discussions during any consultation with us will be fully protected by attorney-client privilege. At S.J. Harris Law, we strive to assist you in maintaining three things: your license, your reputation, and your future. Let our experience go to work for you today. Call us at (310) 361-8585 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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When dealing with these complex issues, you need legal representation that has a long track record of success in these types of cases. Scott Harris and the rest of our team at S J Harris Law will be ready to help you pursue any option available that allows you to keep your license and continue working, no matter what industry you are in.


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