Having your nursing license, teaching credentials, or other professional licenses threatened by the State can be a harrowing experience. If you find yourself in this predicament, you likely already understand state agencies’ power over your license. Your understandable anxiety stems from not knowing what investigating a professional complaint involves.
Arm Yourself with Knowledge from a Professional License Defense Attorney
The best way to combat anxiety and prepare yourself for what lies ahead is to learn as much information as possible. To help you along that journey, read on to learn the answers to some common questions:
Do I Need to Respond to Investigators if I Think the Allegation Is Frivolous?
You should treat every potential challenge to your license or credential seriously. This includes responding to requests for documentation or a statement from investigators. Ignoring a complaint or failing to cooperate with an investigation can result in professional discipline — even if the initial complaint was meritless. You should consult an attorney before submitting a response, as anything that you say or provide to the agency and/or its investigators can be used against you. While you may be responsible for acknowledging a request for an interview or documents, the law may provide a basis for you to decline to participate. This is why consulting an attorney is so important.
If My License Is Suspended or Revoked, or Placed on Probation, Can I Be Fired?
In many cases, yes. If possessing and maintaining your professional license, such as a teaching credential or medical license, is essential to your job, your employer can terminate you if the relevant board suspends or revokes your license or otherwise places the license on probation with terms and conditions. Your employer may also choose to take less drastic disciplinary action against you. You should always consult with an attorney and your employer to determine how agency disciplinary action against your license can affect your job and employment.
What Is an Administrative Hearing?
Before a board takes disciplinary action against you and your license, it will offer you the chance to appear at an administrative hearing before the relevant licensing board. At this hearing, you are entitled to present a defense and argue what, if any, discipline you believe is appropriate for your situation.
You can avoid a hearing by working toward a stipulated settlement. If you are unable to settle your case, the only option will be to appear at an administrative hearing before an administrative law judge. Should you fail to appear at a noticed hearing, you will be waiving your right to defend yourself, and the agency can act to summarily revoke, suspend, or discipline your license without your participation. A skilled, professional license defense attorney can assist you through the settlement and hearing processes.
Why Do I Need a Professional License Defense Lawyer?
When you’re notified that a complaint is being investigated, you have rights. You also may have a duty to cooperate with investigators. Simple mistakes like divulging too much information or failing to cooperate can lead to trouble.
An attorney who is intimately familiar with professional disciplinary investigations in California can guide you through this treacherous landscape and help you make the right decisions to protect your license and livelihood.
Speak to S J Harris Law Today About Your License
It is never too early to meet with an experienced professional license defense lawyer and discuss your case. With years of experience representing California nurses, teachers, and other professionals in disciplinary proceedings, SJ Harris Law can help you.
Whether you have just been notified of a complaint, have been contacted by investigators, or are facing an upcoming administrative hearing, contact S J Harris Law today to request your free consultation.