A letter from a licensing board can strike terror into the hearts of nurses, contractors, and other licensed professionals. If you lose your license, you could lose your livelihood.
Some professionals attempt to defend themselves. Others simply ignore the disciplinary process and allow the licensing board to act based on only part of the story. However, your best option is to hire a license defense attorney to handle your disciplinary case.
Here are a few reasons it’s a good idea to do so.
The Role of the License Defense Attorney
A license defense attorney helps you fight against professional discipline, mounting a defense in the disciplinary case against you and ensuring the best possible outcome.
Your lawyer will perform several key functions in your licensing case, including:
- Investigating the licensing board’s case against you
- Protecting your right to a fair hearing
- Ensuring the licensing board follows its disciplinary rules
- Presenting evidence and arguments against a disciplinary action
Hiring a legal professional won’t guarantee that you’ll keep your license, but your attorney will hold the licensing board accountable and try to get the best outcome possible.
Reasons to Hire a License Defense Attorney
Licensing boards are different from other types of tribunals. In many cases, the board is a non-governmental or quasi-governmental agency. As such, it might not operate under the same rules or procedures as courts.
Bringing in a lawyer will keep the licensing board honest. Licensing boards usually try to avoid judicial oversight, and as such, the members will avoid creating issues that will give you a basis for a lawsuit or an appeal of its decision.
Some ways a lawyer can help you fight a disciplinary proceeding include:
Protecting Your Procedural Rights
Every licensing board has procedural rules that govern disciplinary proceedings. These rules tell you:
- How much time you have to respond to accusations
- What evidence can be used against you
- How you can cross-examine or dispute the evidence against you
- What the board must prove to discipline you
- How the board chooses a punishment
Your lawyer will ensure the disciplinary board follows its own rules and gives you a fair hearing. The lawyer can also document any breaches of the rules so you can appeal or file a lawsuit to challenge the outcome.
Negotiating for a Fair Outcome
Some allegations lack any basis in fact, while others might have a kernel of truth that exposes you to disciplinary action.
A lawyer can try to find a way to negotiate an outcome that fits the violation, often by presenting mitigating evidence and counseling their clients about steps they can take to improve their position with the board. For example, your attorney might advise you to enter rehab if the allegations involve substance abuse.
A skilled lawyer might be able to negotiate with the board to issue a reprimand or suspension rather than a complete revocation of your license, ensuring you can continue your career.
Trying to Avoid a Criminal Case
In the worst-case scenario, your disciplinary case could lead to criminal charges. A lawyer can balance your need to defend yourself in a disciplinary case with your need to build a criminal defense against potential charges.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation
Whether you work as a cosmetologist or an attorney, it likely took years of hard work to obtain your credentials. Contact S J Harris Law for a complimentary consultation with a license defense attorney to discuss your disciplinary case and how you can defend your future.