What Is the Process of Defending Your Acupuncturist License Like?

Throughout California, holistic medicine has become a popular choice for treating and managing many health conditions. Acupuncture often helps patients feel better and is an alternative choice for treating many symptoms and illnesses. 

If you are an acupuncturist working in California, you must adhere to strict professional standards set forth by the California Acupuncture Board. Like any medical practitioner, acupuncturists are expected to treat patients safely and professionally. 

Because of these strict guidelines, acupuncturists are always at risk of formal complaints. These complaints can quickly turn into disciplinary action, and the consequences can negatively affect your career.

An acupuncture license defense lawyer can help fight any potential sanctions or disciplinary actions against you.

Formal Complaint

Anyone is capable of filing a formal complaint against you and your practice. Because acupuncturists are held to high professional standards, even a minor complaint puts you at risk of losing your license.

Some common complaints include:

  • Unethical conduct
  • Not following sanitary protocols
  • Violating California acupuncture provisions
  • Committing a crime 
  • Unprofessional conduct 
  • Poor or inadequate medical care
  • Insurance fraud
  • California Health Code violations
  • Failure to keep medical records
  • Substance abuse
  • Gross negligence

Any accusation is a serious matter and can result in a suspension or permanent revocation of your acupuncturist license.

The Legal Process

When a complaint is filed, the licensing board will review the accusation and either dismiss the case or launch an investigation.

If they decide to move forward, you will receive a “Notice of Investigation” as they look into the allegations.

An attorney can intervene during the investigation process and help you present a defense early on.

Stipulation Agreement

If the board proceeds to file an official accusation, the first step in defending your license may involve reaching a stipulated agreement. 

In this early stage, an acupuncture license defense lawyer will gather any evidence, challenge the accusation, and negotiate with the California Acupuncture Board.

If your attorney is successful, an agreement will be signed by both parties, and the complaint will be terminated under the corresponding terms. If not, the process will move to a formal hearing.

Formal Hearing

If your case proceeds to a hearing, your attorney will present any mitigating or exculpatory evidence, challenge the accusation, and fight to dismiss any charges. Both sides will present their case, and the board will make a final decision.

Disciplinary Actions 

The California Acupuncture Board has the power to hand down different disciplinary against you, including:

  • Expensive fines and citations 
  • Making public your violation 
  • Suspension of your license for a period of time
  • Revocation of your license indefinitely
  • Enforcing a probationary period on your license

Every complaint is unique and will require careful assessment on behalf of an acupuncture license defense lawyer in order to prevail in court.

Appeals Process

If you are not satisfied with the court’s ruling, you can appeal. There are two time frames for formal filing:

  • 30 days to appeal a final decision
  • 15 days to appeal a citation

Your attorney will advise you on the appeals process and whether you should seek to file an appeal.

Contact S J Harris Law today to consult about your acupuncture license defense.

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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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