Years of hard work and training are required for obtaining a professional license. Yet, one instance of misconduct can jeopardize a professional’s livelihood. A criminal conviction has the potential to cause a doctor, nurse, or teacher, for example, to face disciplinary proceedings. When facing a criminal investigation, it is critical for a licensed professional to seek legal counsel right away and to work with a defense lawyer who is experienced in both criminal defense and professional licensing matters. Decisions such as when to disclose an instance of misconduct must be made early in the course of representation.
While each licensing board operates in accordance with its own policies and procedures, the basic steps to the disciplinary process remain the same:
- The licensed professional receives a notice outlining the allegations against him or her;
- An investigator gathers reports, witness statements, and other pertinent evidence;
- An investigative report is sent to the licensing board to determine whether to pursue disciplinary action; and
- If a formal proceeding is initiated, the licensed professional must decide whether to enter into a consent agreement or proceed to a hearing before the board.
If you are facing an allegation of criminal misconduct—either related or unrelated to your work—you must consider the impact of a conviction on your professional license and how to navigate your licensing board. Whether the allegation of criminal misconduct deals with a standard of practice or a personal issue such as substance abuse or an inappropriate sexual relationship, having a lawyer experienced in both criminal and licensing investigations there to guide you will ensure a strong, coordinated defense to protect your reputation, license and career.
If you’re professional license is in jeopardy, we are here to help.