Florida Professional License Defense Lawyer
A complaint lodged against a licensee in any profession is a serious matter and needs to be addressed proactively. If you are the subject of a complaint, or have been accused of any criminal activity or professional wrongdoing, not only is your reputation on the line, but the possibility of losing your license and thus the ability to earn your livelihood, is real and imminent. It is imperative that you respond appropriately and contact an attorney who is experienced in the realm of license defense.
According to Florida statutes, there are myriad acts that constitute grounds for which disciplinary actions may be taken against you. They include:
- Making misleading, deceptive, or fraudulent representations in or related to the practice of your profession.
- Intentionally violating any rule adopted by your professional board or the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
- Attempting to obtain or renew a license to practice a profession by bribery or fraudulent misrepresentation.
- Failing to perform any legal obligation placed upon the licensee.
Professional Regulatory Boards
In addition, each professional regulatory board promulgates its own list of violations and can authorize its own investigations. For example, doctors may face disciplinary action for medication violations, prescription fraud, patient abuse or faulty record keeping. Lawyers, for not representing their clients competently, improper billing, or failure to return a client’s documents.
License Citation and Revocation
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation as well as the state’s regulatory boards can issue citations against a licensee when the severity of the violation does not warrant license suspension or revocation or in cases where a consumer complaint has not been filed. But even these citations can impair a licensee’s reputation and should be addressed with the help of legal counsel so that they can be resolved satisfactorily. If a citation is not addressed, it can trigger a more serious disciplinary action, resulting in an accusation against the licensee, and an administrative hearing.
Challenging a License Suspension or Revocation
In cases where a complaint has advanced to an administrative hearing before a Hearing Officer, legal counsel is necessary in order to defend a licensee against serious allegations of unethical, unprofessional, or illegal conduct. The goal is to challenge any license suspension or revocation by successfully contesting the allegations that formed the basis of the complaint. A secondary goal is to attempt to reduce the severity of any sanctions that can prevent the licensee from continuing to successfully practice his or her profession.
In some cases, an investigator or a prosecuting attorney will petition the Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for an Interim Suspension Order (ISO) of a license. This is only done in cases where it is suspected that any continuation of a licensee’s business or practice is an immediate and provable threat to public safety. In Florida, ISOs are usually requested only a few dozen times each year. Even so, an attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law is an important ally who can keep you from losing your ability to earn a living.
Filing an Appeal
An attorney can also help file an appeal to a decision made by an Administrative Law Judge who recommends that a license be suspended or revoked, as well as in cases where a licensee wishes to have a previously revoked license reinstated. In all cases of license defense, the services of a knowledgeable and competent attorney are both necessary and invaluable.