The rules and laws that relate to professional disciplinary proceedings can be complex. Disciplinary proceedings progress to an administrative hearing if you cannot resolve the complaint informally and the matter becomes contested. Attending a hearing before an administrative law judge requires knowledge of the unique rules that apply to these administrative disciplinary proceedings. As a result, you may need to contact a Texas licensing board defense attorney for assistance if you receive notice of a complaint against your license. 

While you can represent yourself in professional disciplinary proceedings, doing so is likely not in your best interest, for several reasons. You could end up in a worse position than you are to begin with, and you already have a lot at stake in disciplinary proceedings. No matter how foolish you believe the allegations against you to be, the outcome of a disciplinary complaint can be devastating for your personal and professional life. As a result, you must take these proceedings seriously, no matter the circumstances, to avoid an unwanted result. 

Hire a Professional When You Need a Professional

When you are facing a complaint that threatens your professional or occupational license or certification, you likely are experiencing some degree of stress about its resolution. This stress may cause you to overestimate your abilities and make poor decisions. When you are under stress, you are not working at an optimum level, and your emotions may negatively change your ability to properly represent your interests. 

Moreover, you are not an expert in representing people during disciplinary proceedings, and in most cases, you are not a lawyer. If you have a broken leg, you go to a doctor. If your car breaks down, you call a mechanic. If you need help with your taxes, you see an accountant. And if a complaint has resulted in disciplinary proceedings that may threaten your professional or occupational license, then you hire a lawyer. No one else has the skill and knowledge necessary to understand or represent you in disciplinary proceedings before your licensing board and agency. You may be able to read the statutes and rules that apply to your profession and disciplinary proceedings, but that doesn’t mean that you understand how they work in practice.  

Don’t Take a Chance When the Stakes Are High

In most occupations and professions, minor violations of rules and laws can result in warning letters and reprimands. However, repeated minor violations and more serious violations can have more severe repercussions, including the suspension and revocation of your license or certification. Even if your suspension is probated, you may be subject to ongoing unwanted conditions, including restrictions on your area of practice, periodic reporting to your licensing agency, commission, or board, undergoing drug or alcohol treatment or testing, or be subject to supervision by another professional. You may have to undergo mental health evaluations or counseling and complete additional continuing education requirements. You also may be assessed administrative penalties or fees. 

With the stakes so high in disciplinary proceedings, you cannot afford to represent yourself. You will need the benefit of the professional advice that only an experienced attorney can give you. Absent this advice and guidance, you risk losing your ability to support yourself, your career, and in some cases, the business and client or patient base that you have looked to build over many years. 

You May End Up Making Matters Worse

Particularly if the complaint against you seems to be unfounded or far-fetched, your first inclination may be to explain your side of the story to the disciplinary board or commission to quickly resolve the matter. Unfortunately, an attempt to explain yourself may be the worst possible step that you could take in this situation. 

Allowing an attorney to review any response that you make to a complaint or any communications that you have with a licensing board or agency ensures that you will not inadvertently worsen your position. For instance, in speaking to agency staff directly, you may give them more evidence to use against you in your disciplinary proceedings by providing them with previously unknown information. You also may unknowingly admit to some action that violates a rule or law, even if you weren’t aware of it. Doing so can lead to more allegations of violations against you. 

No matter how friendly agency staff or investigators may seem, or how honest they encourage you to be about your situation, their role is not to help you. Their only interest is in investigating the complaint and figuring out whether you broke a rule or violated a law. They are not there to defend you or help you in any way, and they are not on your side. You need legal representation by a professional who is on your side from the outset of your disciplinary proceedings and will guide your throughout every step of the proceedings. 

Get Help Defending Your Professional License Today

A complaint can significantly affect your career and your ability to support yourself. Disciplinary action against you may result in the suspension or revocation of your license. However, you may avoid these damaging consequences with the right defense from the outset of your case. Contact the license defense attorneys at Bertolino LLP so that we can investigate your case. You can call our office at (512) 515-9518 or visit us online to get more information about the services we can offer you.

Call or text (512) 476-5757 or complete a Case Evaluation form