Can’t I Just Call and Explain Myself to My Licensing Board When I Receive Notice of a Complaint?

You have completed your education and earned your professional or occupational license. However, a complaint against you now has the potential to threaten your career. You have too much at stake to try and handle a complaint and potential disciplinary action on your own. Instead, call an experienced license defense lawyer to assist you in protecting your rights and your reputation. By getting legal representation, you can also better understand the types of sanctions you may face in disciplinary proceedings.

You may think that the complaint notice you have received from your licensing board is a big misunderstanding or that you can easily explain your side of the story to resolve the matter. However, resolving disciplinary complaints that implicate your license is rarely that simple. Once a licensing board has gone to the trouble of giving you notice of a complaint, they are unlikely to dismiss it unless you can back up your version of events with competent evidence and compelling arguments based on the laws and rules that govern the board.

You Need Legal Counsel to Present Evidence on Your Behalf

Objectively presenting evidence is difficult, if not impossible, to do when you are emotionally involved with the matter you are facing. For example, in a disciplinary complaint, your license and your ability to earn a living are on the line. You will likely be upset, angry, stressed, and generally personally involved with your case. Making objective arguments based on evidence and the law while keeping your emotions in check can be challenging and likely unsuccessful. Allowing your attorney to present evidence on your behalf objectively will put you in the best position to defend yourself successfully and your license.

Furthermore, while you may be a highly educated professional, you are not a lawyer (in most cases). Therefore, you do not necessarily have the in-depth understanding of laws, rules, and procedures necessary to convince a disciplinary board that you have committed no violations. Even if you are an attorney defending yourself against a disciplinary complaint, while you may have the legal skills necessary to defend yourself, you may not have the objectivity needed to present a successful defense.

You Risk Revealing Evidence to Be Used Against You or Further Violations

In your efforts to be honest and completely transparent with your licensing board, you may risk inadvertently admitting to violating a law or rule. You also may provide additional evidence that is detrimental to your case that the licensing board previously did not have. In other words, by talking directly to your licensing board and attempting to explain your actions, you may unwittingly make your situation worse.

By engaging legal counsel, you can ensure that you do not volunteer any information that would endanger your case or lead to further findings of violations. You also can avoid making statements that the licensing board may construe as inconsistent, partially dishonest, or non-responsive. With an experienced license defense lawyer to assist you, you can control the narrative of your defense and avoid common missteps that may drag out or worsen your disciplinary proceedings.

The Licensing Board is Not on Your Side

It is not unusual for a licensing board investigator to tell you that they just want to get to the truth, that it will be better if you cooperate, and that telling your story will resolve the matter more quickly. However, your licensing board is not a neutral party. The board investigates complaints and prosecutes any rule or law violations through disciplinary proceedings. Simply put, they are not on your side, no matter how nice they are to you or how helpful they seem.

Only an attorney of your choice is truly in your corner and ready to represent your best interests in disciplinary proceedings. You cannot rely on board investigators to advocate for you, take your side, or interpret evidence in your favor. They are doing their jobs, which is not to represent or benefit you in any way.

Investigators also may mislead you during the investigative process, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Remember, they are not there to advise, explain the rules and procedures, or answer questions about what you can expect. Plus, the more time you spend speaking to investigators and other board staff members, the higher the risk of inadvertently divulging information that can harm your case. Therefore, you cannot and should not rely on any representations they make about your case. The only source of valid information and advice is your attorney, who can guide you through the complex process of disciplinary proceedings before your licensing board.

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Count on Bertolino LLP, to Defend Your License from Disciplinary Action

When a complaint threatens your ability to earn a living, you need a seasoned license defense attorney on your side. We will defend you against these attacks on the credentials you have worked so hard to earn. Get in touch with the lawyers of Bertolino LLP today by calling (512) 515-9518 or visiting us online.

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