All professional licensing boards in Texas—including the Texas Board of Nursing, the Texas Medical Board, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, and the Texas Dental Board—can temporarily suspend a professional’s license under certain circumstances. Those named in license suspension hearings face a real risk of a long-term suspension or license revocation.
When State Health Care Boards Issue Temporary Suspensions
Agencies will enforce temporary and emergency suspensions if they believe a healthcare professional’s actions pose an immediate threat to public safety. Emergencies may include on-the-job substance abuse, threats of self-harm, or egregious medication dispensing violations.
For example, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy issued a temporary suspension against a pharmacy and pharmacist in late March 2017 for filling forged controlled substance prescriptions and failing to report controlled substance dispensation according to the Texas prescription drug monitoring program.
Agencies must schedule a hearing after issuing an emergency or temporary suspension to determine the validity of the suspension. Most temporary and emergency suspensions hearings occur 10-20 days after the issuance of a suspension order. Professionals under board scrutiny can take these steps to prepare for the hearing during the 10-20 day gap:
Step 1. Hire a Skilled Texas License Defense Attorney
You likely paid thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars for your schooling and professional license. Professionals who choose to represent themselves in these emergency hearings face a significant risk for more serious sanctions.
A professional license defense attorney will immediately work to collect evidence and build a case to prove an unfair suspension. Temporary suspension hearings are formal legal proceedings that involve the presentation of evidence, witness testimony, and more.
An experienced Texas attorney will guide you through the initial hearing as well as the long-term board complaint resolution process. License investigations can take months to resolve. Retain the services of a qualified attorney who will take point on your case while you focus on your career and self-care.
- Keep a Low Profile
Avoid taking part in any public or social activity that could hurt your case. For example, you may want to avoid social media, gatherings, and other activities until after the hearing. A license suspension can call all of your habits, your character, and your lifestyle into question. Don’t give complainants or the agency any fuel to use against you.
- Organize Your Information
Work with your attorney to collect and organize records, witness statements, and documentation that will help you disprove serious practice allegations. The outcome of the temporary suspension hearing will set the tone for the remaining investigation and sanctions.
A temporary suspension is a dire situation, but it is not the same as a license revocation. Use the time before your temporary/emergency suspension hearing to practice and prepare for your appearance in front of the licensing board and the State Office of Administrative Hearings (if applicable).
If a state agency suspended your professional license without notice, contact Bertolino LLP online or at (512) 476-5757. We can help you protect your license and your career.
BERTOLINO LLP proudly represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston and San Antonio.