It takes years of education and training to earn your professional license. Once you have the credentials, you work even harder to obtain the job and position to make all the effort worth it. When your entire career is dependent on an occupational license, its suspension is one of the worst threats to your livelihood.
The best way to ensure your license remains in good standing is to understand how it can be put at risk. However, it is equally important to understand how to defend your license when it is put in jeopardy. At Bertolino LLP, our professional license defense attorneys in Texas are committed to protecting your career and reputation.
Professional License Violations that May Result in License Suspension and Criminal Consequences
Every occupation has a unique set of offenses that are pursued with greater tenacity. Criminal violations are the most common reasons for professional license suspension, including:
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- State or federal criminal conviction
Fraud is the intentional act to deceive, deprive, or otherwise obtain something of gain by unfair means. Healthcare fraud commonly involves misusing insurance information, like double charging for medical services. Fraud can have severe state and federal criminal consequences.
The use of illegal drugs, alcohol abuse, and controlled substances can profoundly impact your professional license. State boards are committed to maintaining sound judgment and safety. For instance, if a licensed contractor abuses prescription medication, they may make crucial calculation mistakes which can make a skyscraper sway.
Being Convicted of a Crime
If a professional is convicted of a federal or state crime, the suspension of their occupational license is almost guaranteed. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a common reason for temporary license suspension. However, convictions involving sexual assault and harassment are more likely to result in permanent license suspension as well as severe criminal penalties.
Non-Criminal Occupational License Violations May Also Suspend Your License
Not all license suspensions are due to criminal allegations and convictions. Behavior deemed morally unacceptable or a breach of public trust is also taken seriously by all professional licensing boards. The list of offenses involve:
Sexual misconduct: Consensual intimate relations that are considered inappropriate are often taken seriously by state boards. In many cases, psychiatrists who engage in sexual affairs with their patients have their licenses suspended.
Gross incompetence: Gross incompetence is the failure to uphold the standards set for a profession. Careless and negligent mistakes that put a patents life at risk or a client’s financial future in jeopardy can lead to license suspension.
Occupational regulation was derived from a need to establish a quality of service and care in the interests of public safety. It is critical to understand the general offenses that can lead to the suspension of your professional license as well as violations specific to your trade. If you believe your occupational license is in danger of suspension, there are important steps to take immediately.
You Must Take Swift Action If Your Professional License Is Suspended
If you have been accused of one of the offenses above, a licensing board can suspend your professional license as long as they follow the proper legal procedures. Processing the complaint against your services and conducting a proper investigation is all that is required. However, you may have grounds for an appeal.
The most common grounds for filing an appeal include:
Erroneous ruling: If you can demonstrate that the ruling clearly contradicted the evidence presented at your hearing, an appeal may be filed to reassess the facts.
Lack of evidence: For a board to approve the suspension of your license, they require a substantial amount of evidence that you committed the offense. One word against another would not be sufficient proof to revoke or suspend your professional license.
Errors in procedure: If you can demonstrate that the licensing board failed to follow the proper procedures during the investigation or hearing, you may have grounds for an appeal.
Biased or unfair ruling: If you can prove that the licensing board gave you an unfair ruling or that their judgment was based on something other than facts and evidence, you may have strong grounds for an appeal.
While filing an appeal on the grounds of innocence is tempting, the appeals court is not in place to argue guilt. Instead, it examines whether or not you were given due process by the licensing board. At Bertolino LLP, our talented litigators are here to advocate for your best interests.
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The Number of Careers Requiring a Professional License Continues to Increase
Occupational regulation through licensing is the strictest type of professional control. Sixty years ago, only 1 in 20 careers required a license. Now, more than 1 in 4 professions must obtain an occupational license.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
- 23% of full-time employees currently have an occupational license
- 17% of part-time employees have a professional license
- 11% of professionals with a license are unemployed
Over the years, safety concerns have driven the growth of licensed positions. Nearly every health care position requires a license. In addition, tattoo artists, body piercers, florists, and more have begun to be regulated by states across the country.
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A Professional License Defense Attorney Will Appeal Your License Suspension
Occupational regulation significantly affects your career opportunities. Licensing restricts competition by limiting job prospects. When you cannot afford to lose your professional license, look to an experienced law firm to appeal your case.
While appealing your case, your attorney may be able to request supersedeas relief. Supersedeas relief refers to a provision that will allow you to resume your licensed activities while your appeal is in process. However, it is important to note that you could face serious criminal penalties if you are denied supersedes relief and continue to practice.
Contact Our Firm for Help Today
After years of education and training, protecting your professional license should be your primary concern. If you need a Texas professional license defense attorney to protect your career, call the dedicated legal team of Bertolino LLP. We can schedule a consultation to discuss the details of your unique situation.