Potential Sanctions by the Texas Optometry Board in Disciplinary Proceedings

The Texas Optometry Board (the Board) licenses, monitors, and regulates doctors of optometry. This agency’s job is to ensure that optometrists follow the Texas Optometry Act (the Act) and other rules and laws that govern their profession. As a result, when someone files a complaint against one of these professionals, the Board evaluates, investigates, and processes the complaint. 

Failure to comply with these laws can lead to disciplinary action by the Board, including license revocation, suspension, or probation. You have a lot at stake once you have completed the years of education and training to become an optometrist. Therefore, if you receive a complaint against your license, we urge you to seek the counsel of an experienced optometrist license defense attorney if you face allegations of misconduct related to your licensure. 

Resolution of Complaints by the Board

The Board has various ways to resolve complaints that it receives about optometrists. After it classifies and investigates complaints, the Investigation-Enforcement Committee of the Board can take the following options:

  • Dismissing the complaint, referring to other resources if appropriate, and taking no further action;
  • Sending a cease and desist, warning, or reprimand letter to the optometrist;
  • Conducting a further investigation;
  • Reporting to the Board that the optometrist may have committed a violation and proposing a remedial plan;
  • Reporting to the Board that an individual is practicing without a license and recommending a referral to the attorney general or district attorney; or
  • Forwarding findings to the Executive Director to issue a remedial plan or penalties.

Potential Sanctions

Sanctions in General

Sanctions in a disciplinary case before the Board can vary widely depending on the severity of the conduct and violations involved. Under Tex. Occ. Code Sec. 351.501(d), the Board can revoke or suspend an optometrist’s license or place the optometrist on probation for a specified period for violating the Act or other rules or laws that govern the profession.

Temporary Suspensions or Restrictions of Licenses

Under Sec. 351.5015, a three-member Board disciplinary panel can determine that an optometrist’s license should be temporarily suspended or restricted. If the evidence shows that the optometrist’s continued practice would pose a continuing threat to the public welfare, the panel shall temporarily suspend or restrict their license. If the panel follows proper procedural safeguards, the panel can issue a temporary suspension or restriction without notice to the optometrist. These safeguards include giving immediate notice of the suspension or restriction and scheduling a hearing as soon as possible.

Placement on Probation

In some cases, the Board may suspend or revoke an optometrist’s license but probate the suspension or revocation based on the completion of certain conditions. If the Board places an optometrist on probation, it can require the optometrist to do the following under Sec. 351.506:

  • Report regularly to the board on matters that are the basis of the probation;
  • Limit practice to the areas prescribed by the board; or 
  • Continue or review professional education until the license holder attains a degree of skill satisfactory to the board in those areas that are the basis of the probation.

The Board will then continue to monitor the optometrist for compliance with the conditions of probation. At any time while the optometrist remains on probation, the Board can rescind the order of probation and impose the original order suspending or revoking the optometrist’s license for violating the terms of probation or other good cause. A rescission of probation only occurs once the optometrist has had the chance to attend a formal disciplinary hearing with the Board.

Physical or Mental Examinations

If necessary, the Board also can require the optometrist to undergo a physical or mental examination by a physician or other medical professional as designated by the Board. Typically, an examination requirement would occur in a situation in which the optometrist’s alleged violations relate to substance abuse or mental illness.

Administrative Penalties

Under Sec. 351.552 et seq., the Board also may assess administrative penalties against optometrists for violating the Act. The penalty may be, at most, $2,500 per violation. Each day a violation continues is a separate violation to assess administrative penalties. The Board has developed a standardized schedule for administrative penalties but considers the following factors in determining the appropriate amount of the penalty in a particular case:

  • the seriousness of the violation, including the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of any prohibited acts, and the hazard or potential hazard created to the health, safety, or economic welfare of the public;
  • the economic harm to property or the environment caused by the violation;
  • the history of previous violations;
  • the amount necessary to deter a future violation;
  • efforts to correct the violation; and
  • any other matter that justice may require.


The regulatory oversight provided by the Texas Optometry Board is crucial for upholding the standards of the optometry profession and ensuring public safety. However, facing disciplinary action from the Board can be daunting and may have significant consequences for optometrists. Understanding the potential sanctions that could result from disciplinary proceedings, ranging from license revocation and suspension to probation and administrative penalties, is essential. Seeking the guidance of an experienced optometrist license defense attorney is paramount in navigating these complex proceedings and advocating for the best possible outcome. With legal representation, optometrists can work to protect their professional reputations, careers, and livelihoods while addressing allegations of misconduct related to licensure.

We Can Help Protect Your Optometrist License

Contact your optometrist license defense lawyer immediately if you face misconduct allegations over your professional license. Our law firm helps professionals like you safeguard their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a licensing board. We are here to help you fight back to protect your optometrist license and preserve your career. Call us today at (512) 515-9518 to reach the offices of Bertolino LLP, or contact us online.

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