If you are a licensed professional working in Texas, you have a board or agency that oversees professionals employed in your field. This is true whether you’re a teacher, a pharmacist, or a realtor. These governing bodies all take their jobs protecting Texas consumers and citizens quite seriously,
That is why all of these boards have a complaint process. Someone can file a complaint against a professional and that professional can face an investigation, one which can result in a variety of consequences.
If your board has accused you of professional misconduct, you may be facing disciplinary action yourself. Your first priority should be fighting back and forming your defense. That is why hiring a professional license defense attorney is the obvious next step and the best thing that you can do to avoid disciplinary action.
What a Professional License Defense Attorney Can Do For You
Every board has their methods for investigating complaints and potentially doling out disciplinary actions. You have due process and the right to formulate a defense at every stage of this investigation process, so you need to make sure that you are doing everything that you can to defend your career and your livelihood.
This is why hiring a lawyer is a wise move if you have been accused of professional misconduct. While having an attorney by your side during the complaint is not required, a professional license defense lawyer has experience that you do not. Our attorneys are familiar with the complaint and investigation processes of state regulators, and we will do everything in our power to protect you from disciplinary action.
A state board or agency can punish professional license holders in a variety of ways. They can issue fines or suspend your license. They can limit where and how you can practice in your field. They can even revoke your license entirely. Therefore hiring a lawyer who can help you defend yourself needs to be your first step once you have been accused of professional misconduct.
Forming Your Response
Once you have been notified that a complaint has been filed against you, you need to begin thinking about how to respond. A lawyer can help with this. Our license defense attorneys have plenty of experience navigating this process.
In most cases, sending a response letter will be our first step. This initial response can help convince an investigator that the complaint lacks merit or that this issue is outside of the jurisdiction of the state board or agency. If this response letter succeeds, sometimes the complaint will end up getting dismissed outright. If the complaint does not get dismissed, sometimes our response letter can at least help limit the scope of the investigation.
If an investigator decides that the complaint has merit, the next stage is usually an informal settlement conference. This is where you essentially get to make your case in front of some members of the board and disciplinary action can be decided on. Professionals need to be careful about what they say here and make sure that they do not incriminate themselves. This is another reason why you should hire a lawyer to aid in your defense.
At an informal settlement conference, an agreed board order may be reached. This can settle the dispute, but it often comes with penalties. A professional can weigh their options and could decide that the punishment is ultimately acceptable if it means that this incident could be put behind them. A license defense lawyer can assist in this evaluation and make sure that the agreed board order is a favorable agreement for you.
If an agreed board order is rejected by either side, then it is time for a hearing with a judge from the State Office of Administrative Hearings. An attorney can help you navigate these legal proceedings and fight for the best possible outcome.
If you have been accused of professional misconduct, do not delay. Contact a license defense lawyer from BERTOLINO LLP and get ready to respond to this complaint today. Call (512) 476-5757 to learn more about how we can help you and what we have done for professionals in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.