Disciplinary sanctions can vary widely according to the rules and laws that govern your professional licensure. As a result, you can face a range of sanctions if your licensing board finds that you have violated a rule or law. Furthermore, every case is different. As a result, just because one person receives a particular sanction for one type of misconduct doesn’t always mean that you will receive the same sanction. 

General Sanctions that You Can Face Before a Licensing Board

Following are some examples of the types of sanctions that members of different occupations might face during disciplinary proceedings before their licensing boards. While some of the sanctions are the same, others differ. Therefore, if the licensing board or agency finds that you have violated the rules or laws that govern your profession following a formal investigation, you could face the following types of sanctions:

  • Written warnings or reprimands that remain on your permanent record
  • Required remedial or continuing education
  • Additional monitoring or reporting requirements
  • Monetary penalties or fines
  • Participation in substance abuse counseling or treatment programs
  • Drug testing
  • Probation
  • License suspension
  • License revocation

Board of Nursing Disciplinary Sanctions

The Board of Nursing has various sanctions that you could receive for a violation of the law or rules and regulations that govern the conduct of nurses. These potential sanctions may include:

  • Warnings 
  • Reprimands
  • Fines
  • Remedial education requirements
  • Probation
  • License suspensions
  • License revocations
  • Voluntary surrenders of licenses

These sanction options are similar to the sanctions licensing boards can impose for professional or occupational misconduct in other fields. 

Texas Medical Board Sanctions

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) oversees doctors and physician assistants, acupuncturists, medical radiological technologists, respiratory care practitioners, medical physicists, perfusionists, and surgical assistants. When a patient or another person files a complaint against one of these medical professionals, the TMB can impose a range of sanctions, including:

  • Fines
  • Public reprimands
  • Restrictions on your ability to perform specific procedures or treat certain types of patients
  • Required practice or chart monitor
  • Remedial education
  • Drug or alcohol testing
  • Completion of substance abuse treatment programs or rehabilitation
  • License suspension or revocation

Depending on the nature of your case, the TMB could recommend one or a combination of these sanctions. 

State Bar of Texas

The State Bar of Texas regulates lawyers and processes complaints about lawyers. If they find that disciplinary action is warranted, they can order sanctions on licensed attorneys that may include:

  • Private or public reprimands
  • Suspensions or probated suspensions
  • Payment of restitution
  • Payment of attorney’s fees connected with the disciplinary proceedings
  • Disbarment

Again, the State Bar could impose one or more of these sanctions based on the facts of your case. 

Factors that Affect the Sanctions You may Receive

Various factors can affect what sanctions you receive in a particular situation, such as your past disciplinary history and the severity of your alleged misconduct. The specific factors that a licensing board must consider may vary under the different rules and laws that establish and govern each board. Still, many are pretty similar from one licensing board to another.

TMB Factors for Consideration

For instance, the TMB must consider the following factors under Tex. Occ. Code § 165.003(b)(1)-(6) in determining the amount of administrative penalty to impose in disciplinary cases:

  • The severity of the violation, including
    • The type, factual circumstances, and seriousness of your actions
    • The danger or risk of danger that your actions created for the health, safety, and welfare of the public
  • Any financial losses caused by your actions
  • Any history of disciplinary violations
  • The amount that is sufficient to prevent you from committing future violations
  • Any other relevant circumstances

TDLR Factors for Consideration

Similarly, the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) oversees disciplinary proceedings for various occupations, from air conditioning technicians to midwives. The TDLR must consider the following factors in deciding the amount of a fine or the degree of a proposed sanction:

  • The severity or seriousness of the violation
  • Whether the violation was willful or intentional
  • Whether you acted in good faith to avoid or mitigate the violation or to correct the violation when it became apparent
  • Whether you engaged in similar violations in the past
  • The level of penalty or sanction necessary to deter future violations
  • Any other matter that justice may require

State Bar of Texas Factors for Consideration

In considering the sanctions to impose during disciplinary proceedings for licensed attorneys, the State Bar of Texas must take into account the following factors:

  • Nature and degree of the professional misconduct
  • The seriousness of and circumstances surrounding the professional misconduct
  • Loss or damage to clients
  • Damage to the profession
  • Assurance that those who seek legal services in the future will be insulated from the type of professional misconduct
  • Profit to the attorney
  • Avoidance of repetition
  • Deterrent effect
  • Maintenance of respect for the legal profession
  • Your conduct during the disciplinary proceedings
  • Your disciplinary history

Allow Us to Represent Your Interests Before Your Licensing Board

If you face a complaint from the licensing board for your profession, you need to act immediately to protect your license and career. As you can see, the sanctions that you may receive during disciplinary proceedings before your licensing board can be quite severe. Your goal is to avoid or minimize these sanctions at all costs and preserve your clean record to the greatest degree possible, which you may be able to do with the help of an experienced license defense attorney. Contact Bertolino LLP today at (512) 515-9518 or visit us online. 

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