The Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR) licenses and regulates over forty professions in Texas. As the licensing body, the agency handles complaints against licensees and is empowered to impose sanctions against those it licenses, including administrative penalties for alleged rule violations.
Pursuant to the Texas Occupations Code, §51.302(c), the TDLR established an enforcement plan that provides ranges of penalties that apply to specific alleged violations, along with the criteria the agency will use to determine the amount of a proposed administrative penalty.
What Factors Does the Department Consider When Determining Administrative Penalties?
The factors considered by the TDLR in determining the amount of a proposed administrative penalty are:
- The severity or seriousness of the violation.
- Whether the violation was willful or intentional.
- Whether the Respondent acted in good faith to avoid or mitigate the violation, or to correct the violation after it became apparent.
- Whether the Respondent has 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.
Those factors will be considered regardless of which TDLR program the licensee is regulated under. However, each program has its own specific ranges of administrative penalties that may be imposed, as well as license sanctions, against its licensees. You can view the specific ranges of penalties and sanctions for each program here.
Under the Code, "Each day a violation continues or occurs is a separate violation for purposes of imposing a penalty." Texas Occupations Code, §51.302(a).
However, the ranges in the Enforcement Plan are not binding upon the TDLR. The agency's prosecuting attorneys are generally expected to seek penalties that are within the ranges presented for each program in the Enforcement Plan. In certain cases, a penalty outside the stated range is permissible when exceptional circumstances warrant a deviation from the Enforcement Plan and only with the express approval of the Department’s Director of Enforcement.
If the TDLR notifies you of a filed complaint or pending investigation, act quickly to mount a defense against the allegations. You do not want to face the licensing board alone. You need an experienced professional license defense attorney by your side, to advocate for your rights and protect your license.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients, we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation.
Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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