The Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR) is the licensing body for more than forty professions in the state of Texas. What this means for Texas professionals is that TDLR is the organization that sets the standards for licensure for these professions, maintains and enforces those standards, and engages in disciplinary action against licensees when it determines it necessary. As part of its disciplinary process, it investigates complaints it receives and ushers them to resolution.
As a licensing body, TDLR does not exist for the benefit of those to whom it grants licenses. Rather, licensees must have met standards in order to achieve licensure as a gatekeeping measure. TDLR's purpose is to protect the public from misbehavior that might otherwise occur—and the granting of a license is essentially an act by which TDLR promises the citizens of Texas that a particular licensee is worthy of public trust. Therefore the Department tends to act in a prosecutorial manner toward those accused of breaching this trust.
When TDLR's Enforcement Division receives a complaint—which may be submitted by a member of the public or another professional—it is funneled to its legal experts for review. This initial review determines whether TDLR has jurisdiction over the complaint. If so, it will then analyze whether there may be evidence indicating there has been a violation of Department rules for the licensee's profession.
If this is determined in the affirmative, TDLR will open a case for investigation. This is when TDLR will issue a letter to the licensee to inform them of the complaint and the ensuing investigation—and when the licensee is given their first opportunity to respond to the allegations made in the complaint.
The TDLR investigator who is assigned to the case will gather various forms of evidence on the case. This may include on-site investigations, as well as interviews of the person who made the complaint, the licensee, and any potential witnesses to the alleged behavior. These interviews may occur either via telephone or in-person.
After the investigation has been completed, the investigator submits a report to an attorney working as a prosecutor within TDLR, who makes a determination of how to proceed with the case's resolution based on a number of factors. If they determine that formal action should be pressed, they will issue a Notice of Alleged Violation and pursue either administrative penalties or sanctions against the professional's license—up to full revocation.
Contact a Texas professional license defense attoreny
So as soon as you are alerted to the existence of a complaint, you should call an experienced professional license defense attorney to help with your defense. BERTOLINO LLP proudly represents those fighting threats to their licenses across the entire State of Texas, and we have a solid track record of success. The earlier we are brought in, the more influence we may have on the shape of the investigation to come and craft an effective and dynamic defense.
To best serve our clients, we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.