Have you received a complaint notice from your Texas licensing board? If your professional license is under attack by a state agency or licensing board, you are likely under stress and wondering what you need to do to protect your career.
The following are five frequently asked questions about license defense and what to do if you're dealing with a formal complaint. If you have other questions or need to speak with a Texas license defense lawyer, call BERTOLINO LLP today at (512) 717-5432.
- I received a complaint letter informing me that I'm being investigated by a Texas state licensing Board. What does this mean?
Being investigated by your licensing board means that a person, entity, or possibly the board itself has lodged a complaint against you for alleged malfeasance, such as violating a board rule, failure to meet the standard of care, or violating an ethical rule of your profession.
A complaint or letter of investigation is a very serious matter. Your license, and correspondingly your livelihood, may be at risk. The Board may place your license on probation or revoke it entirely. We urge you to take immediate steps to defend yourself and to hire an experienced license defense attorney as soon as you receive a complaint letter.
- What are my legal options after receiving a complaint notice?
Generally speaking, after receiving a complaint notice you can attempt to handle the matter yourself by responding to the allegations on your own, take no action and hope the complaint goes away, or hire an attorney to defend you and your license.
Even if you feel the allegations are baseless, hiring an attorney to defend you is the option that will give you the best chance of a favorable outcome in your case.
Ignoring the complaint is one of the worst things you can do. It will not go away just because you do not respond to it. If you ignore the complaint you may miss important deadlines or forego certain defenses. If you do nothing, depending on the licensing board, it is possible that your license will be revoked. Trying to get a license reinstated after revocation is extremely difficult.
- Now that the licensing board is investigating me, what will happen next?
What happens during and after the investigation stage depends largely on what licensing board you are dealing with. The complaint and enforcement process is different with each Texas state licensing board and regulatory agency.
In general, after the investigation is complete the board will decide if taking disciplinary action is warranted. The case against you may be resolved by informal resolution where you may negotiate the disciplinary action the board will impose, or by formal resolution at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). If you are dissatisfied with the formal SOAH case resolution, you may appeal the ruling to the district court.
- Should I call the Board to ask questions about what will happen next?
No. Oftentimes, license-holders will call the board or investigator assigned to their case to ask questions about what to do next. Then, in their urge to express to the board their innocence they make responsive statements in connection with the pending investigation. All statements made to the board or agents of the board may be construed as admissions of guilt and can severely damage your case.
It is best to speak with a license defense attorney with particular experience handling matters before your licensing board. Your attorney will be able to answer your questions about what will happen next and explain to you the licensing board's entire complaint and investigation process.
- Do I really need an attorney?
To ensure the best possible outcome in the case against you – yes, you absolutely need an attorney. And you have the right to representation from the start of an investigation and through every stage of the complaint and enforcement process.
For assistance in defending your license, do not seek help from the investigator or any other Board personnel. The licensing board's mission and purpose is to protect the public, not to help you defend your license. Our best practice recommendation is to seek the advice of an experienced and dedicated license defense attorney as soon as possible.
Hire the Experienced License Defense Attorneys of BERTOLINO LLP
The attorney at BERTOLINO LLP know how to carefully research every potential case. We know where to look for evidence and how to use that information to build a successful legal strategy. We know federal and state law and we understand how each Texas state licensing board operates. Our firm is prepared to represent you at every stage of the complaint process.
We provide aggressive advocacy for our clients who are facing disciplinary action from a licensing board, agency, or commission in Texas. Our Firm has an impeccable reputation throughout the Lone Star State. Founder and Managing Partner, Tony R. Bertolino holds a 10 Superb top attorney Avvo Rating.
"I was recently asked an interesting question by a prospective client: What distinguishes your law firm from other law firms? And I got to thinking about it and it seems to me there are three things, three distinguishing qualities that I've recognized since I've begun my own practice. First is the compassion. Secondly is the attentiveness. And thirdly is the aggressiveness."
- Tony R. Bertolino, Founding Attorney
We offer the following free resources:
- The Do's and Don'ts of Appearing Before the Texas Medical Board (TMB)
- The Do's and Don'ts of Appearing Before the Texas Board of Nursing (BON)
- The Do's and Don'ts of Appearing Before the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)
- Expert Articles
- Newsletter Library
The professional license defense lawyers at BERTOLINO LLP have consistently won significant cases for doctors, nurses, lawyers, architects, pharmacists and other professionals dealing with issues that could jeopardize their ability to work. We know how to build a persuasive case to protect your license - and your livelihood. Our results speak for themselves.
If your professional license is at risk of suspension or revocation, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. 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.