As a professionally licensed building inspector, you've invested a lot into your career. You gained anywhere from 1-5 years of field experience after your initial education, and you've had additional training and testing to gain your professional license. Your entire career depends on maintaining that license in good standing.
Your license, however, can be at risk from a single formal complaint or allegation of misconduct or incompetence. Just the threat of disciplinary action against your license can turn your world upside down. The worry of losing your license or being fined more than you can pay can weigh heavily on you. Will the allegations themselves, without even a finding of guilt, have an impact on your career?
If you wind up in this unfortunate situation, you'll want to prepare yourself with the best information possible. The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team has a long track record of nationwide success and the experience to help find the best possible resolution. Give us a call at (888) 535-3686 at the first sign of trouble to give us maximum time to start building your defense.
What Allegations Can Put My License at Risk?
There are many allegations that can result in an official complaint with the body that oversees licensing in your state. There can be some variations from state to state, but offenses will be very similar in every state.
One common offense is acting outside the scope of your license. Most states have different The Lento Law Firm Team can help you in any state in the US. If you are found to be performing services beyond the scope of your license or if you misrepresent what you are licensed to do to clients, your license could be suspended or revoked.
Unprofessional conduct is a pretty broad term, but it could involve any kind of sexual misconduct or abusive behavior toward colleagues, clients, or any other person with whom you come into contact in your professional work. It can also include abusive behavior or violating the code of conduct established by your licensing board.
Falsifying records is a huge threat to your career and your license. If you certify a building as being code compliant that you know to be out of code, for example, you will probably be at risk of losing your license.
There are many other examples, but they can all lead to an investigation and some kind of disciplinary action from your licensing body.
What Other Disciplinary Actions Could I Face?
Not every offense will lead directly to revocation of your license. Your regulatory board can choose to impose other sanctions against you that levy a punishment of some sort but stop short of taking away your license.
Short of revoking your license, the board may opt to suspend it temporarily pending a review after meeting certain criteria. You may also receive a financial penalty in the form of fines. It is also possible for you to be put on probation for a certain period of time, where you can keep your license and continue inspecting with certain conditions or restrictions.
Similar to probation, you can receive some sort of limitations on your licensure. You could be restricted to only performing certain activities or certain types of inspections. If your offense is determined to be the result of a gap in your knowledge or training, the governing board could impose continuing education requirements to fill those gaps in your learning.
Finally, the board may issue a formal, written reprimand that will appear on your public record.
What Will the Disciplinary Process Look Like?
Each state board that oversees building inspector licenses has its own procedures for investigating complaints and meting out discipline, but most of the processes are going to be similar.
Most disciplinary processes will begin with a complaint being filed with the licensing body in your state. Complaints can come from employers, colleagues, clients, or someone else with whom you work.
The complaint will trigger an investigation by the licensing board to determine whether the complaint has merit and whether there is enough evidence to support the allegations. During the investigation, witnesses can be interviewed, documents can be subpoenaed, and you will be asked to issue your formal response to the complaint.
Following this investigation, if the board feels there is significant evidence to back up the claim against you, they may give you an opportunity to sign a consent decree or consent order. This legal document obligates you to voluntarily submit to disciplinary action recommended by the board to avoid a formal disciplinary hearing. It is strongly recommended that you consult with experienced professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento before signing anything.
If no consent order is given or is not signed, your case can move to a formal hearing. This is a legal proceeding to determine the status of your license and/or what other disciplinary action may be taken against you. The hearing may be overseen by your licensing board or an Administrative Law Judge. As this is a legal proceeding, you are allowed to have your legal representation present for the hearing.
At the conclusion of the hearing, a final determination will be made to uphold or dismiss the complaint, and appropriate disciplinary action will be determined. You will have the right to appeal any adverse action, though they are rarely overturned.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
At numerous points in the process, you or your attorney may negotiate for the complaint to be dismissed or resolved without taking it to a hearing. The Lento Law Firm professional license defense team works in all 50 states to improve your chances of getting through the process with little or no damage to your professional career.
Hiring Attorney Joseph D. Lento early in the process allows more chances for his team to intervene on your behalf, often resolving the complaint before it even gets to the formal hearing stage. In many cases, we can get the complaint dismissed with no blemishes on your record.