The Lento Law Firm Can Help If Your California Physician's License Is in Jeopardy
If you are a licensed physician in California who is facing disciplinary actions from the Medical Board of California, you are likely concerned as to the repercussions you could face. Rightly so, you worked hard to obtain your license, and you always felt you conducted yourself with the utmost professionalism. Thus, it may come as a complete shock to you to learn of the Board's investigation into alleged wrongdoing, and you may not know where to turn to get the help you need.
Professional license disciplinary proceedings pose serious risks to any licensed professionals, but physicians in particular may face considerable challenges considering the awesome responsibility they have in caring for their patients and ensuring their safety and well-being.
You don't have to lose everything you've worked so hard to achieve, and you need an experienced professional license defense attorney to help see you through. Considering all that's at stake, you don't want to place such an important matter in the hands of an unqualified attorney, and you need a legal advocate on your side with extensive experience defending licensed professionals against disciplinary proceedings.
The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team is your best defense for your California physician license disciplinary actions. Your defense attorney can evaluate your case, advise you of your options, and advocate for you to help you get the most favorable outcome possible. We represent physicians in large urban areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as physicians in smaller markets such as Redding, Santa Barbara, and Carlsbad.
Medical Board of California License Proceedings
Do not think that the Medical Board of California has no authority or inclination to suspend or revoke your license. The Board publishes that it “may take legal action against the licensee” as necessary to “protect health care consumers and prevent harm through proper licensing and regulation of physicians.” Specific consequences will depend on the nature and severity of the violation, which can include license suspension or revocation, and any disciplinary action will become part of the physician's record.
The Medical Board of California maintains an Online License Search page that publishes the license status of certain licensed physicians throughout the state. Patients and other interested parties can search the database to check on the status of a physician's license and find out if the doctor has any disciplinary actions against them.
The Board won't hesitate to discipline you if it finds you committed physician misconduct, and numerous physicians across the state have experienced considerable hardships after facing serious disciplinary actions.
If you are a licensed physician practicing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, or anywhere in the state, and face disciplinary action from the Medical Board of California, retain the Lento Law Firm's top-tier Professional License Defense Team to help you devise a strategic and effective defense.
Medical Board of California Rules and Standards
Each state regulates its own licensed professionals, and the Medical Board of California governs licensed physicians in the state, from San Diego to Crescent City, and all points in between. The Board investigates alleged wrongdoing, and it prosecutes and resolves matters based on its own statutory authority following the regulatory standards and procedures it has adopted.
As such, you need to know all you can about California's physician rules and standards since they dictate the reasons for the disciplinary action and any repercussions you could face. To fully understand your rights and options to obtain the most effective defense against any charges, you should retain and cooperate with the Lento Law Firm license defense attorney team. We are highly qualified defense attorneys with considerable knowledge and experience with California's physician standards and regulations, and we have the skills necessary to handle your matter regardless of the complexities involved. An experienced license defense attorney from the Lento Law Firm offers you the best chance you have of defending yourself against the charges.
Confidence in Your Defense of California Physician Charges
You were confident in performing your job as a physician, but your recent disciplinary actions may have shaken you to the core and made you doubt your capabilities. You should maintain the same confidence in defending yourself against any allegations of standards or rules violations, and having experienced defense counsel on your side who can devise a strategic defense should set your mind at ease.
However, your choice of defense counsel can have a major impact on your situation, so you want to ensure you work with a professional license defense team who can offer you the best chance of success.
The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team can answer your questions, advise you of your rights and options, and help you strategically defend yourself against disciplinary charges. It's important you do not ignore the allegations or default in answering the charges you face, and contact The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team right away.
Valuing Your California Physician's License
One of the most important aspects of defending yourself against disciplinary actions from the Medical Board of California is valuing your license highly and recognizing its importance to your life and livelihood.
If you don't appreciate your license and its worth to you--as well as its worth to your family, your employer, and your patients--then you may not dedicate the time, effort, and resources necessary to mount an effective defense.
You invested considerable time, effort, and money into obtaining your education, passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), and getting your license. You chose to practice medicine to help others and make a difference, and you worked hard to establish your career and good reputation. You know your job provides financial, personal, and professional awards, and you should value everything your physician license provides enough to want the best defense counsel possible.
To help you protect your investment so you can continue doing what you love, retain the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Attorney Team today.
What California Physician License Disciplinary Charges Mean
To obtain the best outcome for California physician license disciplinary charges, you should also understand that disciplinary charges don't necessarily mean you did anything wrong or that you will lose your license.
Much like criminal charges, disciplinary charges are only allegations of misconduct. They do not mean disciplinary official has officially decided you committed misconduct, and they know that every story has two sides. Thus, disciplinary officials will notify you of any charges against you so that you can present produce evidence and information to exonerate you from the charges or mitigate any potential penalties you could receive. Retaining a Lento Law Firm license defense attorney can help you put forward the evidence required to absolve you completely or lessen the impact on your career and future.
Telling Your Side of the Story to Medical Board of California Officials
Although the Medical Board of California takes allegations of wrongdoing seriously and investigates and prosecutes physicians for violations, disciplinary officials also understand that doctors can be unfairly implicated or unjustly accused. Most physicians in California are competent, compassionate, and caring professionals who perform their duties exemplarily. You deserve to tell your side of the story, and you can rely on the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
The Nature of Medical Board of California Charges
You may have some knowledge about criminal court and civil court proceedings, but you may have no idea what to expect from a licensing board administrative proceeding. Although there are some similarities among criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings, they have vast differences.
For one, Medical Board of California disciplinary charges do not typically go to court. Physicians can face criminal prosecution, but administrative proceedings don't start in court—nor do they follow the exact same process as criminal proceedings. Licensing board disciplinary actions proceed in an administrative forum, which has its own rules and procedures. These differ from judicial proceedings and are generally less formal than court rules and procedures.
Additionally, disciplinary proceedings have different outcomes from criminal or civil court proceedings. In an administrative proceeding, your physician license is the only thing at risk, as opposed to your freedom in a criminal proceeding or your money in a civil proceeding.
However, administrative proceedings still provide defendants with due process, and it's important to take the matter seriously and retain competent and experienced defense counsel.
What Allegations Put a California Physician License at Risk?
Any licensed professional in California can face serious license disciplinary issues, but physicians face their own specific licensing issues relevant to their area of healthcare.
The Medical Board of California establishes its own Enforcement Program to determine whether allegations of misconduct involving the Medical Practice Act have any merit and whether the Board has jurisdiction in the matter. Allegations may come from various scenarios that include:
- Unprofessional conduct
- Gross negligence or incompetence, resulting in patient endangerment
- Patient abuse or neglect, including sexual abuse
- License application fraud and other fraud offenses
- Theft offenses
- Mental illness
- Substance abuse, including alcohol
- Practicing without a license
- Violating probation conditions, if applicable
- Convictions substantially related to the practice of medicine
The Board does not have the authority to respond to allegations involving billing or fee disputes, personality conflicts, general business practices, or licenses granted by another board or bureau.
What Is the Disciplinary Process for the Medical Board of California?
Although you may regard the Medical Board of California disciplinary process with disdain and trepidation, you must remember that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that California—and by extension, the Medical Board of California--give you due process. This means they must give you notice of the charges and offer you a fair opportunity for a hearing to defend yourself before they deprive you of the liberty and property interest you have in your physician license.
Thus, when you retain The Lento Law Firm's highly qualified Professional License Defense Team, the disciplinary process becomes your ally. Your Lento Law Firm license defense attorney may invoke the protected right you have to a fair and impartial investigatory and adjudicatory process and help you present the best defense.
Medical Board of California Complaints
The disciplinary process for registered California physicians begins when the Medical Board of California receives a formal complaint. Anyone who feels a registered physician violated any rules of conduct or behaved in an unsafe or unprofessional manner may file a complaint with the Board. The Board “receives more than 10,000 complaints” every year from patients, insurance companies, other healthcare providers, and family members.
When the Medical Board of California receives a complaint, the Central Complaint Unit (CCU) will review it to determine “the nature of the allegations and whether the complaint falls within the Board's jurisdiction.”
In general, complaints remain confidential and are not publicly accessible while the Board investigates the matter. However, if an accusation is filed, it will become a matter of public record, and the Medical Board of California may disclose any specific charges if requested. Any disciplinary action imposed will become a part of the physician's permanent record and open to public disclosure.
The moment you learn of a complaint against you, contact the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team. Working with you, your Defense Team may supply the Board with information and evidence that can exonerate you before any investigation commences.
Medical Board of California Investigations
If the Board needs additional information to decide on a matter, or if it feels the complaint warrants further investigation, the Board will thoroughly investigate the issue to determine the proper course of action.
During the investigation, the Medical Board of California's CCU will request and assess the patient's medical records along with other relevant information, such as additional records from other treating physicians. The CCU will also contact the licensee in question for a response. A licensee may also request a copy by contacting the CCU.
After receiving all necessary information, the Board will review the matter and determine whether to refer the physician to a medical consultant. The medical consultant may find the allegations have no merit and close the case. If they determine a violation has occurred that warrants further investigation, they will forward the matter to the Department of Consumer Affairs Division of Investigation, Health Quality Investigation Unit (HQIU). If the allegations involve serious wrongdoing, such as sexual misconduct or physical impairment, the complaint will be forwarded directly to the HQIU for investigation.
If the HQIU or CCU determines the complaint warrants disciplinary action, they will file a formal accusation against the physician with the Attorney General's Office (AGO). They will then notify the complainant of their decision.
Medical Board of California Hearings
If the complaint results in formal accusations against a physician, the licensee may “dispute the charges at an administrative hearing.” A licensee must request a hearing within 15 days of receiving notice of the accusation by submitting a “Notice of Defense” to the Medical Board of California and the Deputy Attorney General.
A physician will be afforded the opportunity the dispute the charges and may have legal counsel represent them “at any or all stages of these proceedings.” The hearing resembles a court trial, but the same standards of evidence and burdens of proof beyond a reasonable doubt do not apply.
Medical Board of California Stipulation Agreements
In certain cases, the Medical Board of California and the accused physician may negotiate a stipulated agreement in lieu of a formal hearing. In this arrangement, the physician admits to the specific charges and agrees to the Board's proposed disciplinary actions. The process is similar to accepting a plea deal involving criminal charges, and any sanctions imposed will become a matter of the physician's record.
Legal Actions the Medical Board of California Can Take
If the investigation and hearing determine the physician committed wrongdoing, the Medical Board of California may take any of several forms of disciplinary action, as appropriate for the circumstances. These can include:
- License suspension or revocation
- Voluntary surrendering of a license
- License probation
For minor violations and offenses of the Medical Practice Act, the Board may issue fines and citations through an informal process.
Medical Board of California Appeals
Any licensee may petition the Medical Board of California to reconsider a decision for up to 30 days after the Board adopts the decision. Thereafter, a licensee may petition the Board any of the following:
- Reinstatement of a revoked license
- Reduction in penalty terms
- Probation termination
Any final decisions may be appeals to the California Supreme Court, the appropriate District Appellate Court, or the U.S. Supreme Court.
Why You Need a Physician License Defense Attorney in California
There are two major reasons you should contact the Lento Law Firm and retain a highly qualified Professional License Defense Team attorney to defend you against Medical Board of California disciplinary charges.
The first reason is that, as a state agency, the Medical Board of California, has vast resources at its disposal to investigate and prosecute alleged offenses. Disciplinary officials and investigators pursue physician discipline full-time, and they know what to do and what not to do to successfully implicate and discipline physicians. Thus, you need to level the playing field by retaining your own highly skilled and experienced attorney defense team to combat the Board's actions and protect your rights.
The second reason you need a competent and qualified license defense team from the Lento Law Firm is that the Medical Board of California only needs to establish charges by a preponderance of the evidence, not by reasonable doubt. This means the Board only needs to establish the likelihood you committed the offense, and your defense counsel needs to present as much evidence to support your innocence as the Board has of your guilt. If you do not have experienced defense counsel on your side, you run the risk of losing the battle of the preponderance of evidence standard and losing your license. You must further level the playing field by retaining a Professional License Defense attorney.
How a Physician License Defense Attorney Can Help You in California
The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team offers numerous benefits in helping you answer the accusations and defend your physician license. Your defense team can open lines of communication with Medical Board of California officials to informally present evidence and arguments in your defense. You want to have your charges dismissed or abandoned early, and your defense attorney can assist with sensitive negotiations involving voluntary resolutions. Your defense attorney can also help you gather exonerating evidence or mitigating factors that could reduce the severity of disciplinary action consequences and advocate on your behalf before any administrative hearings. Your attorney may also assist with appealing the Board's decision or challenging any decisions the Board makes regarding your licensure to the appropriate authorities.
Areas We Serve in California
The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm represents clients throughout California, including physicians who practice in the following areas:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose
We represent physicians who worked at Cedars-Sinai or UCLA Medical Center, Stanford Health Care, UCSF Health, UC San Diego Health-La Jolla and Hillcrest Hospitals, or any medical facility in California.
License Defense Team for California Physician Charges
No matter your area of practice, as a licensed physician in California, you can face allegations of wrongdoing or formal accusations that may jeopardize your license, your livelihood, and your future. The Medical Board of California has vast resources to investigate and prosecute complaints it receives against physicians, and you need to have an experienced attorney on your side to help you obtain the most favorable outcome.
Like hundreds of other physicians and licensed professionals nationwide, you can trust the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team to fight for you and help you get the most favorable results possible. Call 888.535.3686 or contact us online now.