Facing Issues With Your Professional License In Connecticut? The Lento Law Firm Can Help
Obtaining a professional license in the State of Connecticut is no small accomplishment. Whether you are a certified nursing assistant, contractor, electrician, teacher, or mechanic, you've likely spent years studying your craft and honing your skills. Unfortunately, professional licenses are subject to continuous review and may be revoked. According to a study conducted by the Yankee Institute, when compared to other states, the State of Connecticut, on average, requires more professions to hold licenses and imposes many “licensing burdens” that are “excessively onerous or entirely unnecessary.” Still, the law is the law, and licenses may be requisite to employment in your industry. Misunderstandings, accidents, and threats of disciplinary action can challenge your ability to keep your license- resulting in devastating effects on your professional and personal life.
Fortunately, licenses are not often revoked without due process, a legal term that simply means the ability to be notified about a problem and present your side of the story. If you have been notified by Connecticut's licensing board in your profession that your professional license is under threat, the Lento Law Firm is experienced in defending licensed professionals and mitigating the extent of damage and is standing by to assist you from New Hartford to Manchester, Plainfield, and Cheshire. No matter where you are in the State of Connecticut, we can help!
Who Issues Licenses in Connecticut?
With countless state agencies, exams, and requirements, professional licensing in Connecticut can feel difficult to understand. If you are a licensed individual who has been practicing in your industry for quite some time, you may not even remember the name of the agency that licensed you to begin with! However, licensing within the state of Connecticut is primarily overseen by individual state licensing boards. These boards are responsible for regulating and issuing licenses to individuals in specific professions, such as doctors, accountants, barbers, contractors, and other regulated professions. Each licensing board has its own set of rules and regulations governing the licensing process, as well as requirements for continuing education and professional conduct. Although there are multiple state licensing boards, there are some agencies and licensing boards that oversee most professions. The two major entities that issue and oversee professional licenses within the state of Connecticut are The Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection (“DCP”) and The Connecticut Department of Public Health.
The Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection
The DPC issues professional licenses, responds to complaints from the public and other professionals, and conducts thorough investigations for all allegations they have received for a variety of professions. The DCP has significant control over the Connecticut healthcare industry as they routinely conduct inspections of pharmacies and enforce laws associated with Connecticut's controlled substances laws, food laws, drug laws, and cosmetic laws. The DCP also oversees complaints in a variety of fields ranging from automobile issues to real estate and public safety.
The DCP also investigates and governs complaints that fall under a consumer protection act known as The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA). CUPTA was enacted in 1975 and is a state law that aims to protect consumers and, in certain circumstances, businesses from “unfair and deceptive trade practices.” Unfair and deceptive trade practices include a variety of issues ranging from fraud to unethical and immoral behavior that takes place within the context of any trade or commerce activity within the state of Connecticut.
Under CUTPA, it is illegal to engage in any unfair or deceptive trade practice, including false advertising, price fixing, bait-and-switch advertising, and other similar practices that cause harm to consumers. While CUPTA aims to protect consumers, it can sometimes carry negative effects and give consumers an avenue for filing baseless accusations against professionally licensed individuals.
A section of The DCP is tasked with investigating consumer protection issues such as deception, fraud, or unfair practices. For companies or individuals who violate portions of the CUPTA, The DCP has the right to investigate, issue demands, and take legal action against individuals. Under Connecticut General Statutes § 42-110d, an appointed commissioner may conduct hearings. Hearings are similar to trials in that they consist of testimony, witnesses, and an examination of evidence. The act also grants the Connecticut Attorney General broad powers to investigate and prosecute violations of the law. Therefore, The Attorney General can also issue subpoenas, conduct investigations, and take legal action against businesses and professionals that violate the law.
If you have been notified by The DCP that you are being investigated and that your professional license is at risk, the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team of attorneys can help. There's no need to face these accusations alone. We can help respond to The DCP's communications, gather evidence, and represent you at your hearings.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is the state agency responsible for regulating healthcare professionals and facilities to ensure that they provide safe and effective healthcare services to the public that are up to code. The DPH has broad authority over individuals with professional licenses in Connecticut and is responsible for enforcing the laws and regulations that govern the practice of healthcare professions in the state.
In particular, the DPH is responsible for issuing, renewing, and revoking professional licenses for healthcare providers, such as physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. The DPH also issues and oversees licenses for a variety of other health-related entities such as housing, restaurants, laboratories, and those licensed to work in conditions such as septic/sewer systems, asbestos, and lead contamination. The DPH is also responsible for investigating complaints and disciplining healthcare professionals who violate the laws or regulations governing their practice.
While the DPH has the power to issue professional licenses, they are also granted the power to revoke them. The DPH also has the authority to take a range of disciplinary actions against healthcare professionals who violate the law or regulations under its jurisdiction. These actions can include revocation or suspension of a professional license, imposition of fines, and requirements to complete additional training or education. If warranted, The DPH may also refer cases to law enforcement for criminal prosecution.
Like The DCP, The DPH has the authority to conduct formal hearings, which consist of issuing subpoenas, compelling testimony, and production of evidence. If you have received notice from The DPH that your professional license is under attack, do not want any longer. The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team of attorneys can help.
Additional Agencies Tasked With Overseeing Professional Licenses in Connecticut
Although The DPC and The DPH may be involved in many issues relating to the issuing and oversight of Connecticut Professional Licenses, countless other state agencies are tasked with the responsibility of issuing and overseeing licenses specific to their field.
For instance, The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (“DEEP”) is responsible for issuing and overseeing licenses and permits that coincide with professions whose work affects environmental concerns and natural resources. Some of these professions include occupations that work with certain machinery, such as rock crushers, water tanks, and generators.
The Connecticut Department of Education (“CT DOE”) is responsible for the issuance and review of professional licenses and certifications for educators and administrators in Connecticut. The CT DOE is responsible for ensuring that all educators, such as teachers, coaches, paraprofessionals, aides, etc., in Connecticut, are competent and meet the standards set forth by the state to work in the education field. To that end, the CT DOE investigates complaints and conducts disciplinary actions against educators who violate professional standards, including those related to ethics, conduct, or competence.
While these are just a few of the state agencies that oversee specific licensing requirements, if you had to complete an exam, pay a fee, or maintain continuing education standards to work in your profession, you are a licensed individual. If you fear that recent events may place your license and livelihood at risk, contact the Lento Law Firm today.
The Consequences of Losing A Professional License
There are countless consequences to losing your professional license. Firstly, losing a professional license can have a significant impact on your self-esteem and professional reputation. Even if you are later able to switch careers or apply for re-licensing in your first profession, your reputation and confidence may remain damaged, causing future employers and clients, and even yourself, to question your skills and abilities.
There are also severe financial ramifications. Obviously, losing a license impacts your ability to currently practice and earn money in your trade. License revocation may also make it more difficult for you to find future employment opportunities. Depending on your familial situation, you may also be at risk of losing healthcare and retirement benefits, placing yourself and your family at risk.
Finally, it is likely that if you are employed in a client-forward profession, such as an attorney, fireman, nurse, teacher, etc. that you care about your clients and want to ensure that their problems are resolved. Oftentimes professionals choose these careers because they are impassioned with the idea of serving others. While it may feel nice to know that your clients have come to rely on and trust you, the loss of your professional license leaves them helpless and in worse of a position than they were in before.
Can My Professional License Be Reinstated?
The short answer is,” it depends.” Many licensing agencies will allow a professional to apply for a reinstatement of their license, but the process can be tricky, and the outcomes are not guaranteed. Oftentimes, professionals will have to wait several years before reapplying and must demonstrate that their personal and professional lives have been clear of any disciplinary action. Although appeals and re-licensing are possible, they are likely bound by specific time limits and procedures as outlined by the relevant agency. Failure to follow the process exactly as required can amount to immediate disqualification. However, the Lento Law Firm can work with you to both strengthen your case for appeal and re-licensing and ensure that your request is not denied for simple procedural errors.
Can Criminal Charges Affect My License?
Yes. Criminal convictions such as arrests or DUIs can be reported by the State of Connecticut to the relevant professional license board. While license revocation is not automatic, there are instances where an occupational license can be revoked if the criminal activity is directly related to the professional's occupation. For instance, a bus driver employed by the state's Department of Transportation may be immediately disqualified from driving after receiving a DUI, or a licensed educator may no longer be allowed to work if convicted of child abuse or child sexual misconduct, etc.
Other violent crimes may immediately disqualify professionals from working in their professions. For instance, the Connecticut State Board of Education allows for immediate revocation in instances where the educator has been convicted of certain crimes such as murder, arson, and other felonies.
Although the state may report criminal arrests and convictions to various agencies, oftentimes, certain professions mandate self-reporting as an ongoing requirement for licensing. Failure to self-report arrests or convictions to these agencies can amount to immediate license revocation and make future applications for re-licensing that much more difficult. For example, Under Connecticut General Statute § 19a-12ed, healthcare professionals who have been arrested for substance abuse-related arrests the DPH.
If you have failed to self-report any arrests or convictions and fear that your professional license may be at risk, contact the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team of attorneys today, and we will help you navigate how to move forward without letting your setbacks reap havoc on your professional goals.
Don't let a license challenge derail your career and your future. If your professional license is being challenged, there is hope! The exceptional Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team of attorneys has the national experience and resources to effectively navigate the complex laws and regulations governing professional licenses in Connecticut. Contact us today for assistance in advocating on your behalf before your licensing board. We will work together to curate a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances. Call us now at (888) 535-3686 or use our online contact form.