You have invested a considerable amount of money and time into becoming a licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and if you're a paramedic, you've invested even more. That license is not only the key to your income and livelihood, but it allows you to earn your living by helping people – often actually saving people's lives.
Your job is so important that you are held up to a higher standard than many professions. People understand that their lives could someday be in your hands, so they want to make sure you remain up to the task. This means a simple misunderstanding, mistake, or misstep could put your license in jeopardy.
As a licensed EMT or paramedic, the licensing or certification board could suspend or revoke your license if they feel like you've violated the public trust. Mistakes made while treating patients, allegations of professional misconduct, and even something you've done while off duty could instantly eliminate your source of income and completely derail your career.
If you are under investigation for any kind of misconduct and your EMT or paramedic license is in jeopardy, you don't have to face it alone. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team have the experience and track record of successful license defense nationwide that you will want on your side.
We'll provide some basic information here, but if your license is on the line, call The Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today, so we can begin working on your defense.
Some of the Most Common Actions to Put Your License at Risk
One of the most common reasons for EMS or paramedic license discipline is a DUI or DWI. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even if you're not on duty, is one of the most likely offenses to cost you your license, but experienced license defense attorney Joseph Lento can help you get the most favorable result possible.
Right behind a DUI or DWI offense is any other criminal conviction. There is a long list of convictions that can disqualify you from holding an EMT or paramedic license, but felony convictions will require the toughest defense.
Even if you don't have any kind of criminal conviction on your record, substance abuse can put your license in jeopardy—especially if you are fighting an addiction.
Any kind of incompetence or negligence will put your license at risk, as will various kinds of misconduct—particularly sexual misconduct, whether it is towards a patient or colleague.
The Types of Disciplinary Actions You Might Face
Losing your license and your ability to earn your livelihood in the profession you invested so much into is the harshest possible consequence, but there are other actions that could also be applied to you. They could include:
- License suspension. You could face a suspension from the ability to work as an EMT or paramedic for a certain period of time, but with the possibility of reinstatement after review.
- License restriction/probation. The board could decide to prohibit you from certain activities and services but allow you to still practice within those restrictions.
- Monetary fines. The board may impose a financial penalty.
- Mandatory treatment. If your offense involves alcohol or drug abuse, you may be given the opportunity to attend a treatment program as an alternative to losing your license altogether.
- Verbal or written warning. If it is a particularly minor issue, the licensing or certification board may issue a reprimand.
The Disciplinary Process
Different states can have unique disciplinary protocols for EMTs and paramedics, but the license discipline process in most states will follow a similar process. Attorney Joseph Lento handles these cases in all 50 states.
The process will always begin with some sort of complaint that will be filed with the appropriate state licensing agency. The complaint could be filed by a patient, a fellow colleague, your employer, a healthcare facility, or the board itself.
Once the complaint has been filed, the board will review the nature of the complaint to determine whether they have jurisdiction over processing the complaint. If it is determined they do, an investigation will begin. Once the investigation begins, they will request clarifications from the complainant, if needed, and ask for a written response from the EMT or paramedic. If possible, other witnesses may also be questioned.
If the investigation reveals that the complaint has merit, or if there is a significant amount of evidence against you, the board may offer the opportunity to accept a Consent Decree. This is a legally binding agreement between you, the board, and the state, where you voluntarily submit to disciplinary actions as prescribed by the board. As this is legally binding, we highly recommend you consult with the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense team before signing anything.
If there is no consent decree, or you choose not to accept it, there will be a hearing which could take place before the board itself, or before an Administrative Law Judge. Since this is a legal proceeding, you are allowed to have your attorney represent you. When the hearings are over, the board will decide whether to take disciplinary action against you. There will be an opportunity for an appeal.
The board can dismiss a complaint at any stage of the disciplinary process if they don't believe there is enough evidence. In most cases, an EMT or paramedic can get one of these more desirable outcomes with the help of experienced professional license defense attorney Joseph Lento. You may even be able to get your license reinstated if it has already been revoked.
Don't take chances with your professional license and your livelihood. The sooner we can get to work on your defense, the better, so if you are a licensed EMT or paramedic with your license in jeopardy anywhere in the nation, call the experienced license defense team at The Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 or contact us online.