Attorney Joseph D. Lento Can Defend Your License as a Funeral Director
The profession of funeral director is one of high public trust, which is why your license could be in jeopardy if someone complains to the licensing board that that trust has been violated. If you are a funeral director accused of wrongdoing in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or New York, you need an experienced embalmer and funeral director license defense attorney to help protect your interests. Attorney Joseph D. Lento can improve your chances of a favorable outcome. Contact the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today to schedule a consultation.
After spending years in instruction, completing your apprenticeship, and passing the licensing exam, you're finally a licensed funeral director. However, all it takes is one complaint, misstep, or lapse in judgment to jeopardize all that effort. State licensing boards hold their funeral directors to a high standard of excellence and professionalism, and they have broad authority to initiate disciplinary actions when they deem necessary--including possibly revoking your license altogether. However, when you have an experienced funeral director license defense attorney in your corner, your chances of keeping your license go up considerably. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has plenty of experience helping licensed professionals navigate the stressful process of license investigations.
What offenses can cause me to lose my funeral director's license?
A wide variety of allegations could lead to disciplinary action against funeral directors. The most common include:
- Incompetence and gross negligence. This can include mishandling the deceased, such as improper embalming, commingling with ashes from another person, unethical treatment of customers, misplacing remains, or burying at the wrong place.
- Misconduct. Examples include "upselling" services to emotionally vulnerable customers, mishandling customer money, verbal/emotional abuse, and so on.
- Fraudulent practices. Examples include overcharging customers, false advertising, insurance billing fraud, etc.
- Substance abuse/addiction. Alcohol or drug use can lead to your license being revoked, especially if there is evidence that you are under the influence while at work.
- Criminal convictions. Conviction for certain crimes, especially crimes of moral turpitude, could disqualify you from obtaining a funeral director's license--and could result in losing your license if you already have one.
If I'm accused of wrongdoing, what does the disciplinary process look like?
Most licensing board disciplinary actions begin when someone files a formal complaint against you. Upon receiving the complaint, the licensing board will review the complaint to determine if it falls within their jurisdiction. If it does, they will open a formal investigation. The board may ask you to respond in writing and to show evidence to support that response. The board may also appoint an investigator to obtain documentation, interview witnesses, etc.
If there is enough evidence to support a claim, the board may attempt to negotiate a consent order with you as an alternative to taking you into a formal hearing. A consent order is a formal agreement in which you will have to admit to your wrongdoings and accept the punishment suggested by the board. If no consent order is offered or agreed to, you will be summoned for a formal hearing in which you must show cause why the board should not take disciplinary action against you--after which the board will render a final decision and determine whether to penalize you. At worst, you could have your funeral director's license revoked.
Bear in mind that even if the board agrees on a lesser penalty (e.g., fines or a reprimand) and you're able to keep your license, even minor disciplinary actions can hurt your professional reputation because they become part of your record. An experienced funeral director license defense attorney like Joseph D. Lento can often help limit the damage to your career by negotiating with the board.
Why is it necessary to hire an attorney to defend my license?
A professional license investigation is not like a trial where you are presumed "innocent until proven guilty." The licensing board takes all complaints seriously because its job is to protect the public and err on the side of caution. As soon as a complaint is filed against you, the board will actively begin looking for evidence to back the complaint. Even your own attempts to resolve the matter informally could end up working against you and making you look more guilty to the board. In other words--you're at a disadvantage from the start.
An experienced funeral director defense lawyer can help level the playing field during license investigations to make sure your side is heard, your evidence presented, and your rights are protected. In short, your chances of keeping your funeral director license go up greatly when you have a skilled attorney on your side.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento is highly familiar with the procedures used by state licensing boards to discipline alleged offenders. His expertise can make a huge difference in your case and increase your chances of saving your career. When you work with the Lento Law Firm, we will:
- Evaluate the complaint and the facts of the case to develop a convincing defense strategy.
- Act as your official legal counsel in all interactions with the licensing board.
- Develop a persuasive written response to the complaint (quite often, this is enough to get the board to drop the issue).
- Gather evidence and procure witnesses in your defense.
- Interact with the licensing board at multiple points, negotiating to have your complaint dismissed, for the board to impose lenient penalties, or for favorable terms in a consent order.
- If necessary, defend you vigorously in a formal hearing.
How soon should I hire an attorney after receiving notice of a complaint against my license?
As soon as possible. Don't wait until you are summoned to a formal meeting before hiring an attorney because the licensing board will already have compiled its case against you. The sooner you get a skilled embalming and funeral director license defense attorney involved, the better your chances of obtaining a favorable resolution, possibly even avoiding a hearing altogether.
You've invested too much into your career to have it jeopardized by a single complaint. Take steps now to protect your career. Call the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 for a case evaluation.