Professional engineers (PEs) are integral to infrastructure and construction projects: they're responsible for designing and supervising the construction of public buildings, bridges, highways, and other structures. Obtaining a PE license is a challenging task that requires significant education, training, and experience. However, even with all of the qualifications required, there are many circumstances that could put your license at risk. As such, it's essential to understand the risks associated with professional engineer licenses and how to protect them.
A PE license is required to work as an engineer in the United States. The license is issued by individual states, and each state has its own requirements for licensure. Typically, licensure requires completing a rigorous education program, passing multiple exams, and obtaining a certain amount of experience in the field.
Once licensed, engineers are held to high ethical and professional standards. They are responsible for ensuring the safety and integrity of the structures they design and supervise, and any violation of those standards could result in disciplinary action against their license.
Allegations that Can Put a Professional Engineer License at Risk
There are many types of allegations that could lead to disciplinary action against a PE license. Common reasons for losing a license include criminal convictions, substance abuse, and gross negligence or incompetence. Each state has its own definitions of what constitutes a disqualifying offense, but most states include DUI, crimes involving moral turpitude, and felony offenses. Failure to report any convictions of a crime can also lead to revocation or suspension of a license.
Disciplinary action can also result from complaints filed by clients, co-workers, or supervisors. Common complaints include breach of contract, breach of professional ethics, and breach of safety regulations. Even an unintentional violation can lead to disciplinary action against a PE license. For example, failing to properly supervise a construction project could lead to safety violations, which in turn could result in disciplinary action.
The Consequences of Losing a Professional Engineer License
Losing a professional engineer license can have significant consequences for an engineer's career and financial stability. The inability to work as an engineer can result in the loss of income, benefits, and opportunities. In addition, losing a license can damage an engineer's reputation, which could make it difficult to find new employment or clients in the future.
Possible Disciplinary Action
Even if your professional engineer license isn't revoked, any disciplinary action the board takes against your license can cause damage to your career. Disciplinary actions, including revocation, suspension, probation, fines, or reprimands, are all public records and searchable. This means that anyone can access information about disciplinary action, which could make it difficult for an engineer to find new clients or employment.
The risk of harm can be reduced by hiring Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his experienced Professional License Defense Team. They can intervene and negotiate with the board to minimize damage both to your license and your reputation.
How to Protect Your Professional Engineer License
If a complaint is filed against a professional engineer license, the state licensing board will open an investigation to review the allegations. Usually, they'll appoint an investigator who will be responsible for the following actions: review documents, gather evidence, and talk to witnesses. The board may also request that you respond (in writing) to the complaint. If the evidence against you is convincing, the board might offer to let you sign a consent order in place of attending/holding a formal hearing. If you choose not to sign the consent order, the board will require you to attend a formal hearing, during which you'll have to defend your license. After the hearing ends, the board will make its final decision. This will include a determination as well as, if needed, the punishment, up to and including revocation of the license.
The Lento Law Firm Can Help
After a complaint has been filed against your professional engineer license, the first thing you should do is seek legal representation from Attorney Lento and the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm. They have successfully represented many professional engineers nationwide facing disciplinary action against their licenses.
The team will represent your interests and can provide you with the legal guidance you need to avoid making mistakes that could hurt your case. The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team can review the complaint against you and devise a defense strategy, including compiling evidence and gathering witnesses to support your defense. They can also communicate and interact with the board as your official legal representative. This might look like drafting a written response along with supporting evidence to the complaint or negotiating with the licensing board directly to have the complaint dropped or for lesser penalties that allow you to keep your license. Finally, if necessary, they can defend you in a formal hearing.
They will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your case, including minimizing the damage to your professional reputation and your career. Additionally, if your professional engineer's license has been revoked, all hope is not lost. You may still be able to get your license reinstated through an appeal or by reapplying for your license.
A professional engineer license requires years of hard work and dedication to achieve, and any allegations of misconduct or wrongdoing can jeopardize your license and the future of your career. If you are facing disciplinary action against your professional engineer license anywhere in the US, do not hesitate to seek legal representation from the experienced Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm. They have the knowledge, skill, and experience to help you navigate the legal process and protect your career, and serve clients nationwide. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 to schedule a consultation, or reach out online to see how they can help.