As a licensed professional land surveyor in New York, the very idea that your license could be revoked over an allegation of misconduct may seem unthinkable. After all, you have invested considerable time and effort in developing your career, including working hard to earn the confidence of your clients. And yet, it sometimes happens to the best of us. A simple misunderstanding, an honest mistake, a temporary lapse in judgment...and suddenly, you find yourself under the microscope of scrutiny.
Regrettably, a single complaint or accusation could put your entire career at risk by threatening your license. The New York Office of the Professions (OP) is dedicated to public safety and will vigorously investigate any allegations of misconduct. If they find evidence to support the complaint, they have the authority to suspend or revoke your license based only on a preponderance of the evidence. No license means no career.
Fortunately, you're not without options. Hiring an experienced New York license defense attorney can mean the difference between saving your career and bringing it to a premature end. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his License defense Team have successfully helped many clients facing disciplinary challenges, and they understand the most effective measures to bring your case to a favorable outcome. To discuss your case, contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.
What Types of Allegations Could Endanger Your License?
As a professional land surveyor, you're making calculations that may affect property lines, construction decisions, and many other public issues. Mistakes can cause legal problems at best, and injury and death at worst. Thus, the majority of issues that could lead to disciplinary action against your license involve some form of violation of the state's established professional standards of performance and/or conduct. Examples may include, but are not limited to:
- Gross negligence or incompetence, such as making dangerous errors in surveys, failing to communicate essential information to clients, or jeopardizing public safety in any manner.
- Fraudulent or deceptive advertising, including making promises you cannot fulfill, promoting services you do not offer (or are unqualified to provide), and so on.
- Performing services beyond the scope of your license.
- Permitting unlicensed employees to perform services that only a licensed land surveyor should undertake.
- Noncompliance with federal, state, and/or local safety standards and regulations.
- Any other behavior that could call into question your ability to do your job effectively and safely.
Understanding the License Disciplinary Process
The Office of the Professions has established a streamlined process for handling misconduct allegations made against licensed professionals, including land surveyors. The disciplinary process generally begins when a member of the public files a complaint against you with the OP. From this point, the process unfolds through the following stages:
Upon receiving a complaint, the OP will initiate an investigation to search for evidence to support the allegation. During this phase, they may communicate with the complainant and potential witnesses, gather relevant evidence and documentation, and perform other investigative actions. If the OP inquiry finds insufficient evidence of wrongdoing, they will typically dismiss the complaint at this stage. However, if they discover enough evidence, they will forward the matter to the Department of Education Board of Regents for a more thorough evaluation.
At this stage, the Board may present you with the option to sign a consent order, which is an agreement in which you effectively admit to wrongdoing and voluntarily submit to the Board's recommended disciplinary actions. In some cases, this can be advantageous, as it allows you to avoid having your case go before a hearing panel. However, it also means that any disciplinary action is final and non-appealable and will become a matter of public record. That said, if disciplinary action is inevitable, a consent order may give your attorney the opportunity to negotiate for more lenient penalties and limit the damage to your career.
Hearing and Final Determination
If your case advances to the hearing stage, you will be summoned to appear before the Board and asked to present evidence against the complaint or explain why your license should remain active. Having an attorney during this process can significantly influence the outcome of the matter. Following deliberations, the Board will reach their final decision regarding disciplinary actions against you, which may range from warnings and fines to complete revocation of your license.
Maximize Your Chances of Success with a Skilled License Defense Attorney
If your professional land surveyor license is under investigation, you should understand that you do not have a guaranteed presumption of innocence. The OP prioritizes public safety above all else, and the Board of Regents possesses broad authority to impose disciplinary measures based solely on a preponderance of the evidence. The most effective way to counteract this disadvantage is to enlist the services of an experienced license defense attorney who has a comprehensive understanding of this process. A good attorney can intervene early in the process by reviewing the complaint, formulating an effective response, negotiating with the OP and the Board for more lenient terms, and if necessary, representing you at a hearing. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, you stand a much better chance of achieving a favorable outcome (i.e., one that allows you to retain your license).
Do not allow a single misconduct allegation to destroy your hard-earned career. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team are committed to safeguarding your interests and finding a solution that will help preserve your license. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 to schedule a consultation, or use our online form.