As a licensed professional land surveyor in Pennsylvania, you understand that maintaining public trust in your industry is crucial. Obtaining a license to practice in Pennsylvania demonstrates your commitment to exceptional standards in your field. You have invested considerable time, effort, and finances to qualify for professional licensure. That's why it can be so unnerving to find out that someone has filed a complaint against you, and that your license is now under investigation.
The Pennsylvania State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists enforces rigorous standards for ethical conduct and professional competence of its licensees. If a violation is reported, the board will initiate an investigation that may ultimately result in the revocation or suspension of your license, effectively terminating your career.
The process of defending your license can be complex and intimidating. Fortunately, you don't have to go through it alone. An experienced Pennsylvania professional license defense attorney can help guide you through the disciplinary process, protecting your interests and working hard to preserve your rights. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have vast experience handling disciplinary cases like yours. They understand the requirements for achieving the best possible resolution for your case and will strive to obtain a favorable outcome. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to discuss your situation.
Possible Allegations Endangering Your Professional Land Surveyor License
The majority of issues that could lead to disciplinary action against your license involve violations of the state's established professional conduct standards or breaches of public trust that question your ability to perform your job dependably. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Severe negligence or incompetence: This could involve making critical errors in surveys, failing to communicate crucial information to clients, or jeopardizing public safety in any way.
- Fraud or false advertising: For instance, making promises you cannot fulfill, advertising services you do not offer (or are not qualified to provide), and so on.
- Performing services beyond the scope of your license.
- Permitting unlicensed employees to carry out services that only a licensed land surveyor should perform.
- Failing to adhere to federal, state, and/or local safety standards and regulations.
Pennsylvania License Discipline Procedure
In Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) receives and processes all complaints against state-licensed professionals. Anyone can file a complaint against you with the BPOA. If a complaint is filed, the disciplinary process will proceed through the following stages:
Upon receiving a complaint, the BPOA assigns a Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation (BEI) investigator to gather evidence, interview the complainant and relevant witnesses, and issue subpoenas for documents. You may also be required to submit a written response to the complaint, along with any evidence to support your side of the story. If the BEI finds insufficient evidence to substantiate the complaint, the BPOA will likely dismiss it.
If the BEI uncovers sufficient evidence to suggest misconduct or a violation, the Board may offer you the opportunity to enter into a consent agreement rather than proceed to a hearing. By agreeing to this settlement, you voluntarily accept the Board's recommended disciplinary actions, which could include fines, probation, suspension, or license surrender. While signing a consent agreement may not be the most optimal solution, it may be the most feasible option if disciplinary actions are inevitable based on the evidence. With the assistance of your attorney, you may be able to negotiate terms that allow you to retain your license or at least provide a path toward reinstatement.
If the case advances to a formal hearing, you will be required to appear before an official state examiner to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against your professional land surveyor license. During the hearing, your attorney can represent you and ensure your rights are protected. After the hearing concludes, the Board will make a final decision regarding appropriate disciplinary measures, which could include revoking your license if deemed necessary.
Why Hire a Professional License Attorney
Facing a misconduct complaint in license investigations puts you at an inherent disadvantage. The State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists takes these matters very seriously, with its primary objective being the protection of public health and safety. They rely on the preponderance of evidence standard to determine your guilt or innocence, and they have broad authority to decide on disciplinary actions without any guaranteed presumption of innocence.
A seasoned attorney can offer invaluable guidance throughout the disciplinary process, from responding to complaints and negotiating consent agreements to preparing for and defending you in a formal hearing, if required. Having legal representation can significantly increase the odds of a successful result, as your attorney will be able to explain your point of view, present evidence in your favor, challenge any incorrect assumptions or accusations, and negotiate for leniency. An attorney with strong negotiation skills can often reach a favorable resolution with the Board before the case advances to the formal hearing stage.
If you're a professional land surveyor in Pennsylvania facing a license investigation, don't allow a simple error, misstep, or misunderstanding to put your license at risk. Joseph D. Lento and his team possess the expertise and experience needed to help you achieve a favorable outcome. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or fill out their online form to schedule a consultation.