The Value of Professional Licensure
You've worked hard to achieve a professional license in your field. Whether you are a lawyer, doctor, plumber, contractor, educator, or other licensed professional, this achievement lets consumers know that you have been thoroughly vetted by the state of Arkansas – and have met the various requirements, educational and otherwise, needed to work in your chosen field or industry. It's a critical state stamp of approval that lets your clients know that you are someone to be trusted.
Your professional license plays a vital role in your ability to make a living in your field. It is a valuable asset – and needs to be protected at all costs. After investing so much time and money to earn that license, any threat to it due to allegations of professional misconduct or other accusations needs to be handled appropriately. You should not put this asset at risk. A suspended or revoked license would shatter the public's trust in your skills and abilities. It would be devastating to your career – now and in the future.
If you have been notified of a complaint and a pending investigation against you by the Arkansas licensing board in your field, there is no time to lose. This is not a matter to ignore or try to handle by yourself. There is power in having a trusted Attorney-Advocate by your side. When you engage an experienced Professional License Defense Team that understands the complaint, investigation, decision, and appeals process with the Arkansas state licensing board, you are much more likely to avoid license suspension. You are also more likely to avoid other penalties or sanctions that can interfere with your ability to confidently practice your profession.
Understanding the Costs of a Lost License
If the Arkansas state licensing board conducts an investigation into your conduct and ultimately decides to revoke your professional license, your career will be forever impacted. The negative consequences of such a decision can be both immediate and sweeping – and will likely make it impossible for you to continue to work in your field as you do now. There are many consequences of a revoked professional license. These include, but are not limited to:
Loss of Income. If your professional license is suspended or revoked, you must immediately stop working. You are ineligible for severance or unemployment benefits. Simply stated, you have lost your right to work in your field. As you can imagine, this can have staggering effects on your financial life, both personally and professionally. You could lose the lease on your business premises, be unable to pay work-related invoices, and, if you are in private practice, have to let go of employees. These financial impacts are not limited just to your work life either. When you cannot work in your chosen field, it becomes much more difficult to pay your bills at home, too.
Expensive fines and restitution. An allegation of professional misconduct may not culminate with just the loss of your license. That suspension or revocation may also come with state-mandated fines or other fees in the thousands of dollars. Fines are a possibility even if you do not lose your license – and you may also be asked to pay restitution to clients for alleged harm.
Loss of clients. When you are forced to stop working immediately, your current roster of clients or patients is now without your help. Even if you have a good referral system in place, these people are relying on your ability to provide critical professional services. They will face delays or losses of their own when you cannot provide services as promised.
Loss of opportunity. While it may be possible to find alternative employment in your field without a professional license, it's not easy – and you certainly would not be working at the top of your field. But even if such opportunities are available, a license suspension or removal leaves a stain on your professional resume. Potential employers may see the loss of your license as a red flag – and may look elsewhere when it comes time to hire someone for open positions.
Issues with licensing elsewhere. If you are thinking of just trying to get licensed in another state, think again. State boards check all applicants and will see that you've had your license suspended or revoked in Arkansas. If you are already licensed in multiple states, it's possible that your suspension or revocation in Arkansas could also lead to an investigation in other places.
Issues with reinstatement. Once the state licensing board investigation is complete, and they've made a decision about suspension or revocation, it is tough to get reinstatement. Most state licensing boards mandate that you wait for several years before you even have the opportunity to request a reinstatement – and they will likely have other conditions that you must meet to be considered. And even then, after all that time and work, they may still deny your request. The best course of action is to ensure that a suspension or revocation never happens in the first place.
Loss of trust and reputation. The suspension or revocation of your professional license is a matter of public record. You may even see your name and allegations of misconduct published on your state board's website or in their professional publications. As you can imagine, this is just the kind of publicity you want. It can lead to lasting damage to your good name and professional reputation. Even if you eventually get your license reinstated, the damage is done. Employers or clients may think twice before hiring you – and you will find your overall trust and credibility in the field severely diminished.
When you consider all of the potential consequences to a loss of license, you quickly see why it's important to address the matter in a thoughtful and professional manner. That's why it's so important to have the experienced Professional License Defense Team from the Lento Law Firm by your side. When you do, you are much more likely to avoid these kinds of career-stifling consequences.
Even if you do not lose your license, there is still a lot at stake. You may receive a formal reprimand or censure from the Arkansas state board. You may be asked to pay restitution to clients. And you may be asked to enroll in mandatory continued education – at your own expense. Any such sanctions, while definitely preferable to having your license revoked, come with both short-term and long-term costs to your reputation and ability to work in your field. It's yet another reason why you should always retain an experienced attorney to represent your interests when the Arkansas state licensing board comes to you with a complaint that could threaten your license. When an attorney-advocate from the Lento Law Firm is involved, you are much more likely to have the complaint dismissed outright or, at the very least, limit the damage to your professional record and name.
What Does a Professional License Defense Attorney Do?
The Arkansas State Licensing Board – be it in medicine, law, education, or other field – has detailed policies and procedures regarding how to handle allegations of misconduct. An experienced professional license defense attorney understands the ins and outs of these protocols, from the initial complaint through the investigation to your hearing and any subsequent appeals.
When you have someone representing you who understands how these state regulatory boards operate in Arkansas, you have an advantage. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his skilled Professional License Defense Team will represent you at every step of the journey. They will provide experienced counsel about how to best defend yourself against any complaints – and negotiate with the Arkansas state licensing board to dismiss the complaint or reduce any associated penalties. They can also work on your behalf to come to the best possible terms for a so-called "consent decree," or an agreement you make with the state licensing board to remediate any issues without losing your license. If the worst happens, they can also coordinate the process as you apply to have your license reinstated after a suspension or revocation.
The Lento Law Firm has experience helping licensed professionals across a wide variety of fields, including, but not limited to:
- Medical professionals like physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), licensed professional counselors (LPCs), and psychologists.
- Other licensed professionals including architects, accountants, educators, real estate agents, contractors, and many more.
The Lento Law Firm provides professional license defense for a wide-ranging host of different allegations, including:
- Professional misconduct. If you have been accused of alleged behavior that violates your professional code of conduct, the occupational rules and ethics that govern your profession, the Lento Law Firm can help.
- Sexual misconduct. Allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate relationships can put your license at risk. Joseph D. Lento has experience in helping professionals defend themselves against such charges.
- Substance abuse or addiction issues. If you have been accused of substance misuse – or have appeared to be impaired on the job – the Arkansas state licensing board will likely open an investigation. This is not an issue to take lightly.
- Fraud or criminal convictions. Your license may also be at risk if you are accused of overbilling your clients or defrauding insurance agencies. If you are convicted of a crime outside of work, your license could also be in jeopardy. Again, this is where having experienced professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento by your side can help.
There's No Need to Go It Alone
If you have been accused of professional misconduct or some other issue that has taken the notice of the Arkansas State Licensing Board, you may be scared, angry, or even frustrated. After all, your livelihood is on the line. The wrong outcome can alter or even end your career trajectory.
You are an experienced professional. You know the ethics and regulations governing your career – and likely have some idea of how you can defend yourself against allegations. You may think you have the knowledge and skills to resolve the matter on your own. It's just a misunderstanding, you might think. I can clear this up easily! They just need a little more information for me, and all will be well. Unfortunately, far too often, this kind of mindset ends with the loss of your professional licensure. The state licensing board is a regulating entity, not your friend. You need to treat this like the legal matter it is.
Alternatively, you may decide there's no need to hire an attorney until a formal hearing is announced. Maybe it doesn't seem real until then. Or perhaps you think, in due course, the state licensing board will see that they are mistaken and put a halt to the proceedings. But with so much at stake, there is no good reason to wait to retain counsel. As soon as you receive word that a complaint has been made against you – and the Arkansas state board is investigating it, it's time to seek help. There is no innocent until proven guilty when it comes to professional licensure. You want to have a skilled attorney like Joseph D. Lento by your side to improve your chances at keeping your license – and your livelihood – intact.
Don't risk your reputation or career. Don't allow a misunderstanding, one-time lapse in judgment, or unfounded allegation put your hard-won career in jeopardy. The Lento Law Firm has helped many clients save their professional licenses from state licensing board complaints. They can help you, too.
If you have received word of a complaint that affects your professional licensure, there's no time to lose. You want to retain an experienced attorney to help you keep the career you've worked so hard for. Call the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 or contact online today to discuss your case – and figure out your next steps to protect your career and livelihood.