The professionals who occupy medical examination rooms, accounting firms, and other arenas throughout Alabama provide essential services. The very fact that state or federal boards require you to obtain a license speaks to the importance of your job.
Whether you are a white-collar professional, tradesman, or other licensed professional, losing your credential to do your job may prove devastating. Even the temporary suspension of your license could cause immense reputational and financial harm while costing you the fulfillment your career provides.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Nationwide Professional License Defense Team use years of legal experience to defend professionals in Alabama. We will lean on qualified experts and our own legal team as we strive to clear your name and allow you to continue working.
License Defense Legal Team Serving Professionals in Alabama
Most professionals in Alabama value their career as much as their family, faith, and other passions. Therefore, a revelation that you face potential suspension or revocation of your license—or another professional sanction—can be stunning.
The worst thing you can do is deny the seriousness of professional sanctions. Regardless of whether you're the victim of a false allegation or a minor mistake has been mischaracterized as gross negligence, you must take professional disciplinary processes seriously.
Hiring an attorney is not a luxury. For professionals who value their careers, hiring a qualified lawyer is a no-brainer. You should have a legal advisor to protect your rights, share their experiences with professional license defense in Alabama, and advocate for the best possible outcome to your case. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Legal Team serving Alabama are ready to advise, protect, and advocate for you.
How the Professional Disciplinary Process Typically Unfolds in Alabama
It is important to note that each professional licensure board may have unique disciplinary procedures that are in accordance with Alabama's laws. The leeway that professional boards have over their field's disciplinary procedures means there can be minor or substantial differences in the proceedings a doctor, nurse, surveyor, or other professional faces.
Even so, we typically find that the professional license defense process in Alabama follows a consistent timeline:
Someone Files a Complaint
Without a complaint, there would be no reason to take disciplinary action against a professional. This complaint can come from:
- A superior
- A colleague
- A patient, client, or customer
- A general observer
- Courts that are aware of criminal proceedings involving a professional
Which association receives a complaint, and how they handle that complaint, varies by professional field.
An Investigation Ensues
The Federation of State Medical Boards notes that "physicians are afforded the right of due process as a state medical board investigates an allegation of unprofessional conduct," and that due process certainly covers the investigative stage.
The typical professional investigation may involve designated investigators:
- Interviewing the professional who is the subject of the complaint
- Interviewing the complainant
- Reviewing all available evidence relevant to the complaint
- Presenting the professional the opportunity to present their own defense, witness statements, and evidence
If the designated investigative body issues a recommendation of no discipline, this could conclude the case against you. If the body recommends proceeding with discipline, you will have more steps ahead.
Negotiation of a Consent Order
Those facing professional license discipline in Alabama may receive a consent order at the conclusion of the investigation. For example, the Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) explains that it may "offer" a nurse deemed responsible for a violation a consent order, which states:
- The Findings of Fact from the investigation
- The Conclusions of Law from the investigation
- Proposed disciplinary action against the nurse
The nurse can then choose to accept the proposed discipline, which may include a reprimand, probation, conditional terms for continuing to practice nursing, or suspension of the license. Doctors can also request a possible consent order and should contact the Alabama Board of Medical Board's Office of General Counsel (OGC) about negotiating a resolution.
Most professionals will generally have the option to accept or reject a consent order. If you don't accept the terms of a consent order, a hearing may be next.
Completion of a Hearing
The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners & Medical Licensure Commission explains that, when "sufficient evidence exists to file public, formal charges," it will provide the medical professional with a charging document and hearing date.
The Alabama Medical Licensure Commission generally hears cases that could affect your license status. During the hearing, your attorney may:
- Present evidence in your defense
- Cross-examine witnesses
- Present your own witnesses
Hearings are closed and conducted in compliance with Alabama Administrative Procedures Act, Ala. Code §§ 41-2-1, et. seq. Potential post-hearing outcomes include:
- Dismissing your case
- Adjusting a previous order of discipline against you
- Imposing probation upon your license
- Reprimanding you
- Assessing a fine
- Suspending your license
- Revoking your license
There are outcomes that all professionals in Alabama may face when accused of discipline. Whether you're an engineer, doctor, electrician, nurse, accountant, plumber, or another professional who relies on a license to practice, understand that any discipline could have substantial adverse consequences.
Do I Really Need an Attorney When Facing Professional License Forfeiture in Alabama?
Our firm highly recommends that you retain experienced attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team when facing potential professional discipline. Some prominent reasons to hire our firm include:
- The potential presumption of guilt: While professionals deserve the presumption of innocence, you never know who will be hearing your case. The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners & Medical Licensure Commission states that it decides professional license cases based on "the basis of substantial evidence." This means that if you cannot convince a disciplinary board that you're not guilty, you may face life-altering discipline.
- Familiarity with licensing board issues: Every moment you spend familiarizing yourself with procedural issues could come at the expense of your actual defense. Our legal team's deep understanding of various licensing board procedures in Alabama can, therefore, be a massive advantage.
- Familiarity with licensing board professionals and attorneys in Alabama: We will provide you with the attorney who is most qualified to defend your specific license. If you are a doctor, we'll work to assign a lawyer who has negotiated resolutions with medical licensing boards in Alabama before. This familiarity could start your defense on the best possible footing.
- Your own personal and professional demands: Most of our clients have full plates. Between your personal life and professional demands, you may have little time or energy to dedicate to your defense. With a matter as consequential as professional license defense, you should hire a professional whose sole mission is defending you.
The Lento Law Firm's nationwide team of legal professionals must maintain our own licenses to protect clients like you. We truly understand what's at stake, and we'll do everything in our power to negotiate the best possible resolution for you.
How Our Professional License Defense Team Serving Alabama Will Fight for You
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team serving Alabama will:
- Speak with you to understand the exact nature of the allegations you face
- Secure any evidence (in your possession or elsewhere) that could clear you of the allegations you face
- Contact witnesses and get any statements that benefit your defense
- Prepare you for any upcoming interviews and hearings, and arrange for witnesses and experts to participate in hearings (as permitted)
- Representing you in all meetings and phone calls with the disciplinary board(s) handling your professional license defense matter
- Contact the Offices of General Counsel for your professional licensing board to explore potential resolutions
- Guide you through the hearing process by presenting evidence, questioning witnesses, and making oral arguments in your defense
- Manage any necessary appeals processes
Our team will make this stressful time as pain-free as possible. While we understand you will not be completely at ease until we resolve your case, you will quickly realize that your defense is in capable hands with the Lento Law Firm.
Alabama Locales Our Professional License Defense Team Serves
One of our firm's value propositions is familiarity. In particular, we offer familiarity with professional licensing boards throughout Alabama, including:
Alabama's largest city by population, countless professionals call Huntsville home. Serving such a large population can present unique challenges and may statistically increase the likelihood of a professional facing an allegation of misconduct.
As the seat of Alabama's most populous county (Jefferson), Birmingham is one of the state's Big Four cities (along with Huntsville, Montgomery, and Mobile). Our legal team is familiar with licensing boards serving Birmingham, and the wide array of professionals who need license defense services in The Magic City.
Another major population center in Alabama, Montgomery is home to thousands of doctors, engineers, nurses, and trade workers who rely on their licenses to serve the Montgomery community. When a dedicated professional loses their license due to baseless allegations or heavy-handed sanctions, the entire community suffers.
The city on the bay, Mobile is a Southern titan of industry where many skilled professionals make their living. This city also has a thriving downtown home to several large corporations.
We have represented both office-dwelling professionals and professionals who get their hands dirty on a daily basis in Mobile.
The roll of the professional tide can come to a sudden stop when you're accused of misconduct in Tuscaloosa. Fortunately, you can rely on the Lento Law Firm and its affiliated legal professionals to defend you from professional sanctions in the home of the University of Alabama.
Every Other City and Town in Alabama
From heavily populated cities like Auburn and Hoover to smaller communities throughout the state, the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team is familiar with The Yellowhammer State. Let us utilize our legal resources, experience, and training to protect your career and reputation.
Types of Alleged Offenses That Lead to Professional Sanctions (Including Loss of Your License)
The types of offenses that can trigger professional license suspension or other discipline vary by professional field. An electrician does not have to worry about conflicts of interests, while an accountant does not have to worry about endangering customers due to dangerous electrical practices.
However, some general categories of offense that could trigger professional license sanctions include:
- Endangering a client, patient, or customer
- Failing to avoid conflicts of interest
- Engaging in criminal activity, whether on the job or on personal time
- Engaging in deceptive practices
- Violating professional-patient or professional-client privilege
- Financial improprieties
- Misrepresenting personal or professional information, whether in pursuit of a license or under different circumstances
Every case of alleged professional misconduct comes with a unique story. If you find yourself facing professional sanctions in Alabama, we can help.
Types of Professionals the Lento Law Firm and Its Team Defend in Alabama
We have the experience and legal knowledge to represent every licensed professional in Alabama. No matter how much money you earn, how long you have been practicing, or how well-known your name is, our firm will fight for you—every career matters.
We have successfully defended:
- Physician assistants
- Therapist for the body
- Real estate agents
- Insurance salesmen
- Mental health professionals
If you're a professional facing potential license suspension or other sanctions, the Lento Law Firm and its Licensed Professional Defense Team are the firm to call.
Call the Lento Law Firm Today to Discuss Your Professional License Defense in Alabama
Licensing sanctions can arrive more quickly than you may realize. Our team wants to utilize every available minute to prepare for upcoming interviews, negotiations, and hearings. Let the Lento Law Firm work for you.