As a licensed professional in New York, you've already shown a great deal of commitment to your profession just by qualifying for licensure. You've studied, invested time in field practice, and worked to build a reputation that your patients or clients can trust. Physicians, dentists, accountants, plumbers, and other licensed professionals display their licenses as a symbol of public trust. However, your license to practice may be in jeopardy if someone files a complaint against you with the state. Whether it is a patient, coworker, or client who lodges the complaint, all it may take is one allegation of wrongdoing to ruin your career and future prospects. Reach out to Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his proficient Professional License Defense Team as soon as you become aware of a complaint against you.
New York's Go-To Professional License Defense Attorney: The Lento Law Firm
Obtaining a professional license is an achievement, but what has been given can also be taken away if you fail to adhere to the standards required to maintain that license. Various professional code violations can endanger licensure, with some violation types being common across different professions. Allegations of negligence, fraud, sexual misconduct, etc., can put your license in jeopardy whether you're a physician, a nurse, a counselor, or a licensed teacher, for example.
Regardless of your profession, the best way to protect your license against threats like these is to consult with an experienced professional license defense attorney as soon as you become aware of the complaint against you. The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team has the experience needed to address professional misconduct allegations in New York or any other part of the country. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case.
New York's Disciplinary Process for Licensed Professionals
The State of New York has a fairly unique authority structure for managing licensed professionals. Most professions (for example, architecture, engineering, nursing, mental health, etc.) are overseen directly by the Office of the Professions (OP), which is governed by the New York State Board of Regents. Physicians and physician assistants, on the other hand, are regulated by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC). Although the procedures and guidelines differ slightly depending on which governing body oversees your license, disciplinary processes follow a pathway similar to that of the Office of the Professions below.
The disciplinary process usually commences when someone files a complaint against you with the OP. The complainant can be any member of the public, but typically complainants are somehow connected with your profession (e.g., patient, client, former client, colleague, insurance company, etc.).
Upon receiving a complaint, the OP investigates to look for evidence to support the allegation. During this phase, they may liaise with the complainant and potential witnesses, gather pertinent evidence, subpoena documents, and perform other investigative actions. If the OP's inquiry uncovers insufficient evidence of wrongdoing, the complaint will likely be dismissed. However, if enough evidence is found, the matter will be forwarded to the State Board of Regents for a more thorough review.
In some cases (especially if the evidence of misconduct is compelling), the Board may provide you with the option to sign a consent order, which is a legal agreement in which you effectively admit to wrongdoing and submit to the Board's recommended disciplinary actions. This can be advantageous in some cases, as it prevents your case from going to a formal hearing, but it also means the disciplinary action is final and non-appealable. That said, if disciplinary action is unavoidable, a consent order may allow your attorney to negotiate for more lenient penalties and minimize damage to your career. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team can advise you on the specifics of your case and whether a consent order is an appropriate solution.
Hearing and Final Determination
If your case proceeds to a hearing, you will be summoned to appear before the Board and asked to present evidence against the complaint or explain why your license should not be revoked. Having an attorney represent you during this process can significantly impact the outcome. After deliberation, the Board will issue their final decision on disciplinary measures, which can range from warnings and fines to complete license revocation.
Why the Lento Law Firm is Essential for Safeguarding Your License
Your professional license gives you the legal right to practice your profession, but it can be revoked under the right circumstances. A complaint filed against you poses a legal threat to that right, and your most effective response includes enlisting the services of an experienced and knowledgeable professional license defense attorney to represent you in all matters related to the complaint. Navigating the disciplinary process in New York can be daunting, especially when your professional future is on the line. Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have the necessary experience to work toward a favorable outcome, preferably one that enables you to keep your license intact. The Lento Law Firm can:
- Act as your legal counsel, representing you in all interactions with the administrative board examining the complaint against you.
- Analyze the complaint against you and suggest a robust defense strategy, including evidence gathering, witness procurement, and more.
- Craft a persuasive written response to the complaint to enhance your chances of having the case dismissed.
- Negotiate with the board to dismiss the complaint or impose less severe penalties.
- Secure the most favorable terms possible in a consent agreement.
- Represent you in a formal hearing before the board, if necessary.
Areas We Serve in New York
The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team proudly represents a wide range of licensed professionals, including doctors, teachers, contractors, therapists, and real estate agents, throughout the State of New York. We are especially active in more heavily populated cities and metropolitan areas such as the following.
New York City
New York City, aka "The Big Apple," is the largest city in the U.S. (8 million people) anchoring the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. (20-plus million). A global hub of culture, finance, and entertainment, the city's iconic skyline is punctuated by awe-inspiring skyscrapers, such as the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center. The city offers an unparalleled tapestry of experiences, from world-class museums like the Museum of Modern Art and The Met, to vibrant neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Williamsburg--and of course, the Broadway theater district. Dozens of hospitals and hundreds of healthcare facilities serve this area, including some of the most reputable healthcare systems in the world, such as New York Presbyterian, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Northwell Health.
Albany is the state capital of New York and home to over 100,000 people. This vibrant city offers plenty of options for education, recreation, and entertainment. The University at Albany SUNY (State University of New York) calls Albany its home, along with many other highly rated schools in the area. The diverse healthcare landscape in the greater Capital Region includes Ellis Medicine and Albany Medical Center--both of which serve this densely populated area.
Located in the heart of Central New York, Syracuse is home to roughly 146,000 people. This city has a rich history and offers a wealth of activities for its residents. Syracuse University is one of the most prominent universities in this area, and healthcare systems like Upstate Medical University provide exemplary care.
Located on the banks of Lake Ontario, Rochester is the third-largest city in New York and home to over 210,000 people. This "Flower City" is known for its vibrant culture and diverse attractions, from the George Eastman Museum to the world-famous Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. With a large concentration of medical facilities, including Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester General Hospital, and Unity Hospital, Rochester serves as an important healthcare hub in the state.
The largest city in western New York and the second-largest in the state, Buffalo boasts over 277,000 people. The birthplace of the Buffalo wing, this city is known for its diverse dining scene, ranging from delicious Italian food to several Asian cuisines. The Buffalo area includes renowned medical facilities such as Erie County Medical Center and Sisters of Charity Hospital.
Potential Risks to Your Professional License in New York Due to Misconduct or Accusations
Maintaining public trust is of paramount importance in healthcare and other licensed professions. Consequently, the State of New York enforces rigorous ethical and professional standards for all licensees. Most allegations that could jeopardize your license will have something to do with violating these standards. Some common examples include:
Examples of fraudulent or deceptive behaviors may include a wide range of offenses, from misrepresenting your credentials to acting outside the scope of your license to false advertising. For medical professions, fraud may also include things like:
- Excessive billing of patients or upcoding insurance claims (billing for a more costly service than what was rendered)
- Charging patients or insurance companies for services not provided
- Receiving kickbacks for referrals
- Fabricating patient diagnoses to receive higher reimbursements from insurers
Abuse and/or Gross Negligence
This category includes behaviors that could endanger the client's or patient's safety, health, or welfare. In many cases, these offenses can result in loss of license. For example:
- Physical abuse, including assault or sexual misconduct
- Emotional mistreatment, such as threats or belittling a patient
- Breaching patient or client confidentiality
- Medical errors, including prescription mistakes
Sexual Misconduct/Inappropriate Relationships
In healthcare professions, especially, sexual or romantic relationships with patients constitute grave ethical breaches. Other forms of sexual misconduct include making unwanted sexual advances, sexual harassment, or sexual assault toward patients, clients, or colleagues. Any of these behaviors could potentially cost you your professional license.
Irresponsible Management of Medications
If you're a healthcare professional, specifically, you may face serious penalties if the Board determines that you have prescribed or dispensed medications negligently, beyond the scope of your license, or if you have been improperly tracking or misappropriating medications for personal use. Prescribing suspicious amounts of addictive medications (e.g., opioids) can also raise red flags.
Poor Record Keeping
If you are found to have maintained inaccurate, incomplete, or falsified records, your license could be in jeopardy, especially if those inaccurate records could endanger patients or clients.
Drug or alcohol abuse is a particularly grave offense that may result in the loss of your professional license. The Board may intervene if they have reason to suspect that you are impaired while working, or if they discover an addiction problem.
Your license may be endangered if the administrative board learns of criminal convictions for driving under the influence, morally reprehensible crimes, or offenses related to your profession.
The Lento Law Firm: Defending the Professional Licenses of New York's Licensed Professionals
With extensive experience representing licensed professionals in New York and nationwide, the Lento Law Firm is equipped to assist you if you are licensed to practice in roles such as:
- Physician Assistant
- Mental health professional
- Physical therapist
- Real estate agent
- K-12 educator
- Insurance agent
- Other licensed professions
Don't let accusations of professional misconduct pose a potentially devastating threat to your professional license and career. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can provide the outstanding representation you need. Contact them at 888-535-3686 or visit their website to schedule a case review and begin the process of safeguarding your reputation and professional license.