The threat of losing your professional license can be devastating, leaving you with a sense of being cast aside by peers in your life's work. For most professionals, what they do goes far beyond making a living: It's the culmination of years of study and hard work towards something they were called to do.
Oversight: Intention Versus Practice
Every licensed profession in the U.S. has an oversight body of some sort. What they all have in common are goals to keep clients and patients safe and maintain standards of care and service.
Complaints leveled against professionals can come from a range of sources, including clients or patients, colleagues and competitors, or the oversight body itself.
These attacks against professional credibility can stem from:
- Doubts regarding qualifications
- Suspicions of violations of relevant state laws or regulations
- Substance misuse
- Accusations of unethical or illegal behavior, including alleged crimes that have nothing to do with the ability to carry out professional duties
What if You've Been Wrongly Accused?
It could be a disgruntled client who had unreasonable expectations, a former colleague with an ax to grind, or an over-zealous regulator: Whatever the source and no matter how ludicrous the charge, any allegation that endangers your ability to practice your profession must be taken very seriously.
While you may have easily interacted with your oversight board in routine matters such as renewing your license annually or reporting your continuing education, when a license review is in the picture, it's unwise to try to handle it on your own.
An experienced professional who understands the inner workings of regulatory bodies and state attorneys-general offices—which can get involved in some cases—can prove to be an important part of preserving your livelihood and reputation.
Keeping Your House in Order
Whether you're accused or not, making sure you've got your administrative ducks in a row is essential. In the event of an investigation into allegations of misconduct, you'll be better protected if you ensure your:
- Professional insurance is up to date, and the coverage is adequate
- License is renewed on time
- Continuing education is current and documented
- Records of care/service and billing are meticulous
How a Professional License Defense Lawyer Can Help
If your license is suspended or revoked, you won't be able to do your job or earn a living. An attorney with experience in professional license defense is essential in representing your side when you are communicating with the oversight body. Joseph D. Lento has assisted clients in evaluating cases, gathering and evaluating evidence, calling relevant witnesses to defend you, interacting with the licensing board, and defending you in formal proceedings should the matter reach that point.
At every stage of the process, an attorney can negotiate on your behalf to achieve a more favorable outcome, including a reduction in penalties or a reinstatement of your license.
If You've Been Wrongly Accused, Take Action Right Away
Protect your ability to practice your profession by hiring a qualified attorney as early as possible. Thinking you can explain things on your own to a licensing board is risky business.
Joseph D. Lento has successfully defended clients in a range of professions in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Call his office today at (888) 535-3686.