Professional certifications are the result of many years of hard work, education, and training. While renewing the license each year may cost just a few dollars, the certification represents countless hours of effort and learning. Losing one's license can mean losing one's career entirely. Whether you're a dentist, educator, nurse, electrician, physician, or other licensed professional, there are immediate and long-reaching consequences to losing your license. When allegations of misconduct put your license in jeopardy, it's vital to take quick action. Protect your professional reputation and future vocation by working with Joseph D. Lento and his experienced Professional License Defense Team. They are ready to walk you through any challenge and keep your license active even in the face of misconduct allegations.
The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense in New Hampshire
Any number of violations can threaten the validity of your professional license. Patient/client confidentiality violations, medication mishandling, drug use, and sexual misconduct can all trigger an investigation. Your status may be questioned in you're convicted of a crime with no direct tie to your career. For example, people convicted of drinking and driving often find themselves at the center of scrutiny, even if the incident occurred off the clock. Upon learning of misconduct allegations levied against you, it's important to reach out to a skilled Professional License Defense Attorney.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can respond to allegations of professional misconduct in New Hampshire and throughout the rest of the country. They've assisted licensed professionals across industries in defending their good names. Get in touch with the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to discuss your options.
How Disciplinary Proceedings are Handled in New Hampshire
The governing body that issued your professional license likely oversees the disciplinary proceedings that follow allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct. Guidelines and procedures vary from one industry and organization to the next. Most boards usually follow a process similar to the one outlined below.
Licensed professionals in New Hampshire may find themselves the subject of disciplinary proceedings after a complaint is filed against them. The New Hampshire Board of Medicine hands complaints against doctors in the state. Other boards for healthcare professions, including counseling, nursing, and dentistry, follow similar protocols. Other statewide agencies for licensed professionals include the New Hampshire Real Estate Commission and the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy.
Any individual may file a complaint that can jeopardize your professional license. Most complainants fall into the following categories:
- patients or clients
- other practitioners
- insurers (typically in cases of suspected fraud)
- court clerks (i.e., reporting a recent criminal conviction to your employer)
Any complaint received by your licensing agency can trigger an investigation. You'll receive written notice when an investigation begins. You may have an opportunity to respond to the allegations against you. The investigator may contact you to schedule an interview, though they may show up unannounced if a complaint has been made about your drinking or using drugs on the job. After the initial investigation commences, investigators file a report, and the agency makes a decision about how to proceed. This sometimes includes closing out the complaint or continuing on with an interview with the complainant. Sometimes, a subpoena is issued for relevant records. Make no mistake: your professional license rides upon this investigation. That's why it's so important to reach out to Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team as soon as you learn about the investigation.
If the investigation results in a recommendation for disciplinary action, the licensing board may try to negotiate a legally binding consent agreement. This agreement may require you to admit liability or guilt but retain your professional license. The consent agreement might include penalties, like attending training courses or treatment for substance abuse. Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can represent you and negotiate the most favorable consent agreement possible.
Sometimes, a consent agreement can't be reached. In such situations, an administrative hearing may be necessary. Attendance is typically mandatory – the licensing board will present its case, giving you a chance to respond to the allegations and make an argument as to why your license should remain valid. The licensing board will then decide if you're guilty or innocent. They'll also determine what disciplinary actions should be taken against you.
Defend Your Professional License with the Lento Law Firm
Most legal issues require a complainant to hire a legal team and invest significant time and money into pursuing justice. That's not the case with professional license complaints. In many industries, there is no statute of limitations for filing complaints, either. The risk lies entirely with the subject of the complaint.
If you're facing allegations of professional misconduct, don't up the odds of losing your license by representing yourself. Instead, contact the Lento Law Firm as soon as you learn of the allegations. This will increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can assist you in many ways, including the following:
- Address the complaint made against you and determine the best defense strategy, including the collection of evidence and interviewing of witnesses
- Serve as your representative in all communications with the licensing board as they review the complaint made against you.
- Write a compelling response to the allegations to increase the likelihood of having the complaint dismissed.
- Negotiate with the board to have the complaint dismissed or to agree to a more lenient outcome.
- Arrange the most favorable consent agreement possible.
- Advocate for you in a hearing before the licensing board.
Areas the Lento Law Firm Serves in New Hampshire
Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team offer professional license defense services to doctors, dentists, nurses, and other medical professionals, as well as to other licensed workers throughout New Hampshire. Clients tend to live in the most densely populated areas and work in healthcare systems across the Granite State. We're especially focused on providing representation in the following regions:
Located in southern New Hampshire, Manchester is the state's largest city by population. The area's thriving healthcare industry represents a strong community of providers. Catholic Medical Center, Elliot Hospital, and VA Manchester Medical Center all offer a wide range of medical services, from primary care to specialized treatments. The city is also a hub for medical research, with the University of New Hampshire's Manchester campus conducting cutting-edge research in fields such as biotechnology and healthcare management.
Considered one of the safest cities in the country, Nashua is a dreamy place to live and work. The town draws medical professionals the world over, with medical facilities including St. Joseph Hospital, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua Research Center. This facility is focused on conducting clinical trials and studies that focus on oncology, cardiology, and infectious diseases.
Concord is home to a robust medical scene that serves the city's population and beyond. Concord Hospital is a regional medical center that offers a range of medical services, including emergency care, primary care, and specialized treatments. Concord is also home to the New Hampshire Hospital, which is a state-run psychiatric facility that provides mental health services to patients.
Dover is the oldest permanent settlement in New Hampshire. With a population of just 32,000, the town isn't necessarily known for its thriving healthcare industry. Still, local healthcare professionals working at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital serve their community with fidelity. Medical clinics, dental offices, and pharmacies throughout the region ensure access to medical care for all residents.
Rochester is another sleepy community located in central New Hampshire. The city is home to several healthcare facilities, including Frisbie Memorial Hospital, which is a regional medical center that offers a range of medical services. The region's medical industry creates jobs and drives economic growth in the Rochester area.
Offenses or Allegations That May Put Your Professional License at Risk
Licensing boards often remind professionals about the importance of public perception. When the board receives a complaint about a particular licensee, an investigation typically follows. Violations of the Medical Practices Act, for instance, may warrant probation, reprimands, or the revocation of a person's license. The following are other allegations that could lead to disciplinary actions:
In the healthcare industry, fraud may constitute:
- Upcoding insurance by using a more expensive service code
- Overcharging patients
- Billing patients or insurance companies for services not rendered
- Receiving referral kickbacks
- Falsifying diagnoses to seek more reimbursement from insurance companies
- Providing services outside the scope of one's license
Abuse and Gross Negligence
This covers any action that threatens the safety, health, or well-being of a patient, including:
- Physical abuse, such as hitting or sexually assaulting a patient
- Emotional abuse, such as intimidating or insulting a patient
- Violating patient confidentiality
- Medical mistakes, including medication errors
Sexual Misconduct and Inappropriate Relationships
Healthcare misconduct may take the form of romantic or sexual relationships with patients. Other instances of sexual misconduct include unwanted sexual advances toward colleagues or patients, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.
Improper Medication Management
Practitioners may face consequences should the board determine they dispensed or prescribed medications outside the boundaries of their license. Poor monitoring of medications or misappropriation of medicine for personal use may also fall under this category.
Quality patient care is impossible to deliver without thorough record-keeping policies. A practitioner's license may be jeopardized if they fail to properly maintain patient records or if the records feature false information.
Substance Misuse and Dependency
Substance use can significantly impact a provider's ability to safely and effectively treat patients. If you are found to have abused drugs or alcohol on the job, you may lose your license.
If the governing board is notified of your criminal conviction for driving while intoxicated, crimes of moral turpitude, or offenses associated with your profession, your license may be at risk.
The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense in New Hampshire
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have experience representing licensed professionals in New Hampshire and across the country. If you are licensed in any of these fields, the Lento Law Firm may be able to assist you.
- physician assistant
- mental health professional
- physical therapist
- real estate agent
- K-12 teacher
- insurance agent
- other licensed professions
Misconduct allegations may quickly spiral beyond your control. With your professional future at risk, it's crucial that you find a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to represent you. Your professional reputation, income, and ability to work in the future are all on the line. Given how much is at stake, there's no time to waste.