Attorney Joseph D. Lento Can Help Save Your Teaching License and/or Credentials
If you are a licensed instructor, your career hinges on your license and/or teaching credentials. That's why having your license jeopardized by a complaint or allegation of wrongdoing can throw your world into upheaval. If you are a licensed teacher in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or New York and have been accused of misconduct, Joseph D. Lento is a teaching license defense attorney who has helped many professionals just like you. Contact the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today to schedule a consultation
Teaching is often a thankless job with long hours and little pay—but you have worked hard to earn your teaching license because you love what you do. But because of the high level of public trust placed on teachers, a single complaint, misunderstanding, or allegation of misconduct can derail the public trust. State licensing boards take such accusations seriously, and they have broad authority to administer discipline--including revoking or suspending your license and certification.
Saving Your License and Your Career Starts with a Good Teaching License Defense Attorney
If you are facing accusations of misconduct, your first step should be to contact a skilled teaching certificate suspension attorney like Joseph D. Lento. Over the years, the team at the Lento Law Firm has helped many professionals whose licenses have come under scrutiny. Mr. Lento will work for the best possible resolution for your case (including rescuing your license to teach).
What allegations could cause me to lose my license and certification to teach?
Teachers can lose their licenses and credentials for a wide range of offenses. Common allegations include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual misconduct with students. One of the most common allegations of teacher misconduct, this includes both physical and non-physical forms of misconduct, including "sexting," sexual harassment, making sexually suggestive comments to a student, inappropriate comments, etc.
- Drug and alcohol offenses. Includes possession, sale, or distribution of alcohol/drugs, giving alcohol to minors, etc.
- Physical and/or verbal abuse of students. If a student alleges that you have hit, kicked, shoved, or otherwise physically harmed them—or even just threatened to do so—you could lose your license.
- Academic-related misconduct. Examples include artificially inflating or deflating grades, falsifying student records, etc.
- Criminal convictions. Being convicted of a crime may disqualify you from holding a teacher's certificate in many states. (Being convicted of any felony typically bars you from teaching in any federally funded institution.)
What happens when someone files a complaint against my license?
Once the teaching licensing board receives the complaint and confirms it falls within its jurisdiction, it will open an investigation, which may include reviewing documents, gathering evidence, and talking with witnesses. They might also ask for your written response to the complaint.
The board may offer to sign a consent order with you instead of holding a formal hearing if the evidence against your case is strong. A consent order is a legally binding agreement where you voluntarily comply with the board's recommended disciplinary actions. If no consent order is offered or signed, you will likely be summoned to a formal hearing to answer the complaint. At the conclusion, the board will render a final determination as to what disciplinary action will be imposed, including possibly revoking your license and/or certification.
Can the board issue less severe penalties to allow me to keep my license?
In some cases, you may receive a lesser penalty (e.g., fines or a formal censure) depending on your case. However, even these lesser penalties may do damage to your career because any disciplinary action becomes part of your public record. Hiring a good teaching license defense attorney like Joseph D. Lento can greatly reduce the risk of harm to your reputation and increase your chances of keeping your credentials intact.
Why would I need an attorney to help with the complaint against my teaching license?
Your state's licensing board has a responsibility to protect the public against bad actors--and as soon as someone files a complaint against you, they begin actively looking for evidence to support the complaint. Even the things you say or do in response could ultimately be used against you. This puts you at an immediate disadvantage because the board has a low burden of proof and doesn't have to give you the benefit of the doubt. Hiring a teaching certificate suspension attorney helps ensure your side is heard and your rights protected. In many cases, the attorney can negotiate directly with the board to resolve the issue favorably, including reduced penalties or dropping the complaint completely.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento can:
- Examine the allegations against you and develop a defense strategy.
- Collect evidence and witnesses to support your defense.
- Assume the role of your legal representative in all interactions between you and the board.
- Prepare a persuasive written response to the complaint, including supporting evidence.
- Negotiate with the licensing board at multiple points to have your complaint dismissed or for lesser penalties.
- If necessary, defend you in a formal hearing.
I was notified that there is a complaint against my teaching credentials. When should I talk to an attorney?
As soon as you can. The sooner you call an attorney, the more time they will have to develop a defense strategy and collect evidence. Waiting until you're summoned for a hearing reduces your chances of a favorable outcome because the board has already compiled a case against you. In some cases, the attorney can even prevent the need for an investigation to go forward by getting the complaint dismissed before it gets to a hearing stage.
If your teaching certification is under scrutiny, don't take unnecessary risks by trying to address the complaint on your own. Attorney Joseph D. Lento can greatly improve your chances for a favorable result. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686.