Your professional license is a sign of respect. It shows your customers, clients, patients, and even your colleagues that you put in the time, money, and resources required of the Idaho board that oversees your profession. A professional license bolsters your professional reputation and your career and shows others that you take your work seriously.
When a person files a complaint accusing you of professional misconduct, your license is at risk. The board holds your future in its hands. Depending on the severity of the complaint and the case you build in your defense, you may face warnings, fines, restitution, additional training, or loss of your license.
Don't take a threat to your professional license lightly. Whether you're a doctor, nurse, dentist, accountant, pharmacist, teacher, electrician, or other licensed professional in Idaho, losing your license has devastating consequences on your career, your reputation, and your livelihood. And depending on your circumstances, you could face financial hardship. If someone has filed a complaint against you with the board, you must act quickly to build a strong defense.
Protect your career and professional reputation by engaging Joseph D. Lento and his experienced Professional License Defense Team to help guide you through this challenge to your personal and professional life.
The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense in Idaho
Several professional code violations can put licenses at risk of suspension or revocation across all professions in the Gem State, including sexual misconduct, negligence, or fraud. Your license could also be at risk if a court convicts you of a crime unrelated to your profession, such as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Whether you are one of 3,180 physicians providing direct patient care in Idaho or among the 16,147 teachers in one of Idaho's 705 public schools, if someone files a complaint against you accusing you of professional misconduct, it is crucial that you speak with an attorney experienced in professional license defense.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have the experience you need to build a strong defense against such allegations. They have helped healthcare professionals, college professors, school teachers, and other licensed professionals like you in Idaho and across the country defend their licenses. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case.
The Disciplinary Process for Licensed Professionals in Idaho
Each professional board reviews any complaints against its licensed professionals and has the authority to take action if they determine that the complaint is valid.
Each professional board's procedures and guidelines could vary slightly, but they all follow the process outlined below:
When someone files a complaint against a licensed professional, it begins a process that can take weeks to months to resolve. Each licensing board receives complaints for its own members. For example, the Idaho Board of Medicine oversees healthcare professionals such as medical physicians, osteopathic physicians, physician assistants, athletic trainers, dietitians, respiratory therapists, and polysomnography-related respiratory care. And the Idaho State Board of Education works with county school boards and districts to address allegations against licensed or certified teachers.
Coworkers, patients, clients, or colleagues can file a complaint against a licensed professional in Idaho. Insurers may do so in cases of suspected fraud, and court clerks often will if the court recently convicted you of a crime. Some boards may allow anonymous complaints.
When the board receives a complaint about one of its members, it will review it to determine whether it violates the professional code and if the member is within the board's jurisdiction. If the board determines that the case should progress, it will launch an investigation. The investigator assigned by the board notifies the professional of a complaint against them. Once notified, you will have the opportunity to respond to the complaint.
The investigator may review your records and interview you and possibly others familiar with you or the incident. Once the investigator completes the probe, they provide the board with a report and recommendations. The board uses this information to decide the next steps, which could include closing the complaint, interviewing the complainant, or issuing a subpoena for more information.
If you have retained a professional license defense attorney, they will work with you every step of the way to build a strong defense for the best possible outcome in your case.
If someone filed a complaint of professional misconduct against you and your license is in jeopardy, you should act quickly. The sooner you bring on legal representation, the stronger case your attorney can build in your defense. Your Lento Law Firm Team can advise you on how to work with investigators and build a strong defense should the board choose to pursue disciplinary action.
Consent Order and Other Possible Actions
The best you can hope for following a board's investigation into a complaint against you is for the board to close the complaint. But, the board could decide to take disciplinary action. What the board chooses to do will depend on the severity of the accusation.
One of the more lenient actions may be to issue a Letter of Concern, sometimes called a Letter of Caution. Boards use these letters to call the licensee's attention to a specific act or omission that led to the complaint and to warn the licensee that if the actions continue, the professional could face future disciplinary action. While these letters do not represent disciplinary action, they do remain in the professional's licensing file.
For more serious forms of misconduct, the board may issue a Consent Order that lists possible disciplinary actions, such as admitting liability or guilt, paying fines or restitution, undergoing mandatory continuing education, or going through substance abuse treatment. The board could also order suspension or revocation of your professional license.
You have the right to negotiate the terms of a Consent Order with the licensing board. But, if you and the board cannot agree on a fair resolution, you have the right to have a hearing.
An experienced professional license defense attorney can assist with negotiating the terms of a Consent Order and prepare you for a hearing should you and the board not agree on the terms. Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team have years of experience defending professionals in front of licensing boards. Call the Lento Law Firm today.
If you and the board cannot agree on the terms of a Consent Order, the board will hold an administrative hearing. These hearings are similar to courtroom hearings. The board will present the evidence against you, and you will have the opportunity to respond to the accusations and plead your case. Afterward, the board will decide what actions to take, including admitting guilt or liability, paying fines, paying restitution to the named party, or suspending or revoking your professional license.
Why You Need the Lento Law Firm to Help Protect Your License
If you're facing a disciplinary process, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for the process to run its course. During this time, you may experience a great deal of stress and anxiety. Hiring a professional license defense attorney can provide peace of mind while significantly increasing your chances of keeping your license. Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team can provide valuable assistance during this process by providing the following:
- analyzing the complaint against you
- developing an effective defense strategy by gathering evidence and securing witness testimony
- providing official legal representation in all dealings with the administrative board overseeing your case
- drafting a compelling written response to the complaint against you
- negotiating with the board, as needed, for the best possible outcome
- representing you in a formal hearing before the board, if necessary
Areas the Lento Law Firm Serves in Idaho
Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team provide professional license defense services to doctors, dentists, accountants, teachers, and other licensed workers in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Idaho Falls, and every community in Idaho and across the country.
Most of our Idaho clients live in the more densely populated areas and healthcare hubs across the Gem State; we are especially available to provide representation in the following areas:
Located in southwestern Idaho, Boise is the capital city and the largest city in the state, with a population of about 240,000. The Idaho State Board of Education is in Boise. Its 18-member volunteer Professional Standards Commission has the authority to approve, suspend, and revoke teaching and administrative licenses of public school teachers and administrative staff in the 117 school districts in Idaho. The Idaho Board of Medicine, also headquartered in the capital city, oversees the licensing and regulation of medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, Naturopathic medical doctors, physician assistants, dieticians, athletic trainers, respiratory therapists, and polysomnographic respiratory professionals.
Meridian is a large suburb of Boise with a population of more than 115,000. It's the second-largest city in Idaho, the fastest-growing city in the state, and one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Meridian is home to the Board of Licensure of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors of the DOPL, which assures those who practice engineering and land surveying "have attained and continue to maintain their competence in those professions."
Situated about 20 miles west of Boise and six miles west of Meridian sits Idaho's third-largest city, Nampa. It has a population of just over 100,000. The city has 18 elementary schools, five middle schools, four high schools, and one alternative high school. A portion of Vallivue School District spreads across Nampa and neighboring Caldwell. The College of Western Idaho is also located in Nampa and has more than 450 full- and part-time academic staff.
The beautiful city of Idaho Falls hugs the Snake River in Bonneville County. It is the largest city east of Boise, with nearly 67,000 residents, and is considered the third-largest metropolitan area in the state. Idaho Falls serves as the commercial, cultural, and healthcare hub for Eastern Idaho, as well as parts of western Wyoming and southern Montana. The city has two public school districts with four major high schools, and two major medical centers, Idaho Regional Medical Center (a Level II Trauma Center and the only Level 1 Intensive Care Center in southeast Idaho, and Mountain View Hospital.
Offenses or Allegations That Might Jeopardize Your Professional License
Professional licensing boards hold their members to high ethical and professional standards. When someone files a complaint of professional misconduct against a member, the board must investigate to protect and maintain its strong reputation with the public.
Some complaints can be serious enough to prompt disciplinary action and possible suspension or revocation of a professional license. Examples of more serious accusations that result in disciplinary action include:
Any action, omission, or misrepresentation that knowingly or recklessly leads, or attempts to mislead, another person or entity for financial benefit is a violation of professional code. Examples of fraud in the healthcare field include:
- Charging patients more than you should or using codes that overstate the cost of services provided to insurance providers.
- Billing patients or insurance providers for services that were not rendered.
- Receiving kickbacks in exchange for referring patients to other providers or facilities.
- Altering patient diagnoses to obtain higher reimbursements from insurance providers.
- Providing services that are beyond the scope of your professional license.
Abuse, Gross Negligence
Acting in a way that jeopardizes a patient's safety, health, or well-being is a violation of professional code. Examples include:
- physically, sexually, or emotionally abusing a patient
- breaching patient confidentially
- making medical errors that result in harm to patients
Sexual Misconduct/Inappropriate Relationships
When a healthcare professional engages in a romantic or sexual relationship with a patient, they are violating the ethical code of their profession. Making unwanted sexual advances toward patients or coworkers, committing sexual harassment, and engaging in sexual assault is also prohibited.
Inappropriate Handling of Medications
Healthcare professionals can be severely penalized and risk losing their license if the board finds they are prescribing or dispensing medications irresponsibly or outside the scope of their license. Other serious infractions include incorrect tracking of medications or stealing prescription drugs for personal use.
Inaccurate Record Keeping
Accurate and thorough record-keeping is essential to conscientious, ethical patient care. Healthcare workers can risk their licenses if they keep sloppy or incomplete patient records or falsify documents.
Abusing drugs or alcohol on the job can impair a professional's judgment and ability to do their job. If you are found guilty of abusing substances, you will likely face losing your professional license.
If the court convicts you of criminal behavior, the clerk will probably inform your licensing board. Your license could be in jeopardy if your conviction is for driving while under the influence, crimes of moral turpitude, or crimes related to your profession.
The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense for Licensed Professionals in Idaho
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team represent the interests of licensed professionals like you in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Idaho Falls, and across Idaho and the entire country. If you are licensed to practice in any of these roles, The Lento Law Firm can assist you in your defense.
- medical provider
- mental health professional
- physician assistant
- accountant and CPA
- dentist and orthodontist
- K-12 teacher
- college professor
- cosmetologist or barber
- insurance agent
- other licensed professions
Allegations of professional code violations can quickly turn into a potentially devastating threat to your professional license. You may be at risk of losing your career, your professional reputation, and your livelihood. You need an attorney experienced in professional license defense to help you make the best choices as you navigate the licensing board's disciplinary process.
Let attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team fight for you. They can help build a strong defense and provide the legal representation you need. Call 888-535-3686 or contact us online to schedule a review of your case and start the process of protecting your professional license and restoring your good name.