If someone in your life has applied for and been granted a restraining order, or order of protection, against you, you are no doubt feeling a complex mix of emotions – perhaps betrayal, shock, anger, or sadness. This is normal, and it's important to remember this. Relationships and family ties can be complicated – and when a breakup, for example, is involved, things can get even more complex.
A restraining order isn't something to be taken lightly, regardless of its nature (alleged domestic abuse, harassment, child abuse, etc.). There can be very serious legal consequences involved for not following one, if issued to you, to the letter of the law. Whether or not you feel the order is warranted, you should tread carefully. Serious professional consequences may also emerge if you are a board-certified practitioner of medicine. Physicians have a responsibility to maintain public trust and are, therefore, subject to high standards.
What Could Happen to Me Professionally?
Exactly what might transpire legally if an order of protection is issued against you is highly dependent on circumstances (Did a patient issue the order? A romantic partner? A spouse?), as well as the laws of the state you practice in.
Physicians, in this case, could face reprimand by their state board of medicine. You might be fined by the board or required to complete community service. A formal reprimand could take place. Your privileges of practicing medicine might even be suspended, warranted or not.
What Were the Circumstances of Your Protective Order?
A restraining order alone is often not sufficient grounds for a medical board to suspend or revoke your license. But the circumstances that led to it could be the deciding factor. Did you participate in behavior that the board might deem unprofessional or unethical? Needless to say, if your actions are proven to be illegal, this may be problematic for you.
You might be facing an investigation by the board into allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behavior. Your licensing board will be attempting to determine if your actions violate professional standards or regulations. Have any of your patients been in danger? Are there criminal charges or convictions related to the restraining order?
Don't Hesitate to Hire a Solid Defense Team
If you have been served a restraining order, you will likely seek ways to lessen the risk of losing your medical license. This requires acting proactively, preferably with the help of an experienced legal team. At the end of the day, most restraining orders are public records. You may be wondering if you can successfully contest it, file an appeal, or submit a petition to have it lifted or expunged. In any case, you want to minimize the damage to your career.
You don't need to take this on alone, addressing your state board of medicine unprepared or unprotected. A skilled legal team can help you successfully navigate any investigation and disciplinary processes and negotiate on your behalf. An experienced legal team can help provide evidence that a protective order was unfairly issued if it was. It's important that you acknowledge any order served to you and face it head-on.
The Lento Law Firm has successfully represented hundreds of physicians and medical professionals nationwide in defending their professional licenses. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now to contact the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team.