Criminal Actions and the Impact on Professional Licenses
The criminal prosecution of doctors, nurses and other licensed healthcare professionals doesn’t only put a mark on their criminal record. It can also have an impact on their professional license. Nearly all criminal issues directly affect professional healthcare licenses, even when the criminal charge is unrelated to the practice.
The attorneys at Norman Spencer Law Group are dedicated to the defense of healthcare practitioners and other licensed professionals. With more than a decade of experience in the legal healthcare field, we know that a criminal conviction typically comes with collateral consequences for your professional license. We’ve provided strong legal representation for doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors and others facing criminal prosecution, with the aim of limiting the effect a criminal conviction has on a professional license.
Criminal Defense and License Defense
Selecting a criminal defense attorney that’s not familiar with professional licensing can end up being a costly mistake. In some cases, clients may hire on two attorneys: a professional licensing attorney and a criminal attorney.
With the lawyers at Norman Spencer Law Group, you get the benefit of both roles in a single legal team. Our lawyers are fully aware of the intricacies of the Public Health Code, as well as the mandated requirements for licensed healthcare professionals.
Healthcare practitioners charged with a crime must defend themselves in both criminal court and in front of the state licensing board that governs their specific profession. The proceedings involve both the Penal Code and the Public Health Code, and our attorneys have vast experience and knowledge in both distinct areas of law. Our goal is to streamline the entire process while also ensuring the criminal matter is dealt with in a way that limits the impact on a professional license.
Criminal defense lawyers that are unfamiliar with administrative law often plead cases in a manner that makes it challenging to avoid subsequent licensing actions from the professional and state licensing boards. Our attorneys consider licensing ramifications from the start, establishing a strategy that aims to achieve the most favorable outcomes in the criminal and administrative proceedings.
Criminal Charges and Disciplinary Action
For licensed healthcare professionals, criminal charges nearly always result in administrative disciplinary action. This applies to criminal complaints or federal indictments associated with criminal negligence, drug diversion, or healthcare, Medicare or Medicaid fraud. It also applies to healthcare practitioners arrest for DUI, shoplifting, disorderly conduct, assault or any other
misdemeanor or felony. In such cases, it’s highly likely the Department of Health, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs or the state will open an investigation to determine if you have violated the Public Health Code.
It’s crucial to retain a lawyer that can aggressively defend your freedom during criminal proceedings while just as aggressively protecting your career during licensing proceedings.
Impact of Felony or Misdemeanor Charges
Misdemeanor or felony charges related to alcohol or substance abuse can heavily impact your license, often resulting in an emergency suspension or summary suspension. Both types of suspensions prevent you from practicing the moment they are handed down.
Felony convictions often result in immediate license suspension, as do alcohol-related misdemeanor convictions. Licensed healthcare professionals facing misdemeanor or felony charges are strongly encouraged to seek the advice of a lawyer qualified to handle the case in both criminal and administrative courts. This helps to ensure you’ll receive the most favorable outcome to protect your freedom and your career.
Impact of Pleading Guilty
Pleading guilty to criminal charges has severe consequences in disciplinary proceedings. A guilty plea is the most substantial form of proof under the law. Pleading guilty to a criminal charge also prevents you from arguing differently in subsequent administrative proceedings. Accepting an offer or entering a plea of guilty may seem like a straightforward solution, but it can also be a highly detrimental one.
Before entering a guilty plea, it’s essential to be advised of the collateral consequences of your guilty plea on your professional license. Not only can the experienced attorneys at Norman Spencer Law Group outline the impact a guilty plea can have on your license, but we can also advise on which misdemeanors are less likely to result in a license suspension.
Reporting Criminal Convictions
Licensed healthcare professionals are required to report criminal convictions to the appropriate board within a specific time frame. If the licensing board believes your criminal conviction may potentially impact your ability to practice, they may impose sanctions. One of those may be license revocation.
It’s of the utmost importance to report your criminal conviction in a way that puts you in the best possible light while underscoring your ability to continue to practice safely and skillfully. A professional licensing attorney can help you report your conviction in such a manner, while also helping you navigate through the entire lineup of proceedings in criminal and administrative court.
If you’ve been arrested, contact a qualified attorney immediately. Aggressive representation from the start improves your chances of favorable results at the end. Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.