Your livelihood depends on your professional license. However, just one misconduct claim can do much more than threaten your job, it threatens your professional career and reputation. If you ever find yourself facing allegations of professional misconduct and handle the situation poorly, you may lose both your job and license.
Even if you are successful in avoiding a formal charge, you may still have a difficult time finding employment, even after moving to a different state. Fortunately, hard-working Indianapolis professionals don’t have to face intrusive investigations or disciplinary boards alone. At the Rathburn Law Office, we offer professional license defense for people throughout Indianapolis.
What Does a Professional License Defense Lawyer Do?
Government regulatory boards are responsible for overseeing license approvals and disciplinary actions against licensees accused of professional misconduct, unethical behavior, as well as those charged with a crime.
The bulk of the duties that a professional license defense lawyers perform revolve around protecting an individual professional’s occupational license and right to work. The key areas of focus for these lawyers can be divided into 3 categories:
Professional license defense lawyers will defend license applicants when their license is denied. The lawyers defend applicants after a “Statement of Issues” or a denial is filed against them.
Professional license defense lawyers also defend practicing licensees if their license is facing disciplinary action because they have been accused of engaging in unethical behavior, professional misconduct, or criminal activities.
Petition for Reinstatement
Professional license defense lawyers also represent former licensees looking to get back into their career fields after previously having a license that has been either revoked or suspended.
Reasons a Professional License Can Be Revoked
A professional license could potentially be at risk for a variety of reasons. Surprisingly, many of the reasons have actually nothing to do with either mistakes made at the workplace or even about job performance.
Things that happen in a professional’s personal life may have serious effects in their professional life if not disclosed to the professional licensing board. Here are some of the reasons why a professional license can be revoked:
- Allegations of misconduct
- Substance abuse
- Criminal charges
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
- Inappropriate romantic relationships with patients or clients
- Medical malpractice
If you have been accused of violating your profession’s code of conduct, you shouldn’t simply sit and do nothing while you are subject to a professional investigation and probably even public sanctions. You are entitled to hire a lawyer to defend yourself against the allegations. You can find such a lawyer at the Rathburn Law Office. Call us today to schedule your free, initial, no-obligation consultation.
How Much Time Do I Have to Respond to an Administrative Complaint in Indiana?
Once an investigation has been opened, a copy of the consumer complaint will be sent to you, the licensee, with an opening letter that explains the investigative process. You then have 20 days to respond and present any supporting documents.
Once the investigation is concluded, the Office of the Attorney General will determine whether to:
- Close the file
- Close the file but issue a warning stating that your conduct as a professional may have fallen below the standards of practice but no charges will be filed for whatever reason
- Charge you by filing an administrative complaint.
What Should I Do If My License Is Under Investigation?
If your professional license is under investigation in Indianapolis, you should do the following:
Contact Your Malpractice Insurance Carrier
It is imperative for you to get in touch with your malpractice insurance carrier immediately you hear from the board that you are currently under investigation. It is perhaps the wisest thing to do in this situation.
Contact a Reputable Indianapolis Professional License Defense Attorney
You should also get in touch with a knowledgeable lawyer that has experience in administrative law as well as the administrative code in your state. Preferably, you should contact a lawyer that has previously dealt with the board numerous times on similar issues. When it comes to cases involving licensing boards, not any lawyer will do. You need a professional team such as the legal team at Rathburn Law.
Secure All Documents Supporting Your Response
To streamline the Consumer Complaint process, you need to provide all relevant documents supporting your response. Failure to provide sufficient documentation to support your response means that the Office of the Attorney General may issue administrative subpoenas for documents deemed relevant and/or perhaps dispatch an investigator to visit your place of business to secure documents and perhaps interview you, your co-workers, and superiors.
Be Active in Your Defense
Help your lawyer understand the context and nature of the case as well as identifying leading experts. Ask professionals that you know are the leading experts on the issues at hand and whether the stance of a certain expert on the issue is likely to help you or not. Hiring weak, uninformed, or unhelpful experts can be damaging to your case.
Prepare for the Long-Run
Finding yourself under investigation can be highly stressful. The matter can also take a long time to resolve. Be active and strategic when it comes to stress management. Manage stress by eating right, working out, hiking, praying, etc. It can also be a good idea to seek professional support from experts.
What Should I Look for in a Lawyer?
The professional license defense lawyer you hire will determine the outcome of your license defense or license application. You need to be discerning in your choice of lawyer for your case. Here are some of the qualities you should look for:
Knowledge of State Laws
License suspensions or revocations may be governed not only by the requirements of the licensing board but also state laws. If you are facing criminal charges, for instance, you will need to hire an Indianapolis professional license defense attorney with a good understanding of criminal law too.
The professional license defense lawyer you hire should be available to clients at most times, particularly when needed. Communication is an integral component in establishing rapport with the attorney. If the lawyer is always unavailable, it can be difficult for your case to secure the commitment and attention it deserves.
An ongoing license defense case may require your cooperation with the licensing board and your Indianapolis professional license defense attorney. Defending your license against possible censure by the board does not have to mean antagonizing the authorities. Your lawyer should advise for cooperation as necessary and should work with the board on your behalf so that you are able to carry on with your occupation.
License revocation or suspension may also entail other allegations that could be disastrous to your career and finances too such as a felony charge for a DUI or defaulting on child support or student loan payments. That’s why it is so important to hire a lawyer with the right defense skills to fight on your behalf.
Attention to Detail
Attention to detail is an important quality for your professional license defense lawyer to have since it will be quite advantageous when procuring evidence, handling interviews with the board, or keeping track of different filing deadlines. Your lawyer should be very thorough since it is the only way to craft a solid defense.
If My License is Revoked Can I Get It Back?
If your state’s licensing board has suspended your professional license, the first question that will be in your mind is whether you can actually get it back. After all, if you work in a field such as real estate, medicine, or engineering, a professional license is critical to you keeping your job.
The legal team at Rathburn Law can help you petition for the reinstatement of your license in Indianapolis, but depending on the industry that you work in, the time it could take to start the process ranges from 1- to 3-years.
Contact an Indianapolis Professional License Defense Attorney
Licenses are a legal requirement for many professionals such as lawyers, doctors, architects, dentists, nurses, real estate professionals, etc. Licenses are typically provided by a specific professional board, agency, or commission.
If you are under investigation by either the Indiana Attorney General or the Indiana Professional License agency and are facing the risk of having your professional license either revoked or suspended, you should consider turning to our experienced lawyers.
When your future and that of your family is at stake, you will need a knowledgeable legal team such as the one at Rathburn Law to handle your professional license defense. We can help you navigate the process and steer you towards the best outcome possible.
Contact an Indianapolis professional license defense attorney today either online or via phone, or by visiting our main office for your free, initial, no-obligation consultation. Discuss your legal challenges directly with an experienced lawyer. We will help you navigate complex issues related to your professional license defense.