Accusations of drug abuse, health care fraud, mortgage fraud, sexual misconduct, and a number of other acts can have severe consequences for the licensed professional. Both criminal and noncriminal conduct can form the basis of an administrative agency's decision to discipline a licensed professional. Discipline can range from reprimands and fines to permanent revocation of the license.
If you learn that someone has accused you of violations of license law, call the Orlando criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A., at (407) 901-5852.
License investigations often begin after the licensing agency receives a complaint, and many statutes require that investigations remain confidential until the agency determines that probable cause exists to believe a licensing statute has been violated. While this protects the professional's reputation during the investigation, the professional may not even know of the investigation until an administrative complaint is filed. The investigation will usually involve visits by agency regulators to review files and obtain copies of files including patient files, loan files and other documentation routinely kept by the professionals under investigation.
It is essential that you contact an Orlando criminal defense attorney as soon as you learn of administrative action that may threaten your license. You can unintentionally forfeit your rights more quickly and easily in administrative proceedings than in any other adjudicative proceeding.
For example, a real estate broker may receive from the Department of Professional Regulation a letter informing the broker that an Administrative Complaint has been filed and enclosing a form called "Election of Rights." If the broker fails to return the Election of Rights form to the Department within 21 days of receiving the notice, the broker waives forever the right to elect a hearing to dispute the facts alleged in the complaint. The Department may enter a Final Order imposing a penalty and fines.
Protecting your rights can be a complex and difficult matter. Some professions are regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, others by the Department of Health, and still others by the Department of Financial Services. The rights you have and the risks involved in disciplinary actions can vary depending on which department supervises your profession.
Disciplinary proceedings can be commenced for allegedly criminal behavior, for violations of agency rules, and occasionally for violation of agency policies that have not been established by a rule. Frequently, members of the administrative agency who initiate the disciplinary actions are not lawyers or judges, they are members of the profession, who often make their decisions based on their own instinct about what is "right," rather than on the law.
Finding your way through this labyrinth is a challenge. We can help. Call the Orlando criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A., at (407) 901-5852. Submit your questions to one of our lawyers by filling out the contact us form.
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