Types of Professional License Defense We Handle
Our team of attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC can represent you during a professional investigation and disciplinary hearing in Charlotte. Some of the most common cases that our professional license defense attorneys in Charlotte, NC handle are:
Medical License Defense
If you are a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant in Charlotte or elsewhere in the state, then your license is controlled by the North Carolina Medical Board. This is a 13-member board, which is appointed by the governor. Eight of the 13 are licensed physicians, one is a licensed physician assistant, one is a nurse practitioner, and three are members of the public. The board is supported by a professional staff located in Raleigh, NC. The board dictates licensing, continuing education, and renewal requirements. It also investigates accusations of unethical and illegal conduct by licensed members of the medical profession. If the board finds you violated a regulation of the profession, it can dictate one of many disciplinary actions, ranging from a public reprimand to a suspension or revocation of your license. If you are in the medical profession in Charlotte and you are facing an investigation, call a North Carolina medical license defense attorney for help right away. (980) 237-4579.
Nursing License Defense
If you are a nurse in Charlotte or surrounding areas, then your license is governed by the North Carolina Board of Nursing. This board receives and investigates complaints regarding registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse aides, and advanced practice nurses, such as certified nurse midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist, and clinical nurse specialist. When the board receives a complaint regarding one of its licensed professionals, it investigates the complaint. After weeks or months of an investigation, which you can choose to participate with or not, the board will decide upon a disciplinary action. You have the right to have a professional license defense attorney represent you during this time. By hiring a nursing license defense attorney, you have someone who can help you clarify misunderstandings and avoid disciplinary action. You also have someone to protect your rights and fight hard for you to keep your license. (980) 237-4579
Financial Professional License Defense
Several kinds of financial professionals must be licensed in North Carolina, including accountants and financial planners. Certified Public Accounts (CPAs) are licensed and regulated by the North Carolina State Board of Certified Accountant Examiners. Financial and investment advisors who are subject to FINRA must register with the state. The North Carolina Securities Division investigates complaints about securities industry professionals. Additionally, insurance agents, adjusters, and brokers in Charlotte and surrounding areas must obtain a license from the North Carolina Department of Insurance. If you are a financial professional, your clients, colleagues, and members of the public can file complaints against you with the governing board, which will then investigate the complaint. You should have a North Carolina professional license defense attorney by your side during this process to reduce the risk of your professional license being revoked or suspended.
Each Professional Board Has its Own Rules and Procedures
It is essential that you realize the governing board, commission, or agency for any particular industry or profession has its own rules, regulations, administrative procedures, forms, and customs. Each governing body is granted power in North Carolina through unique statutes. These governing bodies are then given the power to create their own regulations, which its licensed professionals are required to follow or be subject to professional disciplinary action.
If you are facing an investigation or disciplinary action by your professional board, you need to work with a Charlotte professional license defense attorney who has experience with your specific profession. Your attorney should know North Carolina’s laws regarding your position as well as the governing body’s regulations. The more experienced an attorney is with your professional and its board, agency, or commission, the stronger your defense will be.
You also need to know that when your profession’s governing body investigates you, it is not the same as a criminal investigation. However, the allegations against you may amount to a crime. If so, the board or agency will involve the police, such as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. In these scenarios, it is also a benefit to you that your lawyer have experience in criminal defense, so that he or she can address any potential investigation by law enforcement as well.
The board’s investigation and potential disciplinary action fall under administrative law. North Carolina’s Administrative Code dictates the rules and regulations for governing boards, commissions, and agencies. You need a Charlotte professional license defense attorney who knows your rights and options under the Administrative Code, including when you are entitled to a formal hearing and the process for that hearing.
The General Process of a Professional Investigation
Each profession’s governing body will have its own specific process after it receives a complaint against a licensed professional. However, in general, the process is as follows:
- The board receives a complaint, which may be from a client or patient, colleague, or member of the public.
- The board assigns an investigator to the complaint, which may be an individual or a committee.
- The investigator reviews jurisdiction—if the board does not have jurisdiction over you, it will not pursue an investigation. Jurisdiction is a type of power based on the location in which you live or work.
- The investigator begins an investigation into the complaint, which often entails reviewing professional records, questioning you, and asking for other individuals’ statements.
- The board notifies you of an investigation and may or may not provide you with a copy of the complaint.
- You may choose to cooperate with the investigator with the help of an experienced Charlotte professional license lawyer.
- The board reviews the investigators’ findings and recommendation.
- The board may pursue disciplinary action or close the complaint.
- You may request a formal hearing, if it appears the governing body may seek disciplinary action.
- You may receive a private disciplinary action, such as a letter regarding the board’s concerns.
- You may receive a public disciplinary action, such as a public letter of reprimand, monetary fines, limitations on your practice, license suspension for a period of time, permanent license revocation.
Common Reasons for Professional Investigations and Disciplinary Actions
Our professional license defense attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC have handled many professional license defense cases in Charlotte over the years.
We have found that many professional disciplinary investigations arise due to:
- Alleged alcohol or drug use, which either occurs at work or interferes with a professional’s ability to uphold their responsibilities to clients or patients.
- Alleged drug diversion or theft.
- Alleged inappropriate relationships with clients or patients.
- Alleged failure to uphold the profession’s standard of care in regard to one or more clients or patients.
- Alleged neglect or abuse of a patient.
If you are accused of violating your profession’s code of conduct, it is not wise to sit and do nothing while you are subject to a professional investigation and public sanctions. You are entitled to hire a professional license defense attorney and defend yourself against allegations. You also have the right to fight to mitigate the consequences of a finding against you, including working to keep your professional license.
Were You Charged With Driving While Impaired (DWI)?
One of the most common calls we receive at Randall & Stump, PLLC is about a professional being charged with a DWI in North Carolina. Most professionals are unsure of how the charges or conviction can impact their license. We are here to ensure that any licensed professional dealing with a DWI takes steps to protect their license.
To begin with, many professional governing bodies require reporting certain types of criminal violations. We will review whether you need to tell the board or agency about DWI charges or a conviction. If so, we will help you in reporting a DWI to the board promptly.
We also will strive to ensure your DWI does not result in a license suspension or revocation. For most professions, a DWI does not automatically result in you losing your license. However, it can have a serious impact. A DWI may result in you being privately warned about your conduct. Or, you may be publicly sanctioned and required to limit your practice and go through substance abuse treatment. If your DWI occurred while you were working, is connected to a more serious professional issue, or is one of many disciplinary issues, then it could lead to a suspension or revocation. To discuss the potential consequences of DWI charge, contact a Charlotte DWI lawyer from Randall & Stump, PLLC. (980) 237-4579.
Is Your License Revoked or Suspended?
If your license was suspended or revoked by your profession’s governing body, you do not need to give up hope on ever practicing again. It is best to speak with a Charlotte professional license attorney to review your options. Depending on the situation, you may be able to get a professional license reinstated.
At Randall & Stump, PLLC, one of our Charlotte attorneys will carefully review your circumstances, including the previous investigation and disciplinary action. We will determine whether the suspension or revocation was permanent or temporary. We also will review any requirements you must fulfill to have your license reinstated. When we have all of the facts, we can inform you of your options. If reinstatement is possible, we can guide you through pursuing reinstatement of your professional license.