When a licensed North Carolina professional receives accusations that could cause the suspension or revocation of their license, the help of a Charlotte professional license defense attorney can make the difference between keeping their license and losing it temporarily or permanently.
In most cases, the professional’s job or ability to earn a living depends on their license, so the defense strategy is very important. In other cases, although the professional does not risk losing their license, if they do not dismount the accusations, they could go on their license record and affect their reputation and future job prospects.
The authority reviewing most license complaints is the board or agency that issued the license. The complaints review process involves several steps, common to most professional licensing organizations.
If the above sounds like your situation, then an experienced license defense attorney can help defend your interests every step of the way.
The Steps of the Charlotte Professional License Defense Process
1. Complaint Notification and Response
When professional licensing boards or agencies receive complaints regarding their members, they register the complaints and notify their members about their receipt to enable the latter to share their version of the facts.
Some boards or agencies expect written responses. Others have their own investigators or investigation committees and obtain the needed responses by interviewing their members and everyone involved in the complaints.
The response is one of the most important parts of defending one’s professional license, as any inconsistencies, lies, or mistakes identified at this stage will put the professional in a bad light and influence the outcome of the entire process. Moreover, the board may use or misinterpret the professional’s statements in a way that does not benefit the professional, at this stage or later throughout the process.
A Charlotte professional license defense attorney can help with the preparation and filing of the written response, from writing it entirely, to reviewing the one the client has written to make sure it is consistent, accurate, and safe.
In case the board has an investigator interview the accused, an experienced license defense attorney in Charlotte can help the latter prepare with questions and answers sessions and can attend the interview as well, to assist their client and prevent any statements that could jeopardize their interests.
2. Informal Hearing
After reviewing the member’s response and conducting its investigation, the board will most likely schedule an informal meeting. During this meeting, the accused usually has the chance to clarify any aspects left unclear, defend their position, and find out what disciplinary measures the board may consider necessary if any.
When complaints reach this stage, it means the boards find them justified and consider taking measures against their members. This is also the members’ best chance to defend their license, and many choose to have an experienced North Carolina professional license defense attorney on their side.
3. Probable Cause Review
Based on the complaint, initial response, investigations, and informal hearing, licensing board members decide whether they have reason to believe that the member violated the standards, statutes, or regulations in force.
Depending on their findings, they may propose disciplinary actions against the accused member or organize a formal hearing. Most boards and agencies do not allow their members or the members’ attorneys to attend the review meeting.
4. Formal Disciplinary Proceedings
In some cases, the board decides to organize a formal hearing. This hearing can take place in front of the licensing board or before an administrative law judge from the Office of Administrative Hearings. This hearing is usually similar to a civil trial, except for the fact that there is no jury present.
Depending on who presides the hearing, either the licensing board or the administrative law judge will send their conclusions and recommendations to the licensing entity. The final verdict will obviously depend on this formal hearing, which is why most accused members choose to hire an experienced Charlotte license defense attorney.
5. The Appeal
Most North Carolina licensing boards and agencies allow their members to file an appeal. However, the bases for filing one are limited to administrative level records. The members filing the appeal do not get another opportunity to prove their innocence. Their only chance to obtain a reversal or modification of the board’s decision is to prove substantial prejudice to their rights.
Experienced Charlotte professional license defense attorneys can identify and document administrative faults and prove prejudices to the accused members’ rights. However, their services could be much more useful in the preliminary stages of the complaint review process.
In fact, when the accused professional retains an experienced professional license defense attorney, the process rarely reaches this stage. In some cases, the attorneys manage to convince the boards that the complaints are unjustified and the licensed professional did not violate any standards, statutes, or regulations.
How to Obtain the Best Charlotte Professional License Defense Attorney
Finding out one’s career and reputation is at stake is not easy. Many professionals develop anxiety and depression upon receiving such news, and these cause them to make mistakes throughout the above-described stages.
Hiring a North Carolina license defense attorney is the best way to avoid such mistakes. When you have an attorney with several years of experience and solid relationships with the board reviewing the complaint, then your chances of keeping your license and reputation intact grow significantly.
Even in worst-case scenarios, when the complaints are fully justified, and there is no way to avoid disciplinary measures, the attorney can help reduce those measures and minimize their consequences on the professional’s license record, reputation, and career.
Did you receive accusations of professional misconduct? Are you worried that you may lose your license and your job? Then make sure you benefit from the best defense available! At Remington & Dixon, we provide professional license defense services to medical professionals, nurses, licensed professional counselors, general contractors, social workers, public accountants, education professionals, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and physical therapists.
Call (704) 247 – 7110 or use the contact form to get in touch, share your case details with us, and let a Charlotte professional license defense attorney provide your first line of defense! This is your best chance to keep your license record and your reputation intact.
Brandon double-majored in Political Science and Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He earned his Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. Throughout his career, Brandon has received numerous awards and recognition from his peers and agencies that rate attorneys. A few of these awards are from The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyer in 2014, The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 in 2014, Nation’s Top One Percent: National Association of Distinguished Counsel in 2015, Super Lawyers: Rising Stars in 2018 and 2019, and North Carolina Business Magazine: Legal Elite in 2019, among others.