If you are a health care provider and you are under investigation by a licensing board such as the California Board of Registered Nursing or other licensing authority (CA Department of Consumer Affairs), you should be aware of the consequences to your practice and license from pleading guilty to any criminal charges.
In most cases, all California professionals charged with a criminal offense are eager to get their charges dismissed, reduced or deferred so that they can continue on with their professional practices. It is therefore likely that, if this happens to you, you might be tempted to plead guilty to the criminal charge to avoid any jail time for your previous choices. Pleading guilty might appear, in fact, to be the most reasonable and positive outcome for you given your circumstances. But it is critical that you understand the full ramifications and consequences to your professional practice and professional license from taking this action.
Pleading guilty can immediately result in your license being revoked or suspended by your licensing authority. Therefore, in a revocation or suspension situation, it is imperative to consult with an attorney who can and will control BOTH criminal and licensing actions. These are hybrid cases with crossover issues and the best defense in either a criminal action or the professional license investigation is to get advice and control from a lawyer who specializes , emphasis specializes in BOTH legal fields . Do not let an attorney who handles simple criminal matters also “offer” to also handle the attack against your professional license.
Pleading guilty can also impact your professional practice. As a health care provider, for example, you may be automatically excluded from participation in state (MediCal) and federal (Medicaid/MediCal) health care programs. You may also be excluded from participation in private insurance plans as a contracted party. And, as a practical matter, this exclusion may prevent patients from seeking your services and prospective employers may deem you “unemployable”.
Finally, criminal records are also a matter of public record so a guilty plea will immediately expose you to being flagged as a criminal in any integrated databases which sync records through your name, social security number and other identifiers. And note, a state licensing authority has no mandatory duty to remove publicly available information about a licensee’s convictions from its website–including convictions that are eventually dismissed under Penal Code Sec 1203.4 and Sec. 1203.4a. Your name is one click away from visibly being associated with criminal charges in any background check conducted by loan officers, employers, and others seeking to vet your credentials.
If you are a California professional under investigation for a license violation who is also facing a criminal charge, call the law offices of Lucy McAllister immediately. Our law professionals have successfully represented a wide range of California licensees and we are experienced in handling all types of licensing accusations and licensing issues as well as criminal cases. Let us help you protect your professional license, your reputation, and your livelihood.
For additional information or to schedule a consultation on a professional licensing issue, please contact our law offices today at (877) 280-9944.
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