An “Accusation” in a licensing law case is a legal action filed against the holder of a professional license for alleged violations of the law. In the “Accusation” the licensing Board or Agency typically lists actions taken by the Licensee which are alleged to have violated specific laws or regulations governing that sort of professional license, listing names, dates, and legal provisions claimed to have been violated. These violations may be the result of a criminal conviction of the licensee, or they may arise out of other conduct by the licensee.

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The receipt of an Accusation by a professional licensee is a very serious matter, and should not be taken lightly. By filing on Accusation, the Agency has already decided, with the assistance of its legal counsel, that it believes it has good grounds to seek the suspension or revocation of your License, or to impose other discipline upon you. Also, when a California licensing agency seeks to discipline a licensee by filing and serving an Accusation, in the accusation there is usually a request for cost recovery.  Cost recovery is mandatory reimbursement paid to the agency for all of its investigative costs and attorney’s fees if the Accusation is successful. Cost recovery can range from a few thousand dollars in a simple licensing case to tens of thousands for a particularly complex case.

Since there are strict time limits (60 days typically) within which you may secure your right to defend against an Accusation and request an administrative hearing, you should contact an experienced licensing attorney immediately so you do not in advertently waive rights to a hearing and to discovery of information supporting a licensing authority’s case against you. If you fail to do this in a proper and timely manner, the licensing agency will consider you in default and that you have effectively agreed with the allegations made against you – and proceed to revoke or suspend your license or impose other discipline against you immediately.

In order to successfully defend against an Accusation, the Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister works directly with you to ensure all necessary paperwork is filed, including a Notice of Defense, to evaluate the evidence against your license, and to determine the best manner to proceed with your individual case. The Notice of Defense can raise certain legal arguments to attack the legal sufficiency of the Accusation, raise Affirmative Defenses such as the Statute of Limitations, Estoppel, Laches/prejudicial delay in bringing the Accusation, Entrapment, and other Constitutional defenses. Our office will also represent you by legally addressing questions raised by the licensing agency, preparing witnesses, presenting evidence and legal arguments and if necessary negotiating any penalties, restitution requirements or other restrictions on your license and/or a stipulated settlement in a Settlement Conference before an Administrative Law Judge.

The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister have represented hundreds of California licensees to successfully defend their licenses after being served with Accusations from licensing boards. If you have received notice of a licensing board Accusation for your California professional license, contact the Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister immediately.