A healthcare professional is always at risk of facing lawsuits and complaints against them. Their licensing boards could also launch investigations into their practice following a complaint or dissatisfaction from a patient. License attorneys are there to ensure that such professionals do not go through the process alone. State agencies will always act in favor of the general public. It means that they could go against a licensed professional in any criminal proceeding the professional goes through. For that reason, there is a chance for their rights to be violated and an unfair ruling made against an innocent professional.
At San Diego License Attorney, we aim at protecting the rights of various healthcare professionals. We also ensure that the professional's license, livelihood, career, and reputation are protected. If therefore you are an acupuncturist and you are facing a lawsuit, get in touch with us if you are in San Diego, California.
California Licensing Laws for Healthcare Workers
Consumers today have a wide range of healthcare services to choose from, including both modern practices like acupuncture and naturopathic and traditional medical care. With so many options to choose from, consumers need to receive adequate information on what is beneficial and what is at stake since their health and money depends on it.
In the state of California, the Department of Consumer Affairs regulates and issue licenses to so many healthcare professionals, ranging from doctors to psychologists, nurses, and pharmacists among others. In addition to that, the department also issues out licenses to healthcare facilities. It ensures that only those that meet the set standards are operating in the state's healthcare sector.
To be a licensed professional in the state, you must meet the minimum set standards of education, experience, and at least pass the professional exams. You also need to have a clean criminal background.
Acupuncturists are healthcare professionals who treat various health conditions through stimulation of acu-points on a patient's body. Acupuncturists insert extra-thin needles through a patient's skin. Sometimes they use finger pressure or heat for stimulation to stimulate those points. Licensing for acupuncturists is done by the state's Acupuncture Board, and only qualified professionals get a license.
In case of a complaint against a licensed acupuncturist, consumers are allowed to file their claims with the respective licensing entity. Some of the complaints consumers can have against such a healthcare professional include violation of your rights as a patient, and medical identity theft. If the professional is found guilty of any of the complaints against them, their licensing entity is allowed by law to take action against them. Penalties that the professional is likely to face are many and may include loss of their license and an end to their career.
For that reason, it is advisable for any acupuncturist facing a legal lawsuit to work closely with a competent license attorney. A smart attorney will use their knowledge about licensing laws, loopholes in the details of the case and their professional connection to protect the rights of their clients.
According to Section 23 of the California Penal Code, a state licensing agency has the right to appear in court to petition the judge to suspend a person's professional license while their criminal case is still pending. The request could be one of the conditions for the defendant to post bail. The application could be made on the defendant's first appearance in court, after arrest or early in criminal investigations.
By doing so, the state agency may seem to be working against a licensed professional, but their primary interest is in public protection and to promote the interests of justice. Without proper legal defense, your licensing agency may succeed in having your license suspended, restricted or revoked, depending on the nature of the offense committed. The kind of attorney you need by your side is one who is familiar with the administrative procedures. You need an attorney that will negotiate to help protect your license as well as your ability to earn a living.
Protecting the Acupuncturist License
Mainstream medicine has been around for a long time, but its cost is rising by the day. For that reason, people have turned to alternative and complementary medicine. With that, the role of professionals such as acupuncturists is slowly becoming essential. However, with this growth comes the need for close monitoring to ensure that consumers are not getting a raw deal. For acupuncture professionals in California, close regulatory scrutiny ensures that the industry remains safe and stable.
While this may sound like a great idea, the risk of losing their professional licenses is higher for these healthcare professionals. Any slight accusation will call for immediate disciplinary action, which could be very severe to the point of the professional losing their ability to earn a living. If a grievance has been filed against an acupuncturist with the California Acupuncture Board, so much will be at stake. This includes the professional's career, license, source of livelihood as well as their professional reputation.
The most common allegations an acupuncturist can face in the state are those that relate to:
- Substance abuse: healthcare professionals who are drug abusers are at risk of losing their licenses in California
- Gross negligence: this may cause loss, harm or injuries on a patient
- Incompetency: Acupuncture can be very dangerous if an incompetent person administers it
- Repeated negligence
- Taking part in unlicensed practice: as mentioned above, licensing is one way in which the state ensures that only qualified individuals are offering healthcare services in the state
- Improper advertising: The acupuncture licensing board has set guidelines for all acupuncturists to follow when advertising their services
The most common penalties an acupuncturist can face for such allegations include:
- Getting fined
- Getting reprimanded
- Suspension or cancellation of their license. A suspension is usually for a short time, but a dismissal means that your practice has ended.
- Probation, especially if the offender has committed a criminal offense
Some of these penalties can be very harsh, especially if you are not guilty of the accusations leveled against you. That is why you need not go alone to defend yourself.
An experienced license attorney can help plan and present a very mitigating defense against your charges. A strong defense could see the charges reduced or the discipline reduced. Sometimes, our attorney can even prevent the administrative hearing from happening, depending on his/her findings.
What Can a License Defense Attorney Do For You?
As mentioned above, there are different types of allegations that an acupuncturist in California can face. The kind of help you can get from a license attorney will depend on the type of legal charges you are facing and the outcome you expect from the case. Fortunately, there are very competent license attorneys in California that could help your situation in more ways than one. Some of the services you can benefit from include:
Defense against the accusations you are facing:
The kinds of accusations most acupuncturists get are mainly allegations about their violation of the laws. There are mostly two ways in which a healthcare professional could violate the law: through criminal acts and professional misconduct. There are standards by which every healthcare professional must adhere. Engaging oneself in criminals actions could carry severe consequences not just from the criminal court but also from your licensing council.
If you have been reported to have engaged in criminal acts, or professional misconduct, your licensing agency will send a letter to you, notifying you of the formal accusations that are being leveled against you. The most advisable thing to do at that instant is to get in touch with your license attorney. This is because any delay will increase your risk of losing the right to defend yourself against the accusations. Note that there is always a strict time limit within which the accused may respond to the allegations.
An attorney who has the necessary experience in working with licensing boards will be able to submit all the required paperwork on time. He/she will also be able to evaluate any evidence the board might have against you or your license. Together, you will be able to explore possible options for your defense. Some of the techniques your attorney could use in your argument are, for instance:
- Negotiating with the court for a favorable settlement of your case
- Addressing some or all the questions presented by your licensing agency
- Defending your permit zealously if an administrative hearing is set
Your attorney could also take an active approach even before the court sets a hearing date. It will enable him/her step into action earlier to make an impact on any disciplinary actions you could get afterward easy to handle.
Defense against citations against your professional license
Not all violations are resolved through a court case. Sometimes the licensing agency will issue a citation against the offender’s license or fine them for violating the set laws. A citation, in this case, will be summons issued out by a court ordering the defendant to appear in court at a specified date, time and place to demonstrate to the court sufficient reasons why they acted the way they did. Many people will choose to disregard court summons because they still get to retain their licenses anyway. However, a competent attorney will ensure that you honor the summons for several reasons:
- The citation might permanently appear on your professional licensing record
- The court may take disciplinary action against you if you fail to appear
Other than advising you on such matters, your attorney will take you through what citations are like and what to say once you appear before the board. He/she could also advise you on how you can avoid them or how you can prevent them from appearing on your professional record.
The most important thing is that your attorney will be there with you every step of the way. When you don’t know what to do, he/she will support and lead you until the end of the process.
Defense against license suspension or revocation
The most likely punishment for a healthcare professional that has violated the set standards is license suspension or revocation. If the offense committed is grave, the licensing board will revoke your license and make it impossible for you to practice your profession in the future.
A competent license defense attorney can help protect your license from temporary suspension or revocation. By preparing a proper defense plan against your charges, your attorney will fight the charges and ensure that the board does not have enough evidence to suspend or revoke your permit
If your attorney is unable to stop the revocation or suspension, he/she can request the board for a temporary suspension order. The order will temporarily allow you to practice your profession until a hearing is conducted. Fortunately, California courts are allowed to issue temporary suspension orders pending the determination of criminal cases or the licensing agency's decision. A reasonable attorney will work even harder to have the suspension or revocation removed. It will help you to continue working as an acupuncturist in the state with no interruptions even before the completion of the investigations.
Filing of administrative petitions and court orders
Some cases involving professional misconduct could take a long time before the licensing board makes its final decision. If your professional license has been suspended all this time, you may never be able to recover the financial losses you have incurred for the period you have not been working.
A competent license attorney should be able to file an appeal against the licensing board's indecision to ensure that you are going back to work sooner than later. Your attorney can also submit a request against the licensing council for denying you a professional permit or taking quick punitive action against you. An experienced attorney will know the exact appeals they need to file when to file these appeals and the correct procedure they should follow as provided by the law.
Note that most of these appeals have deadlines within which the attorney should file them with the court. An acupuncturist may not know much about these time limits, but an experienced attorney would. With such an attorney working with you, the process will be very efficient and accurate.
Help with License Submissions and Denials
License attorneys are not only helpful when an acupuncturist is facing a legal lawsuit but also when they are applying for licenses. So much goes on when a healthcare expert is applying for a permit. For a first-time applicant, the process can be quite technical. There are also chances of not getting the license if you miss out on some essential details required by the licensing board.
Licensing attorneys help with compiling information that is required by the licensing board to show the applicant's eligibility for the license they are applying. Your attorney will also address any issues you might face, which might hinder the approval of your application or speedy issuance of the permit. Some of the issues license attorneys address is for instance if the licensing agency has rejected your permit application or if you are continuously being ignored.
A competent license attorney will be able to fight all statements of issues, as well as defend your rights to obtain the license you are seeking. If the board’s reason to deny you a license is because of your criminal record, your attorney will find ways in which he/she can challenge their issue. Sometimes all that is needed is for a legal professional to clarify some points for the board to approve the application.
Help with penalties reduction and reinstatement
Sometimes your attorney's effort to have your charges dropped may not be effective, and so, you might end up getting convicted. When this happens, a competent license attorney will do their best to ensure that you get the least penalties possible. Your attorney can use other defense strategies such as proving that you are a first-time offender to have your penalties reduced. If the court suspends your license, your attorney can help get in restored immediately or sooner.
Again, such petitions have stringent time limits within which they must be filed. It is, therefore, advisable to work with an experienced legal professional who understands the deadlines and the processes. He/she will maximize your likelihood of getting a fair outcome from your case.
Find A San Diego License Defense Attorney Near Me
Licenses are essential as they are what enable professionals to practice their occupation without violating the law freely. In California, acupuncturists are among licensed healthcare professionals whose license must be well-protected for the professional to continue their practice. However, a lot of things can go wrong, for instance, negligence or incompetence and other unprofessional conduct. Such behavior could cause the professional to lose their permit to practice. If your acupuncturist license is under threat, get in touch with us at San Diego License Attorney. We have a team of experienced license attorneys serving San Diego. We will fight to ensure that your rights are protected. Call us at 619-728-7448 today.