Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and others depend on licensure by the government in order to ply their trade and earn a living. Any professional can attest that much schooling, studying, and testing precede licensure. Once licensed, many professionals are required to demonstrate continued competence in their field or complete hours of continuing education in order to maintain their licensure from year to year. If such a professional were to have his or her licensure suspended or revoked (permanently taken away), it can easily mean the end of that person’s career. Other forms of professional discipline can also be imposed, including the payment of restitution to individuals who have been harmed and even public censure. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the discipline, the individual may have trouble finding other work as well.
For this reason, a professional facing disciplinary action by his or her licensing authority needs competent and aggressive counsel from an experienced Vancouver criminal defence lawyer to protect what they have worked so hard for and what it is they need to earn a living.
Common Reasons Why Professional Discipline is Imposed
Each type of professional occupation (doctor, lawyer, etc.) has a governing agency that oversees the issuance, suspension, and revocation of individuals with that particular type of license. Accordingly, there are a variety of reasons why one of these governing agencies may choose to suspend or revoke a person’s professional license. Some of the more common reasons include:
- Criminal convictions or criminal charges being filed against the individual, especially if the charges relate directly to the person’s trustworthiness or competence;
- Drug or substance abuse that impairs his or her judgment and ability to perform his or her duties in a competent manner;
- Complaints about subpar performance made by clients and/or peers in the same industry (a lawyer who reports that he or she does not believe a fellow lawyer is acting in a professional and competent manner, for example); or
- Failure to complete requirements such as failing to complete enough hours of continuing education, failure to submit yearly registration forms, or failure to complete required competency tests.
Can an Attorney Really Help Me in My Professional Discipline Case?
Because professional discipline cases are not criminal cases, professionals are not usually entitled to the same constitutional rights as criminal defendants. This may lead some professionals to believe that fighting their discipline case is a waste of time and money. But these agencies and governing bodies have a great deal of discretion in assigning discipline, and oftentimes a persuasive presentation of evidence in your favor can mean the difference between a license revocation and a license suspension – or between discipline and no discipline at all.
If you are facing professional discipline you should take advantage of the free initial consultation offered by the N.J. Preovolos Law Corporation. Let us review the facts of your case and career and advise you of what options are available to you. We can help you defend your reputation and keep your career intact.