No Matter Where in Michigan You Practice, Don’t Risk Losing Your Healthcare License Because of a Criminal Charge — and the Wrong Criminal Attorney

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For Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Turning to Local Criminal Lawyers is a Mistake That Could Lead to License Loss. A Michigan Dentist Charged in Traverse City Was Fortunate to Not Go That Route

Why is it important for any Michigan-based healthcare provider — whether a physician, pharmacist, chiropractor, pain management specialist, nurse/nurse practitioner, or mental health professional— to turn to Chapman Law Group to handle criminal infractions like DUI, DWI, OWI, and accusations of domestic violence?

Because criminal charges can put your healthcare license in severe jeopardy. You could have your license suspended, even revoked, by the Board of Medicine, Board of Nursing, Board of Pharmacy, or other administrative board. The one thing you worked so hard to earn, the one thing that allows you to do what you do, will be blemished.

Yet, healthcare professionals don’t always take the professional licensing side of things into consideration when hiring a local, all-purpose lawyer — the kind who post ads on billboards and on TV saying they handle criminal law cases — to handle their DUI or related criminal case.

The healthcare licensing ramifications are huge; so many healthcare careers have been lost because these general attorneys would rather have their clients plead guilty, without comprehending what medical providers face on the healthcare licensing end of things if they do plead.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and professional licensing boards — such as the state Board of Medicine, Board of Nursing, Board of Dentistry, Board of Pharmacy and Board of Chiropractic Medicine — see licensed health professionals with DUI/DWI/OWI offenses as risks to the public.

No Matter How Near or How Far You Are in Michigan, You Need Someone Who Knows Healthcare Licensing

Yes, turning to a local criminal lawyer certainly sounds like a convenient plan, especially for people living in the parts of Michigan that are far removed from the major metropolitan areas, and have only have a handful of attorneys.

But when your nursing license, medical license, or pharmacist’s license is taken away because your local, general criminal attorney advised you to plead guilty, what good does that kind of convenience actually do for you?

As the premier law firm for healthcare-based criminal law and regulatory affairs/licensing matters, we at Chapman Law Group represent healthcare providers all over Michigan — and not just the big cities. Whether it’s Ironwood, Escanaba, or Sault Ste. Marie in the Upper Peninsula, or Centreville, Cassopolis, or Coldwater at the southernmost end of the Lower Peninsula, we are the most sought-after and relied-upon healthcare law professionals to keep healthcare licenses secured in the face of criminal charges.

Michigan Dentist’s Drunk and Disorderly Charge His Professional License at Severe Risk

As a recent example, we represented a Michigan dentist charged with Disorderly Person-Drunk, which commonly known as Drunk and Disorderly. A misdemeanor crime, Drunk and Disorderly on its own would mean a jail sentence of up to 90 days. He was charged at 86th District Court in Traverse City.

Yet, because our client is a licensed healthcare professional, LARA would receive a report on the conviction. That could lead to a licensing investigation, an Administrative Complaint, and eventual participation in the Health Professionals Recovery Program (HPRP).

Robert J. Andretz — a senior attorney in our Healthcare Professional Licensing Defense & Regulatory Affairs and White Collar Defense & Government Investigations practice groups — set up a game plan for handling the criminal aspects while also looking ahead to what the licensing boards would look for if LARA began the license investigation process.

Rob advised the client dentist to submit to breath testing via a portable breath testing device, go through an evaluation for substance abuse, and then seek suitable treatment as the substance abuse evaluation suggested. The client complied with all recommendations by submitting to twice-daily breath tests, going to 12-step support group meetings (in person and online), and seeking counselor-led treatment.

However, the case was not without its challenges. As the months passed, Rob made multiple requests to the prosecuting attorney to reduce the criminal charge, which went unheeded. There was an extended pause on jury trials due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so no trial date was scheduled. Our client was getting restless, but Rob stayed steadfast and pushed on.

A Healthcare Provider Takes Positive Steps — and a Healthcare Attorney Finds Flaws in Prosecutor’s Evidence

Nearly a year after the dentist’s arrest, Rob submitted a final letter that described all of our client’s efforts in “self-imposed probation,” and he highlighted the many positive steps the dentist had made at life change. In addition, using his experience for researching and dissecting the finer points in drunken-driving cases throughout Michigan, Rob scrutinized the weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence of intoxication.

All of Rob’s work in putting the case together, and all of the client’s work in complying with Rob’s advice for self-rehabilitation, paid off: just ahead of the final pre-trial conference, Rob learned that the prosecutor would be dismissing the case.

Our dentist client has no criminal record now. This means he does not have to report any conviction to LARA, and he does not need to enter into an HPRP monitoring agreement.

Your License as a Michigan Healthcare Provider is Everything; Our Criminal and Licensing Attorneys Will Fight to Protect It

This case is one of many of its kind that Chapman Law Group has successfully handled. And there’s no secret to how we do things. Our healthcare license defense attorneys know that any criminal proceedings against a healthcare professional will likely lead to professional licensing and/or administrative actions. So we do everything to ensure that the fallout for any criminal conviction will have little, if any, impact on your professional medical license.

Our healthcare-based criminal defense attorneys and regulatory/licensing lawyers are aggressive in defending Medical healthcare providers who are facing criminal charges and licensing action/administrative hearings before LARA and their respective boards. We have obtained pretrial dismissals, not-guilty verdicts, and beneficial plea agreements in state and federal courts across Michigan, all the while keeping healthcare providers from losing their licenses.

For 35 years, we have worked to defend the license, freedom and livelihood of healthcare providers all over Michigan — from the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Dearborn, Lansing, and Troy areas, to the Upper Peninsula and, in the case of our client dentist, the Northern Michigan regions. Contact us today to learn more about us.

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Robert J. Andretz

Senior Attorney

Professional Licensing & Regulatory Affairs, Criminal Law

Michigan Office
1441 W. Long Lake Road, Suite 310
Troy, MI 48098
Phone: (248) 644-6326

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