Criminal Actions and Their Impact on a Healthcare Professional’s License

Image of a police car with flashing lights.

Whether a physician, pain management specialist, nurse/nurse practitioner, or pharmacist, criminal charges can be a career-ender for a licensed healthcare provider.

Why? Because for medical providers, any criminal law action— from DUI/DWI to drug diversion, and from improperly prescribing to healthcare fraud — isn’t just something to be faced in court. It also means a provider having to answer for it before the respective profession’s state licensing board.

Choosing a criminal defense attorney who is not familiar with professional licensing may be a costly mistake in the long run:

A healthcare provider could end up retaining two attorneys — a criminal attorney and a professional licensing attorney — and paying double for split legal representation.

A healthcare provider also may end up using a criminal defense attorney who does not practice administrative law, and he/she often will plead criminal cases in such a way that will spell out doom during licensing action.

But the healthcare criminal law attorneys at Chapman Law Group are different. We have advantages healthcare providers won’t find anywhere else. 

We are solely dedicated to representing all licensed healthcare providers, which means from the onset of representation, we consider the licensing ramification when developing a strategy. We then aggressively represent clients during both the criminal and administrative proceedings, because we know that virtually any criminal conviction could prevent a healthcare provider from practicing.

Healthcare Provider Criminal Charges Almost Always Result in Disciplinary Action

If you have been served with a criminal complaint or federal indictment for Medicare/Medicaid fraud, drug diversion, or criminal negligence, or if you have been arrested and face criminal charges (DUI, DWI, OUIL, disorderly conduct, shoplifting, assault or any other felony or misdemeanor), you can anticipate that the state, the Florida Department of Health (DOH), or the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) will investigate whether you have violated the Public Health Code.

When charged with a crime, healthcare providers must defend their actions in both criminal court and before the state licensing board for their respective profession (Board of Medicine, Board of Nursing, etc.). There are two distinct areas of law that are applied during these proceedings: the Penal Code and the Public Health Code.

However, most general criminal defense attorneys are not aware of the intricacies of the Public Health Code and the requirements imposed on licensed health professionals. Because these lawyers don’t practice administrative law, they will often plead criminal cases in such a way that makes it difficult for a healthcare provider to avoid licensing action from the state and the professional’s respective licensing board.

The healthcare attorneys at Chapman Law Group offer all-in-one representation for professionals during criminal proceedings and in any resulting professional licensing or administrative actions. Our goal is to not only streamline this process, but to ensure that the criminal matter is handled in such a way as to limit the impact on your professional license.

Felony or Misdemeanor Conviction May Lead to Suspension of License

If you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges related to alcohol or substance abuse, you may be subject to a Summary Suspension or Emergency Suspension, which would immediately prevent you from practicing. In the event of a felony conviction, your license will likely be immediately suspended. If you receive an alcohol-related misdemeanor conviction you may also face an immediate suspension.

In Michigan and Florida, the Administrative Code allows for mandatory suspension of a health professional’s license for felony convictions and certain misdemeanors.

If you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges, it is imperative that you seek the advice of an attorney who can navigate the criminal and administrative courts and get you the best possible result to protect your freedom and livelihood.

Pleading Guilty Means Consequences in Disciplinary Proceedings

A guilty plea is the strongest form of proof under the law. When you plead guilty to a criminal offense, you are prevented from later arguing differently in an administrative proceeding. Before accepting an offer or entering a plea of guilty, it is imperative that you are advised on the collateral consequences of your guilty plea and its effect on your professional license.

All too often, general criminal attorneys do not appreciate the consequences of a guilty plea, and clients are forced to accept a less than desirable outcome at an administrative proceeding.

But an experienced healthcare licensing attorney can advise you on which misdemeanor pleas are less likely to result in suspension of your license.

Reporting Criminal Convictions to Licensing Authority

In Michigan and Florida, a licensed healthcare professional is required to report a criminal conviction to the relevant board (Board of Medicine, Board of Nursing, etc.) within 30 days. In some professions, they must update their online profile within 15 days.

It is imperative that, immediately after your arrest, you contact a skilled professional licensing attorney so that you can begin the steps necessary to mitigate the consequences and seek treatment, if necessary. Aggressive representation at the outset will improve your chances of receiving a more favorable result in both criminal court and before your respective board.

If the licensing board believes that your criminal conviction has the potential to affect your ability to practice your profession, they may impose sanctions up to and including license revocation. Therefore, it is imperative that your report of conviction puts you in the best light possible and shows the board that you can still safely and skillfully practice your profession.

This is where the criminal law and licensing attorneys at Chapman Law Group excel. We have more than 35 years’ experience in assisting thousands of healthcare professionals with obtaining and/or retaining their licenses — even after convictions, professional misconduct, substance abuse issues, and professional negligence.

Chapman Law Group: Defense Attorneys for Healthcare Professionals Facing Criminal Charges and Subsequent Licensing Action in Michigan and Florida

For licensed healthcare professionals, a license to practice is everything. But when faced with matters involving license restrictions, revocations, suspensions, and surrenders, that provider’s entire career is suddenly at risk.

Your unique position as a healthcare professional requires counsel with a proven track record in criminal and administrative matters. Do not make the mistake of selecting an attorney who is unable to represent your interests during criminal proceedings and administrative proceedings, or is ill-equipped to advise you on the collateral consequences of your plea or conviction in criminal court.

You need an experienced attorney who knows your profession, knows the medicine, and is equipped with the knowledge to provide you with complete comprehensive representation in both arenas.

At Chapman Law Group, our lawyers don’t just have experience in court, but our staff includes licensed nurses and physicians with real-world practical knowledge of the medical field. We understand the unique, rigorous requirements imposed on healthcare professionals, and we fight aggressively to defend health professionals against claims including criminal charges and disciplinary matters.

In addition, we represent licensed professionals who are not in the health field, including accountants, real estate agents, contractors, and cosmetologists.

If you have been accused of a crime or have recently been convicted, contact Chapman Law Group’s professional licensing defense attorneys for Michigan and Florida to discuss your reporting requirements and options, so we may help protect your professional license.

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or Call us at: 1 (877) 234-5911

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