Getting a professional license is no easy task. No matter if you’re a lawyer, doctor, nurse, or teacher, you have to enroll in school, pass specific requirements, and then pass licensing tests to be able to legally practice as a professional in your chosen field. Different professional standards, laws, and rules govern these professionals as they work in their fields.
These standards prohibit unprofessional behaviors or conduct, and they have severe consequences for those who fail to adhere to them. Although the reasons you can face license suspensions vary, there are a few key reasons that frequently occur across all professions that can justify this suspension. To learn more about license suspensions, read below or reach out to our office today to speak to an experienced attorney in Franklin Tennessee.
1. Being Convicted Of A Crime
Some professional laws and rules are very broad when it comes to classifying criminal activity as a basis for a license suspension. For example, a few rules say that unprofessional conduct encompasses crimes that involve moral turpitude. These very generalized references can cover most crime types, and this gives disciplinary boards a lot of leeway when it comes to holding professionals who engage in criminal activity accountable.
Other laws and rules are much more specific to what constitutes a crime that can lead to license suspensions or disciplinary proceedings. Some of these crimes include but are not limited to:
Crimes against the elderly or children, like elder or child abuse
- Violent crimes against someone who caused harm to others, like robbery, murder, or assault
- Serious drug-related crimes, including many offenses that go far beyond possession of a small amount of drugs
Some professionals also have rules in place that say any felony is grounds for a license suspension, while others have references to any crime that has anything to do with misrepresentation, dishonesty, or fraud.
2. Committing Misrepresentation, Deceit, Or Fraud
Another very common grounds for disciplinary action is any behavior that involves elements of deceit, fraud, or misrepresentation. This could include criminal behaviors, or it could take the route of including unethical behavior that violates any professional rules of conduct but doesn’t quite get to the level of being an actual crime. A few examples of the behaviors that fall under this category and can lead to a suspension of a professional license include:
Client fund mismanagement
- False advertising
- Insurance or billing fraud
- Patient or client record falsification
- Prescription medication forgery
Almost all professionals have an ethical duty to care for their patients or clients. This is critical to have in a relationship between a patient or client and the professional. When a professional acts fraudulently or misrepresents themselves, they destroy this relationship by violating this duty of care. They can also damage the profession as a whole, so they can all lead to disciplinary actions.
Professional misconduct or malpractice can easily lead to a license suspension or other disciplinary actions. The conduct that will lead to these consequences will depend on each profession’s rules. Suspending a license tends to be a more severe consequence when it comes to professional disciplinary actions. In most instances, to get to this suspension, the incompetence levels led to patient or client harm.
For example, a doctor can commit medical malpractice by failing to diagnose a patient’s cancer or by administering the wrong treatment for the medical issue the patient has and causing harm to the patient. A nurse may give the incorrect medication, leading to incompetent treatment.
A lawyer could also violate professional rules of conduct by giving incorrect legal advice to one of their clients. If the client takes this advice and relies on it, they could end up with disastrous consequences.
4. Using Alcohol, Controlled Substances, Or Illegal Drugs
Most professions prohibit criminal convictions and activity related to using alcohol, illegal drugs, or controlled substances. Depending on how severe the situation is, it’s possible to end up with a license suspension. Even if the person isn’t convicted or charged with the crime, other instances that involve alcohol or drug abuse can lead to disciplinary actions. For example, if you are found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or possessing illegal substances while working, this can lead to disciplinary measures.
A complaint to the licensing board requires that you take action immediately to protect your career and license. You could face a professional license suspension, and this can have severe ramifications for your ability to support your lifestyle or your business. However, you may be able to minimize or avoid these sanctions and keep a clean professional record. Get help from an experienced attorney. Reach out to Durak Law in Franklin, Tennessee for help outlining your options.