Criminal Actions and the Impact on Professional Licenses

Our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to the defense of health professionals and other licensed professionals. We provide aggressive legal representation for physicians, nurses, and others who face criminal prosecution.

Our primary criminal defense practice is representing health professionals with criminal prosecutions, as almost all criminal issues directly affect their professional license, even if the charge is unrelated to their practice. Therefore, licensed professionals need a criminal attorney who appreciates the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. We strive to limit the affect of a criminal charge on a professionals medical license, nursing license, or other professional license.

Choosing a criminal defense attorney who is not familiar with professional licensing may be a costly mistake in the long run. Often clients end up with two attorneys: a criminal attorney and a professional licensing attorney. Healthcare professionals are better served by selecting an attorney who is experienced in both professional licensing and criminal law. Most criminal defense attorneys are not aware of the intricacies of the Public Health Code and the requirements imposed on licensed health professionals.

When charged with a crime, healthcare professionals must defend their actions in both criminal court and before the state licensing board for their respective profession (e.g. 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. Chapman Law Group offers all-in-one representation of healthcare professionals during criminal proceedings and any resulting professional licensing or administrative action against. Our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to the defense of healthcare professionals. 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 the client’s professional license.

Sadly, criminal defense attorneys who do not practice administrative law often plead criminal cases in such a way that makes it difficult to avoid licensing action from the state and the professional’s licensing board. From the onset of your representation, we consider the licensing ramification(s) when developing a strategy and we aggressively represent you during criminal and administrative proceedings.

Our Experience Defending Health Professionals against Criminal Charges and Subsequent Licensing Action

Your unique position as a healthcare professional requires counsel with a proven track record. Remember, your profession is often your only means of support. Do not make the mistake of selecting an attorney who is unable to represent your interests during criminal proceedings and administrative proceedings, or an attorney who 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.

Our criminal/professional licensing attorneys know the medicine. We not only have attorneys with over 25 years experience representing health professionals, we have attorneys who are also licensed nurses and physicians with real world practical knowledge. We understand the unique and rigorous requirements imposed on health professionals and we fight aggressively to defend health professionals against claims including criminal charges and disciplinary matters.

Criminal Charges Effect on Professional Licenses

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, Criminal Negligence, Healthcare Fraud or if you have been arrested for DUI, DWI, OUIL, disorderly conduct, shoplifting, assault, or any other felony or misdemeanor, you can anticipate that the state, the Department of Health or the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will investigate whether or not you have violated the Public Health Code. It is imperative that you retain an attorney who can immediately defend your freedom during your criminal case and also protect your livelihood during licensing proceedings.

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 immediately prevents 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. 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 Has Serious 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 plea of guilty and its effect on your professional license. In Michigan and Florida, the Administrative Code allows for mandatory suspension of a health professional’s license for felony convictions and certain misdemeanors. All too often, 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. Additionally, an experienced 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 and in some professions to update their on-line profile within 15 days. 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. Reporting a criminal conviction should be done by a skilled professional licensing attorney. 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.

More information about failure to report criminal convictions to the Licensing Board


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