Joseph P. Hougnon, Attorney at Law

Sacramento Professional License Defense Attorney

Don’t Risk Your License. Talk To An Attorney Today.

Call (916) 730-5251

It’s a letter that most people would prefer to avoid. A notification from the state boards that you are under investigation and your professional license could be in jeopardy. While feelings of anger and frustration are natural reactions, panicking and making rash decisions won’t solve anything.

You worked hard to earn your license, and you should put in an equal amount of effort to defend it. Not taking the right action can lead to serious consequences down the road. In situations like these, your first step should be contacting a Sacramento professional license defense lawyer to assist with your case.

Protecting Your Career And Your Livelihood

Accusations against your professional behavior or competency should never be taken lightly. State licensing boards have the power to reduce or eliminate your income, tarnish your reputation, and subject you to criminal prosecution. All based on what they believe to be true.

And there’s no major discipline that is exempt:

Worst of all, it’s often your word against others. In some cases, professionals find themselves under investigation not because of personal misconduct, but instead due to unwarranted complaints by fellow employees or the clients they serve.

In other instances, performance lapses are caused by improper training, workplace stress, or other factors outside of the person’s control. Whatever the cause, it’s important to mount a strong defense to protect your rights and ensure the safety and security of your family’s income.

You need to act quickly to save your license – call (916) 730-5251 today for a free consultation.

Do You Need To Hire An Administrative Law Attorney?

Simply put – the answer is yes. Professional licensing defense is a complex area of law that operates under its own unique set of guidelines and regulations. Those unfamiliar with the system are left at the mercy of the state in defending themselves and protecting their livelihood.

Keep in mind that the state licensing boards have armies of lawyers on staff to protect their interests. The boards take accusations of negligent and criminal behavior seriously and love making examples of those accused of breaking the rules (whether they actually did or not).

Even if you are in compliance with regulations, saying or doing the wrong things during an investigation can lead to trouble. Partnering with an experienced California license defense attorney helps you to avoid common mistakes and protects both your license and your professional reputation.

California Professional License Defense Process

When it comes to defending your license, people are often shocked to discover just how confusing (and overwhelming) the process can be. You need to have a strong understanding of licensure law and the many complex factors surrounding it. Working with a professional license defense attorney makes the experience less stressful and typically offers better results.

It’s important to mention that license hearings are different from criminal trials. While a judge still oversees the hearing, the board has the final say in the actual decision. After each hearing, the board can choose to either accept, reject or modify the judge’s ruling.

While the details of each license defense case will vary, here is a general idea of what you can expect.

  1. Accusation – the first step in the process. This phase begins with the receipt of a formal notice of intent to discipline the licensee. The notice should Include the reasoning behind the proposed action (or rationale for an initial license denial).
  2. Notice of Defense – you must file a Notice of Defense immediately following an accusation or statement of issues to preserve your right to a hearing. Otherwise, the board assumes you are not contesting the charges.
  3. Discovery (pre-hearing) – the stage when your attorney collects evidence and attempts to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If successful, the case is resolved and no further action is required. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, a formal hearing is scheduled.
  4. Administrative Hearing – where evidence is presented, witnesses are examined, and legal arguments are made. An interesting note about hearings is that the accused MUST testify in their defense (they cannot choose to remain silent).For this reason alone, working with a professional license defense attorney makes sense. Without proper guidance from an experienced lawyer, you are at the mercy of the state when it comes to defending yourself.
  5. Administrative Decision – After reviewing the case, the judge will issue his/her decision within 30 days. The licensing agency then has 100 days to accept, reject or modify the judge’s ruling. The accused can also ask for reconsideration of the verdict before the decision is finalized. This step is usually reserved for presenting new evidence or pointing out flaws in the hearing event or case itself.
  6. Appeals Process –  As a final recourse, defendants can appeal their case (also known as a writ petition) to a superior court. Appeals can be extremely complicated procedures and are not recommended for those without legal counsel.

While it’s true that defending your license can feel intimidating, thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone.

Don’t put your career at risk – call (916) 730-5251 today for a free consultation.

Contact Joseph P. Hougnon For Help

For legal troubles involving professional licensure, it’s important to secure legal counsel as soon as possible. Preserving evidence and organizing a strong defense is key in determining your case outcome. Equally important is selecting an attorney that specializes in professional license defense.

Joe Hougnon, Esq. has been helping Northern Californians with their legal needs for more than two decades. Mr. Hougnon is a veteran trial lawyer and skilled negotiator with a proven track record of results. His office maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and he has not lost a jury trial in over 15 years.

Joseph specializes in developing defense strategies based on the facts of each case and application of appropriate law. His experience includes:

  • Agency investigations
  • Licensing board disciplinary hearings
  • License revocation defense
  • Local and state government regulatory hearings
  • Administrative writs and appeals
  • License acquisition issues
  • Criminal Defense

If you or someone you know is facing charges related to professional licensure, give Joe a call today at (916) 730-5251. He serves the greater Sacramento area (including Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, Solano and Yuba counties), and offers free consultations and expert advice for his clients.

Remember, your license is your livelihood. Don’t let anyone take it away from you.

Call or contact us online today to get started.

Joe Hougnon, Esq.

Answers to all your questions are only a phone call away. Call Now at (916) 730-5251.