Are you being investigated as a nurse for filing a false report or complaint against another licensee?
Have you received an administrative complaint from the Board of Nursing seeking to take disciplinary action against your nursing license because you were found civilly liable for knowingly filing a false report or complaint against another licensee? If you have, it is very important that you contact an experienced health care attorney to go over the charges. These charges are serious and can have a negative impact on your license and your ability to practice nursing in Florida.
The law states that disciplinary action can be taken against your nursing license if you were found civilly liable for knowingly filing a false report or complaint against another licensee. The Florida law on point here is Florida Statute 456.072(1)(g). The statute specifically says the following:
(1) The following acts shall constitute grounds for which the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) may be taken:
(g) Having been found liable in a civil proceeding for knowingly filing a false report or complaint with the department against another licensee.
As the rule states, you must have been found liable in a civil proceeding for this statute to apply. This statute would not apply in a criminal case against you, though there would probably be more pressing matters for you to worry about in that situation. Note also that the statute says against another licensee. This does not necessarily mean against another nurse, it could be against a doctor or another licensed professional. As long as you do it knowing it is false, it is a violation of the statute. If you have had charges made against your license for violation of this statute, you should contact an experienced health care attorney immediately to go over your options. There can be severe repercussions for you if you wait.
There are a range of actions that can be taken against you should the board of nursing decide to take disciplinary action against you. The penalties you could face are found in the Disciplinary Guidelines for the Board of Nursing, particularly in Rule 64B9-8.006 in the Florida Administrative Code. The rule states the following for disciplinary guidelines for violation of the statute:
|FIRST OFFENSE:||Reprimand and $250 fine||$500 fine and suspension|
|SECOND OFFENSE:||$500 fine and suspension||Revocation|
The penalties for violating this statute can vary. The least severe penalty is a reprimand and $250 fine. Note that you can also be suspended under a first offense. Your license can also be revoked if this is your second offense. This is very serious. You should also be aware that these are guidelines that the board should follow in handing out discipline, but are not set in stone, and can be accompanied by other penalties or deviated from. These penalties can be found in Florida Statute 456.072(2), which you should review with your health care attorney.
The board hearing your case can take into account various factors that could affect the discipline you receive. These factors are called aggravating and mitigating circumstances. Aggravating circumstances are factors that can hurt your case. If aggravating circumstances are proven you could face harsher penalties. Mitigating circumstances are factors that can help your case. If mitigating circumstances are proven you could face lesser penalties. These factors can also be found in rule 64B9-8.006(5)(b) in the Florida Administrative Code. If either side can prove with clear and convincing evidence the aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the discipline you face could be altered by the board. Here are the factors:
(b) Circumstances which may be considered for purposes of mitigation or aggravation of penalty shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The danger to the public.
- Previous disciplinary action against the licensee in this or any other jurisdiction.
- The length of time the licensee has practiced.
- The actual damage, physical or otherwise, caused by the violation.
- The deterrent effect of the penalty imposed.
- Any efforts at rehabilitation.
- Attempts by the licensee to correct or stop violations, or refusal by the licensee to correct or stop violations.
- Cost of treatment.
- Financial hardship.
- Cost of disciplinary proceedings.
The board can take into account any of these factors, or other factors, in your hearing. The board can deviate from the standard disciplinary guidelines if they find that any of these aggravating or mitigating circumstances exist. These are very important factors that you should discuss with your health care attorney.
If you are a licensed health care professional in Florida and have a pending criminal case you are probably concerned about how this may affect your license. To set up a FREE no obligation consultation with Jeff Howell contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776. We represent licensed health care professionals and facilities statewide, including out of state clients who are concerned about the status of their Florida license.