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Are you being investigated as a doctor for having disciplinary action against you in another jurisdiction?

March 6, 2017
Est read time: 5 minutes

Have you received an administrative complaint against your physician’s license in Florida for having disciplinary action taken against your license in any jurisdiction, including the denial of a license? 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 as a doctor in Florida.

Doctor & Disciplinary Action: The Law

The law states that disciplinary action can be taken against you here in Florida if any action has been taken against your license in any jurisdiction. Florida law on point here is Florida Statute 458.331(1)(b). The statute in particular says the following:

(1) The following acts constitute grounds for denial of a license or disciplinary action, as specified in s. 456.072(2):

(b) Having a license or the authority to practice medicine revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure, by the licensing authority of any jurisdiction, including its agencies or subdivisions. The licensing authority’s acceptance of a physician’s relinquishment of a license, stipulation, consent order, or other settlement, offered in response to or in anticipation of the filing of administrative charges against the physician’s license, shall be construed as action against the physician’s license.

Important to note here is that, not only, does the statute include the license, but also the authority to practice medicine in that jurisdiction. The statute is broad in scope as it covers any action taken against your license by any agency or subdivision of any jurisdiction. Also important to note here is that any action you take in, not only, responding to charges, but in preparation that charges will be filed against your license, including settling the matter or relinquishing your license, will be considered as action taken against your license in that jurisdiction. That can lead to disciplinary action against your license here in Florida. If you have had complaints 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.

Doctor & Disciplinary Action: The Penalties

There are a range of actions that can be taken against you should the Board of Medicine decide to take disciplinary action against you. The penalties you could face are found in the Disciplinary Guidelines for the Board of Medicine, particularly in Rule 64B8-8.001 in the Florida Administrative Code. The rule states the following for disciplinary guidelines for violation of the statute:

FIRST OFFENSE:Imposition of discipline comparable to the discipline which would have been imposed if the substantive violation had occurred in FloridaSuspension or denial of the license until the license is unencumbered in the jurisdiction in which disciplinary action was originally taken, and an administrative fine ranging from $1,000.00 to $5,000.00.
SECOND OFFENSE:Imposition of discipline comparable to the discipline which would have been imposed if the substantive violation had occurred in FloridaRevocation or denial of the license, and an administrative fine ranging from $5,000.00 to $10,000.00.

The penalties you face in Florida for a violation of this statute could closely resemble the penalties you received against your license in the acting jurisdiction. The minimum penalty under these guidelines call for the same or comparable penalty to be imposed. Other penalties are possible however. Under the first offense, your license here in Florida could be denied or suspended until your license in the other jurisdiction is no longer under disciplinary action. You could also receive a fine between $1,000 and $5,000. If this is your second offense, it is possible that your license here in Florida is revoked or denied completely. You could also face a fine between $5,000 and $10,000. 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.

Doctor & Disciplinary Action: Aggravating/Mitigating Circumstances

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 64B8-8.001(3) 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:

(a) Exposure of patient or public to injury or potential injury, physical or otherwise: none, slight, severe, or death;

(b) Legal status at the time of the offense: no restraints, or legal constraints;

(c) The number of counts or separate offenses established;

(d) The number of times the same offense or offenses have previously been committed by the licensee or applicant;

(e) The disciplinary history of the applicant or licensee in any jurisdiction and the length of practice;

(f) Pecuniary benefit or self-gain inuring to the applicant or licensee;

(g) The involvement in any violation of Section 458.331, F.S., of the provision of controlled substances for trade, barter or sale, by a licensee. In such cases, the Board will deviate from the penalties recommended above and impose suspension or revocation of licensure.

(h) Where a licensee has been charged with violating the standard of care pursuant to Section 458.331(1)(t), F.S., but the licensee, who is also the records owner pursuant to Section 456.057(1), F.S., fails to keep and/or produce the medical records.

(i) Any other relevant mitigating factors.

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 received an administrative complaint for violation of the statutes, you are probably concerned about how this may affect your license. To set up a FREE no obligation consultation with Jeff Howell or Rickey Strong, 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.

Have Questions? Let's Talk

Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong at 850-877-7776 to set up a FREE no-obligation consultation. Our firm represents physicians, nurses, psychologists, and other licensed professionals statewide.
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