Arrested? Your Medical License Is In Jeopardy
Being arrested is among the most stressful experiences you can encounter. In fact, the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale ranks incarceration as the fourth most stressful ordeal in life.
Falling afoul of the law strips away your everyday defenses. Being handcuffed and led off to jail leaves most people in such a state of fear, stress, and anxiety that they can’t immediately deal with such a life-upending misfortune. The prospect of imprisonment, legal costs, shame and loss of civil rights all vie for criminal suspects' immediate attention.
And medical professionals have the added worry of possibly losing their medical license.
Protect Your Medical License in an Arrest
Anyone arrested should say as little as possible to law enforcement and seek legal counsel. Licensed healthcare professionals workers, though, need specialized counsel as soon as possible. They face not only criminal proceedings but also administrative hearings conducted by the Florida Board of Medicine (BOM).
The State of Florida lists more than three dozen offenses in State Statute 456.072 that can lead to disciplinary measures that can lead to a temporary or permanent loss of a medical license. Those crimes include:
- Medical malpractice;
- Patient abuse and neglect;
- Drug crimes;
- Substance abuse;
- Tax fraud;
- Nonpayment of child or spousal support;
- Sexual misconduct; and,
- Other crimes involving “moral turpitude, fraud, dishonesty, or deceit in any jurisdiction of the courts of this state, of any other state, or of the United States.” ([Florida Statute § 458.331(1)(pp)(4)])
Reporting and Medical License Penalties
Another hurdle faced by licensed healthcare professionals is to report the outcome of their criminal case to BOM within 30 days of its resolution. If they don’t, they face a penalty.
The Board has a wide range of penalties it can impose on a medical license holder short of revoking their privilege to practice medicine. Those sanctions can include warnings, probation, fines, cease-and-desist orders, community service, reprimands in your official record, license suspension, orders to take professional courses and monitoring your work.
With all the possible pitfalls, the medical practitioner facing criminal charges should consult an experienced healthcare attorney. In such cases before the BOM, having legal counsel ensures the best possible outcome. Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law will provide expert legal advice in such situations. For a free consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us at our Tallahassee office at (850) 877-7776 or in Orlando at (407) 717-1773.
Let Us Help You
- Understand the process;
- Provide advice on how to successfully navigate the system;
- Review employment contracts with hospital and healthcare
- Prepare your case for an appearance before the Board of Medicine's Credentials Committee;
- Offer advice on options and strategies for dealing with PRN;
- Offer advice and strategies regarding criminal background issues; and
- Provide you after our representation with a letter for future employers explaining how the case was concluded.