1. Is it important that I retain an attorney that lives in my area?
All State licensing agencies have offices located in Sacramento. Some agencies also have local offices as well. The attorneys that represent these agencies have offices throughout the State. Gould & Hahn is located four miles from one of the four regional Office of Administrative Hearings locations and is a short commute from Sacramento. Most communication between clients and the Firm and between the Firm and the agency attorneys is conducted through the mail, e-mail, and telephone. We assist clients throughout the State of California and it is not necessary that your attorney be local. What is important is that your attorney understands and is experienced in administrative law.
2. What happens during the Free Consultation you provide?
A member of the Firm’s legal staff will review your situation, advise you of your rights, and describe the types of services we provide and, if applicable, discuss how we would defend you against the agency’s disciplinary action. We will give you an estimate of the time the case will take, possible outcomes of your case, and an estimate of the legal fees. After speaking with one of our experienced attorneys, you will be able to decide if we are the right firm for you.
3. If I’ve already lost my license, is there anything I can do?
In many cases, Gould & Hahn has been able to assist individuals in reinstating their licenses. Depending on how long it has been since your license was revoked, the Firm’s attorneys will discuss what steps are available to you. If you have recently received the Decision revoking your license, you may still have an opportunity to appeal. Nearly all licensing agencies have rules governing the reinstatement of a revoked license. Knowing what these rules are and the criteria the agency uses to determine whether to reinstate a license is critical to any successful reinstatement petition.
4. If I have two licenses from different agencies and one is revoked, should I worry about my other license?
This situation arises when a person holds the same type of license in more than one state or two different licenses in the same state. Depending on the types of licenses you have, you may be required to report the revocation immediately or when you renew your license. Some agencies require you to notify them within a certain time frame if any discipline is taken against any license that you hold. Failure to notify the agency constitutes a further basis for discipline. Other agencies require you to disclose disciplinary actions in your renewal application. In either case, a license revocation may trigger an investigation by the renewing agency and will likely result in the filing of disciplinary charges against your other license. For these reasons, it is very important to speak with one of Gould & Hahn’s experienced attorneys immediately if you have more than one license and have been the subject of a disciplinary action.
5. Will my licensing agency file a disciplinary action against me if I am convicted of a crime that is unrelated to my professional license?
It depends upon the licensing agency and the conviction. Licensing agencies have the authority to file a disciplinary action when they believe a conviction constitutes “unprofessional conduct”. Each agency interprets laws defining unprofessional conduct differently, and many consider conviction of a crime to be unprofessional conduct, even if the conviction is unrelated to your profession. Many different types of convictions can result in a disciplinary action against your license. If you have been convicted of a crime or have been arrested and your criminal case is still pending, you should contact Gould & Hahn immediately to discuss how the criminal action may effect your license.
6. Do I have to tell my licensing agency that I have been convicted of a crime?
If you have been convicted of a crime, you will likely need to report it to your licensing agency within a certain period of time or disclose the conviction when you renew your license. When renewing your license, most licensing agencies have a renewal form that asks whether you have had a criminal conviction since your last renewal. If you have been convicted of a crime, you will need to answer “yes” to this question and provide the agency with an explanation. It is very important to retain counsel when preparing this explanation. Some agencies have a further requirement that you notify the agency within a certain timeframe after your conviction. Failure to disclose a conviction during renewal or failure to report within the required timeframe can constitute grounds for further disciplinary action. The criminal court also has the authority to contact your licensing agency regarding your conviction and in some cases, the Deputy District Attorney will contact the licensing agency when criminal charges are filed and before the criminal case has been resolved.
7. I have been talking to the agency’s attorney and am afraid that getting my own attorney will make it harder for me to resolve the case. Is this true?
No. In the many years we have been representing licensees, we have found that licensees obtain a better result if they are represented by experienced administrative attorneys. Licensing boards, bureaus, and departments are represented by attorneys who specialize in the statutes and regulations of the licensing agency. These attorneys are instructed to file disciplinary actions against licensees seeking the revocation of their license. These attorneys represent the best interests of the agency and cannot advise you. It is important that you retain your own attorney whose sole loyalty and responsibility is to you and who is as familiar with administrative law as the agency’s attorney. Too many times licensees give up their license or accept unnecessarily harsh probationary conditions because they are not aware of their rights. Your attorney will guide you through this difficult and complicated process and ensure that your rights are protected and that you obtain the best result possible.
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