Kansas City, Missouri is home to a number of people who worked very hard to acquire a professional license or certification. They also work very hard to establish themselves in their specific area of specialization and to ensure that that they build a solid reputation among their clients and seniors. Some of the most common occupations that require a professional license include doctors, nurses, teachers, accountants, dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, psychologists, chiropractors, paramedics, and daycare providers to name a few. All licensed professionals are governed by a regulatory body that ensures that only those who meet the standards and maintain those standards during actual practice are the ones who are given the license and are allowed to retain it. However, when that professional license is threatened due to a complaint, then you may need to reach out to a Kansas City professional license defense attorney to protect your reputation and your livelihood.
Professional Licensing Boards in Missouri
Some of the leading regulatory bodies in Kansas City, MO include The Missouri State Board of Nursing, The Missouri State Board of Pharmacy, The Missouri Board of Optometry, The Missouri Real Estate Commission, The Missouri Division of Professional Registration and the State Committee of Psychologists. The Missouri Division of Professional Registration has additional boards that govern other specializations. These include The Missouri State Board of Accountancy, The Missouri Acupuncture Advisory Committee, the Missouri State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and The Missouri Board of Occupational Therapy. In total, the Missouri Division of Professional Registration provides administrative support to 41 professional licensing boards and commissions. These governing bodies regulate the activities of nearly 430,000 professionals in Missouri.
The primary goal of boards and commissions that govern professionals is to ensure that they serve the public with the utmost sincerity and honesty and perform all expected tasks according to the standards that are expected from someone who is a licensed professional. As such, these regulatory bodies are required to take action if any complaint is filed against anyone in Missouri with a professional license. Complaints could be the result of negligence, incompetence, misconduct, fraud, dishonesty, misrepresentation or any other form of behavior that goes against the standards. All licensed professionals have to comply with the rules and regulations enforced by the body that governs their specific profession. They are also expected to demonstrate a certain level of competency to continue practicing in their respective field.
Type of Complaints for Kansas City Professional License Defense Cases
There are situations when complaints are filed against professionals such as a nurse, doctor, or pharmacist. When a complaint is filed against you with the licensing board, this is something you should take very seriously. There is no doubt that licensed professionals put in years of work and effort into their careers, but one complaint can result in dire consequences for your reputation and your credibility. Depending on how the Board evaluates the complaint and depending on the evidence, the Board can decide to either suspend or revoke your license altogether.
Some of the most common complaints filed against Missouri professionals include:
- Performing required tasks while being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Demonstrating incompetent behavior while performing required professional activities
- Being negligent of one’s duties resulting in harm or loss to another person
- Committing fraud
- False reporting or improper record keeping
- Self-prescribing drugs
- Mistreating clients and/or patients
Professional License Complaint Process in Missouri
If a complaint has been filed against you, you should not jump to the conclusion that all is lost and that your license will be revoked. The Missouri State Board has the responsibility to investigate any complaint that is filed, but their decision is based on their findings. The Board will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the validity of the complaint.
In case you are in such a situation, it is in your best interests to consult with a Missouri professional license defense lawyer immediately. This is something you should consider whether you feel the complaint is legitimate or false. You have spent many years to get to where you are and it would be a big mistake if you simply give up without a fight. Many people feel that the complaint against them is false and they believe that they can convince the board of their innocence in the matter. However, the fact is that while doctors, nurses, accountants etc. may be excellent at what they do, they really do not have the skills or the expertise to defend their professional license. You need the services of an experienced license defense lawyer to ensure that there is somebody who is qualified to speak in your defense and who has the necessary skills required to communicate your side of the story and convince the board that the complaint against you is invalid.
When a complaint is filed against you, you will have the opportunity to respond to it in writing. In addition, the professional board may request that you appear for an informal hearing so that you can answer some questions as well as respond to the complaint that has been filed against you. It is generally recommended that if you do decide to voluntarily attend this informal hearing, that you have a professional license defense attorney present there with you to ensure everything goes smoothly and that your case is presented properly and accurately.
In case the Board’s investigation and evidence show that the complaint against you is valid, the Board has the right to take disciplinary action against you. There are several things that can happen here. First, the Board may try to resolve the case by offering you a settlement agreement. Or the Board may file a formal complaint with the Administrative Hearing Commission. If this happens, you should ensure that your license defense attorney is aware of all the facts and that you have provided them with all the relevant details that they may need to defend your case in front of the Commission. Keep in mind that just like you and your professional license defense attorney have to prove your innocence, the Commission also has to prove that they have sufficient cause to take disciplinary action against you. If such a decision is taken, your case will then be referred back to the Board and they will determine what disciplinary action should be taken against you. You should be aware that you have the right to challenge the Commission’s decision and you can file an appeal.
If you feel that the decision by the Board is unfair and that there is no merit to the complaints filed against you, you must consult a Kansas City professional license defense lawyer to fight for your right to prove your innocence. Any disciplinary action taken against you can have a long-term impact on your career as well as your ability to practice. The biggest problem with complaints against professionals such as doctors, nurses, and dentists is that anybody can file such a complaint. This allows anybody – whether it’s a patient, a client, a client’s family member, a colleague, a supervisor – to simply contact the Board and allege that you performed poorly at your job.
A large number of investigations conducted by licensing boards are based on complaints that have absolutely no merit. There can be situations where there may have been a misunderstanding or where a patient/client may have misread the situation. There can also be situations where family members get offended by something you say or do and decide to file a complaint. Your actions may not necessarily be against the law or may not be against any regulations enforced by the Board, but there is nothing that would stop someone from still filing a complaint against you for personal reasons. That is why you need to understand that just because a complaint has been filed against you, it does not mean that you are guilty of the alleged action. You should and you must defend yourself and in order to do so, you must enlist the services of a qualified professional license defense lawyer.
Your entire future depends on how you handle a complaint. The Board has several options when it comes to disciplinary action. It can issue a warning, deny your request for a license, suspend your license or revoke it altogether. This decision is based entirely on the evidence that is available to the Board as well as the circumstances of the case and the merit of the complaint. You must ensure that you hire the services of a license defense lawyer who can develop an effective strategy to protect your professional license and your reputation and career.
Mistakes to Avoid for Your Professional License Defense Case in Kansas City
While getting legal counsel is the first thing that you should do, there are several things that you should NOT do in order to ensure you do not ruin your chances of a positive outcome. Some mistakes that you should avoid once you become aware that a complaint has been filed against you include:
- Failure to provide adequate documentation to the licensing board.
- Taking the complaint too lightly or underestimating the individual(s) who has filed the complaint against you.
- Being overconfident about your innocence and thus being unprepared for questions.
- Talking to the investigator without having a license defense attorney present.
- Discussing the specifics of your case with colleagues, co-workers or anybody would care to listen.
- Submitting documents to the Board without consulting your professional legal defense attorney first.
These actions may seem trivial, but they can really damage your case if you are careless. For example, if you are confident that the complaint against you has no merit and you attend the Board’s hearing unprepared, without any legal counsel, you will realize that the Board may ask you questions that a professional license defense lawyer may be in a better position to handle. Do not take your life’s work too lightly and do not be overconfident, even if you are sure of your innocence. Never take a chance with your career and never, ever say anything to investigators and/or colleagues that can be used against you at a later date.
Professional License Defense and Cornerstone Law Firm
If you are a licensed professional in Kansas City, MO and if a complaint has been filed against you, you should consult a Kansas City license defense lawyer immediately. At the Cornerstone Law Firm, our professional license defense attorney will treat your case with the utmost attention. Our legal team understands that losing a license could be detrimental to your career and your ability to practice. We also understand that you have put years of work into your practice and we do not think that taking your case lightly is the way to go. We have a team of professionals who will thoroughly investigate the complaint filed against you and will evaluate it from different angles so that we can come up with the best possible defense for you.
Whether you are a nurse or a doctor, an accountant or a dentist, we understand that as a professional, you have to interact with all kinds of people. Some are polite and honest; others may be extra-sensitive or rude. There are some who will respect you for the services that you offer while there will be others who will never be satisfied, no matter how much you try to fulfill their requests and demands. There are all sorts of people out there and since there is no restriction on who can say what about licensed professionals, we know that there is always a chance that the complaint filed may be invalid or may be the result of a gross misunderstanding. Call our Kansas City professional license defense lawyer today at 816-581-4040 for a free consultation. Our legal defense lawyer will listen to the specifics of your case, will investigate the legitimacy of the complaint that has been filed against you, gather evidence to prove that the complaint has no merit and will defend your right in front of the Board and the courts, whenever the need arises.
Our commitment is to our client. We are a professional law firm and we understand how important it is for people like us to continue to practice and do what we love to do. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lawyers, accountants, therapists and many other professionals work day in and day out to serve their clients. One person who takes it upon themselves to file a complaint against you should not be given the power to destroy your career. Call us now and we will ensure you get the justice you deserve.