It took years, but you finally completed an exciting yet demanding Medical, Nursing, or Physical Therapy school program, or another career-paving post-graduate degree. Now you’ve been notified by your state licensing board that a complaint has been filed against you, and an Interim Suspension Order (ISO) will be in place until an investigation is complete.
You’re devastated and with good reason. Your professional practice is thriving and patients are depending on you, but if the Interim Suspension Order is enforced, the law requires you to stop working or temporarily close the practice pending the outcome of the investigation. Before getting the notice, you were enjoying a successful career you loved. Now it could all be gone in a matter of months or even weeks.
What can you do?
When you’re facing an Interim Suspension Order, you need to act quickly. Step one is finding the right attorney: ISOs are both legally complicated and comparatively rare, so not every California license defense lawyer knows how to handle them properly. Attorney Nicole Irmer focuses much of her practice on professional license defense and will use her extensive experience with both criminal law and the rules governing certain licenses to fight for a favorable outcome for you.
Also known as an Emergency Suspension Order or Order of Temporary Suspension, an ISO immediately suspends your license while a complaint is being investigated. In California, this emergency order may be issued by an administrative law judge (ALJ) or the board that oversees your professional license. In either case, once the ISO is issued, you are prohibited from working in your licensed profession until the matter is resolved.
Once the Interim Suspension Order is issued, you must cease all licensed activity until the board concludes its investigation and either restores, suspends, or revokes your license. In general, the stages in the disciplinary process may include:
Your lawyer will provide you with the advice and representation you need to make the best decisions for your case as well as file an appeal if necessary.
It’s possible, but you need to act quickly.
After your licensing board petitions an Administrative Law Judge for an ISO, it will usually notify you of the upcoming hearing. However, if the board takes the position that your actions represent an immediate public danger, the ISO may be activated at an initial emergency hearing. You may be heard as to whether there is an imminent threat to public safety, not the underlying facts of the case. which will be followed by a second hearing where you have the opportunity to respond.
If your board issues the ISO directly, you may or may not receive an Accusation and advance notice. Your licensing defense lawyer will help you put together an effective legal strategy designed to help you keep your license and protect your livelihood.
You may be able to convince the judge or the board to cancel the ISO if, after receiving notice and an opportunity to respond, you can present compelling evidence at the hearing as to why the order is not needed. Potential defenses may include:
If you have reason to believe that the licensing board is acting in bad faith, your attorney may be able to persuade a judge to revoke the ISO, especially if it appears that the board issued or filed it in a hasty or vindictive manner.
While you have the right to present yourself during any disciplinary matter involving your license, your odds of success are minimal. Interim Suspension Orders are so rare that not all professional license defense lawyers are experienced in handling them, which is why you want to work with an attorney who knows what you’re going through and which legal strategies can result in an ideal outcome for you.
Nicole Irmer is an experienced professional license defense attorney who will act quickly to minimize the damage to your career. She can:
If you’re facing an Interim Suspension Order, you may be worried about your career. An experienced San Diego professional license defense lawyer will protect your rights during the board investigation and fight for your professional future. For a confidential, no-risk consultation with attorney Nicole Irmer, call us at (619) 237-6130 or contact us online.