Orange County Medical Licensing Defense Lawyer

It takes years of schooling and training – and often hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans – to become a doctor. Even once you have graduated from residency, you are required to engage in continuing education and otherwise stay on top of the latest research in medicine. If you make an error in judgment, it can put all of that work – and your medical license – in jeopardy.

The Medical Board of California (MBC) and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California (OMBC) license and regulate the practice of medicine in the state of California. These Medical Boards set the standards for licensure of physicians and surgeons and investigate allegations that a licensee has violated the Medical Practice Act (MPA). If a licensing board believes that a physician has violated the MPA, it may seek to impose consequences on that doctor through formal disciplinary action.

The Law Offices of Nicole Irmer is dedicated to representing healthcare professionals in Orange County who are seeking licensure or who are facing disciplinary action for issues such as unprofessional conduct. We treat each client with compassion, understanding that even the most careful doctors may struggle or make a mistake.  Our legal team uses our extensive experience and knowledge of California medical board licensing matters to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. Reach out today to schedule a consultation with an Orange County healthcare license defense attorney.

What Are Medical License Disciplinary Actions?

Both the MBC and the OMBC have the authority to investigate and discipline physicians and surgeons for violations of the MPA. These disciplinary actions typically begin when a complaint is filed by a patient, a family member, a colleague, an insurance company, or a member of the public. Alternatively, if a doctor is charged with a criminal offense such as driving under the influence (DUI), drug possession, or domestic violence, the matter will be referred to the appropriate licensing board.

A complaint will allege one or more violations of the MPA, which is part of California’s Business and Professions Code (BPC). Our law firm has experience representing physicians and surgeons in cases involving allegations of:

Once the Medical Board receives a complaint, it will refer the matter to its investigatory division, the Central Complaint Unit (CCU). The CCU will begin an investigation and may reach out to a doctor to ask for a statement or to sign paperwork. If you are contacted by a Medical Board investigator, you should not talk to them or sign anything until you have consulted with an Orange County medical license defense attorney. 

Remember: anything that you say to a Board investigator can be used against you in a disciplinary action. If the Medical Board believes that a crime has occurred, your statements could also be used against you in a prosecution. It is critical that you have legal representation if you learn that are under investigation by your licensing board.

In addition to advocating for you with the investigator, your attorney may also be able to intervene with the Board. They may be able to provide other evidence about what happened or present mitigating evidence to the investigator. In doing so, your lawyer may be able to get the complaint closed or get a lesser penalty, such as a public reprimand or a citation and fine. They can also work to potentially help you avoid criminal charges.

If the investigation determines that a violation likely occurred, then the Board will forward it to the Office of the Attorney General for review and preparation of a formal Accusation. Even after an Accusation has been filed, your lawyer will continue to work with the Board to try to obtain a stipulated settlement. If you can’t reach a settlement, the case will go to an administrative hearing. At this hearing, your lawyer will present evidence and make arguments to an administrative law judge (ALJ). Once the hearing has concluded, the ALJ will issue a proposed decision that will be sent to the Board to adopt, modify, or reject the decision.

Disciplinary action can have a range of consequences based on the nature and severity of the alleged violation. A medical board may impose the following discipline:

  • Citation and fine
  • Public reprimand
  • Probation
  • License suspension
  • Revocation of a medical license. 

The Board can also seek recovery of the costs associated with investigation and enforcement and may impose additional conditions, such as a requirement to complete certain medical education courses, submitting to toxicology screenings, or completing psychological evaluations.

Because Board disciplinary action may be linked to criminal charges, it is vital that you hire an Orange County medical licensing defense lawyer who also has experience in criminal defense.

With a practice dedicated to professional license and criminal defense work, the Law Offices of Nicole Irmer can defend you against both Medical Board and criminal complaints.

Defending Yourself Against Medical Board Complaints and Accusations

Learning that you are under investigation by the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California can be stressful. It is normal to feel anxious about potential consequences, including the loss of your license and ability to practice medicine and earn a living. While disciplinary actions are scary, the result is not a foregone conclusion. You can defend yourself and protect your license with the assistance of an Orange County medical licensing defense attorney.

At the Law Office of Nicole Irmer, we don’t simply sit back and wait for a licensing board to decide our clients’ fate. We take a proactive, multi-pronged approach to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Depending on the facts of the case, our legal team may:

  • Meet with the Board investigatory and/or Deputy Attorney General to present mitigating evidence and/or factual evidence to refute the allegation;
  • Retain a private investigator to dig into the facts of the allegations against you;
  • Hire expert witnesses to offer their opinion; 
  • Develop a rehabilitation plan if substance abuse or mental health issues are at issue; 
  • Gather mitigating evidence to support rehabilitation; and/or
  • Prepare evidence and legal arguments for a hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings.

In many cases, our professional licensed defense lawyers can resolve a complaint before an Accusation has been filed or with a stipulated settlement once the formal disciplinary process is underway. When we cannot reach a settlement, our medical license defense lawyers may advise you that the best option is to defend yourself in an administrative hearing. We can also represent you in any concurrent criminal investigations.

Don’t Deal with Medical Board Disciplinary Action Alone. Call Our Law Firm for Help.

Being investigated by the Medical Board or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California is frightening. Even if you are confident that you did nothing wrong, an investigation can still be stressful – and may even result in consequences such as a license suspension.   Our Orange County medical license defense attorneys will represent you in matters involving allegations of unethical, unprofessional, or illegal conduct. We will work hard to help you obtain the best possible outcome.

The Law Offices of Nicole Irmer represent medical professionals throughout Southern California. We offer a compassionate, knowledgeable defense of doctors who are seeking a medical license, facing disciplinary action, or looking to have their medical license reinstated. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with an Orange County professional license defense attorney, give us a call at  (619) 237-6130 or fill out our online contact form.