Monterey License Attorney



As a health professional, you always risk formal accusations and complaints from your patients if they are dissatisfied with your health services. Also, your licensing board can begin an investigation if they receive many complaints about your services. When you are a modern-day acupuncturist under investigation, cited, or the California Acupuncture Board has issued a statement, you must speak to a knowledgeable license attorney because your professional license, career, source of income, and reputation are on the line.

At the Monterey License Attorney, we appreciate that state licensing boards always act in the public's interest and could be against you in a court proceeding. Therefore, we protect your rights as a health professional and fight against an unfair verdict. We will present mitigating and exonerating evidence to see the discipline reduced or charges dropped. 

California Licensing Statutes for Medical Experts

Today, there are various medical services to select from, like modern acupuncture and conventional health care. With several medical services available, consumers must be sufficiently informed of the benefits and risks of treatment.

The California Consumer Affairs Department regulates and licenses medical professionals and facilities. The agency ensures the professionals and facilities providing healthcare services meet the minimum standards in the sector. Healthcare experts must have the requisite education, training, and experience and pass a professional exam before obtaining a license.

An acupuncturist is a medical expert who treats various well-being conditions through acupoint stimulation. They do this by inserting tiny needles through a patient’s skin. Besides, these professionals apply pressure to acupoints using finger pressure or sometimes heat stimulation. The acupuncture board in California licenses professionals qualified to offer these services.

Duties of a Modern-Day Acupuncturist

With the price of mainstream medicine rising every day and the prevalence of alternative medicine, the role acupuncturists play in society has become more pivotal. Acupuncturists help patients with complementary or alternative treatments for ailments like back pain, migraine headaches, arthritis, asthma, and chronic pain.

An acupuncturist’s role is not only to treat chronic illnesses. You help patients with rehabilitation and long-term signs and offer crucial nutrition, overall wellness, and health advice.

With the popularity of acupuncture, the need for regulation has increased. The California Acupuncture Board oversees the roles of acupuncturists and ensures that these specialists follow the laid down procedures when offering their services. Nevertheless, when you offer these services without following the guidelines, you risk formal accusations or disciplinary action, putting your healthcare profession and livelihood on the line.

At the Monterey License Attorney, we recognize the long and challenging training you undergo to obtain the license, not to mention the cost of training. Therefore, we will protect your hard work and hard-earned skills. Our license attorneys know the situations that result in lawsuits or complaints challenging your acupuncturist license. Some complaints come from unsatisfied patients, while others are false. Also, even if the allegations are true, as a human, you are prone to mistakes, even with training and years of experience. However, this is not reason enough to lose your license. We will not judge you, as we can assist you in overcoming this career challenge.

The State Acupuncture Board Mission

The primary interest of the acupuncture board is to safeguard the public and promote justice’s good, not you, the acupuncturist. With the board only focused on consumer interests, they are prone to receiving false or baseless allegations and slipping up on crucial evidence or mitigating circumstances favorable to your case. Based on the accusations, you risk license revocation, suspension, or restriction without appropriate legal representation. An experienced permit attorney helps level the playing field and protects your rights.

A competent attorney will utilize their knowledge of license statutes, poke holes in the evidence against you, and use their professional network to safeguard your rights.

Per California Penal Code (PC) Section 23, licensing agencies like the acupuncture board can appear in court to request a judge suspend your healthcare professional license if you have a pending criminal charge. The petition typically comes as a pretrial release condition and can happen in your arraignment hearing, after apprehension, or during investigations. They take action to protect the general public or consumers.

The complaints you are likely to face as an acupuncturist from your consumers or the board are:

  • Substance or drug abuse, mainly for medical professionals who abuse drugs on the job.
  • Gross carelessness, ordinary inattention, or incompetence while offering medical services that result in loss or harm to a patient.
  • Incompetency, as the treatment can be dangerous when performed by a non-professional.
  • Participating in unlicensed practices.
  • Improper or false advertising by disregarding the licensing board's regulations on advertising your services.
  • Acquiring a license fraudulently.
  • Disregarding infection control protocols.
  • Abandoning patients.
  • Engaging in insurance fraud.
  • Having a conviction for an offense relating to your acupuncture practice or qualifications.
  • Being investigated by the licensing agency.

These allegations can result in various disciplinary actions or penalties by the board. Your allegations are presided over by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The judge relies on the acupuncture board’s disciplinary guidelines to impose penalties. However, hiring a Monterey License Attorney can reduce or avoid the penalties. Our lawyers will present mitigating and exculpatory proof in your favor.

If the ALJ’s decision is against you, the court enters your offense in the public records and orders you to pay hefty fines that could run into six figures.

Similarly, the judge can issue you a reprimand letter establishing a public record on the acupuncture board’s website, which prospective clients and companies can easily access. These public records can hurt your career because no patients will be willing to visit your clinic, or employers will offer you jobs.

Also, a sustained disciplinary petition can result in the revocation or withdrawal of your acupuncture permit. A suspension will bar you from providing your services for a definite duration. At the same time, a revocation also prevents you from offering your services without specifying the revocation period.

Lastly, the court can stay your permit withdrawal and probation, allowing you to continue practicing acupuncture with restrictions and conditions. A stay is a better sentence than a suspension that bars you from practicing entirely.

These punishments can be harsh, primarily if you are wrongfully convicted. It is for this reason that you should not face the accusations alone. You need a license lawyer to help you plan and submit exculpatory evidence against the charges. You could face a charge or disciplinary reduction if you put up an intense fight. An experienced lawyer can even avert the proceeding based on their findings in an independent investigation.

The Lawsuit or Complaint Process

Patients can file a written complaint directly with the acupuncture board or through the board’s website. It is common for patients to file complaints, although most are dismissed as they cannot be substantiated. The board then conducts further investigations on the remaining claims that can be substantiated.

If the board opens an investigation against you, they will send an investigation notice. Once you receive the message, please do not talk to the board or its investigator to avoid making incriminating statements or limiting your defenses. Consult with your attorney first to enhance the possibility of a satisfactory ruling.

In cases involving prostitution or the sale of controlled substances, the agency will conduct a sting operation.

If the board opts to conduct an investigation, they will issue you a provisional suspension, barring you from offering your services in the inquiry. Do not worry about this because your attorney can challenge it to allow you to continue practicing under investigation.

The board can dismiss the case during the investigation if there is insufficient evidence or your attorney puts up an intense fight.

Nevertheless, they will bring a lawsuit when they decide you have a case to answer. Before the formal allegations go to an administrative hearing, you can contest the evidence against you. You could reach a settlement or have the case dismissed at this phase.

If no settlement is reached, the case proceeds to the ALJ for the administrative hearing. Once the judge hears the case, they will issue a disciplinary action, which the board must review before approval.

At Monterey License Attorney, we can appeal the court's verdict in 30 days and a citation in 15 days if you are unhappy with the judge’s and board’s decision.

The Role of a License Attorney in Your Case

As an acupuncturist, you face different accusations. The help you need from your defense attorney depends on the type of allegation or complaint. At the Monterey License Attorney, we can support you in various ways to protect your license. The services we offer are:

Defending Against Your Accusations

Most of the allegations you will face in your health profession are related to law violations. You break the law by engaging in criminal activity or professional misconduct. When you receive an investigation notice from the board about an accusation, contact us immediately to avoid losing your right of defense. We will present all the necessary documentation before the deadline and evaluate the evidence the board has against you. That way, we will find viable reasons to contest the accusations.

Contesting a Citation Against your License

Not every complaint against you goes to court. Sometimes the board will issue a citation against your license for breaking the law. The citation is a writ instructing you to appear in court on a particular date to explain your conduct. Having a legal representative by your side will ensure you obey court summonses to avoid disciplinary action for not appearing or prevent the citation from permanently appearing on your licensing record.

Besides ensuring you honor the citation, your lawyer will explain what it means and how to answer questions when appearing before an ALJ. The most crucial role of an attorney is to walk you through the entire citation process until the case is closed.

Fighting License Suspension or Revocation

As a healthcare expert, the harshest punishment you can face is the withdrawal or cancellation of your license. A profound license lawyer will protect your permit against partial suspension or revocation. We manage this by developing a defense strategy to contest the charges or deny the licensing board the requisite evidence to withdraw your license.

When stopping the suspension is not an option, the attorney will request that the court let you practice temporarily until the hearing is concluded. These cases can take years to determine. This is a lot of time to wait without offering your acupuncture services. A temporary suspension order will allow you to provide your services to patients as we work hard to ward off the permit withdrawal or cancellation.

Filing Administrative Petitions and Court Injunctions

Lawsuits based on professional misconduct are complex and can take years to conclude. If you stay without a license all this time, you will lose most of your clients, not to mention the financial implications of not working for years.

The indecision by the board is hurting your livelihood, and an excellent attorney will petition the board for punitive conduct or for denying you an acupuncture license. Your license attorney knows the proper petitions to bring before the court to appeal and revises the procedures provided to address lawsuits. Appeals have timelines, and partnering with an attorney will ensure you meet them because they do more than an acupuncturist does.

Assisting with License Applications and Denials

Your license attorney is not only beneficial when you face complaints or legal lawsuits. They can be helpful when applying for your first acupuncture or medical professional permit. The submission processes are technical, and you could omit essential details, resulting in the denial of your application.

A licensing lawyer will help you assemble all the details necessary for the application to prove that you qualify for the permit. Additionally, we will address any challenges hindering license approval or streamlined issuance, like continuous rejection or ignoring your applications. If a criminal history informs the board’s decision, the attorney will challenge or clarify the matter for submission approval.

Find the Right Healthcare Professional License Attorney Near Me

Permits in the healthcare profession ensure practitioners follow the law and guidelines. In California, among the licensed healthcare experts are acupuncturists. Unfortunately, professional misconduct, incompetence, or negligence can cause you to lose your permit. At Monterey License Attorney, we can protect your rights, reputation, career, and livelihood if your practicing permit is threatened. Also, our attorneys can assist you in overturning suspensions, denials, and citations. Call us today at 831-296-1191 for a no-obligation consultation. 

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