Monterey License Attorney



Optometrists help patients with eye care needs. You must undergo the relevant education and training before you receive a license to practice as an optometrist. Like other professional licenses, your optometry license could be at risk if you are accused of misdiagnosis, failure to follow the proper standards of care and criminal convictions.

You will undergo investigations and scrutiny when the violations are reported to the California State Board of Optometry. If you are found to have committed the alleged violations, you could face disciplinary actions ranging from probation to suspension or revocation of your optometry license.

Fortunately, not all allegations against you will result in disciplinary action. The professional board will hold a hearing where you can defend yourself against the allegations. Defending your optometry professional license in Monterey, CA,  is complex. Therefore, you will benefit from our legal guidance and representation at Monterey License Attorney.

The Role of an Optometrist in Clinical Practice

An optometrist is a healthcare professional who deals with patients battling eye disorders. The role of an optometrist in the clinical setting includes:

  • Visual testing. Optometrists use different visual devices to detect diseases related to the eyes. This includes macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other conditions. If irregularities are detected, the professional can perform further tests.
  • Prescribing medication. There is a wide range of treatment options for eye disorders. Sometimes, the optometrist will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and analgesics to treat these conditions or suppress the symptoms.
  • Independent prescription. After receiving the necessary licensing and certifications, an optometrist can prescribe all licensed drugs except injectables.
  • Counseling and patient reviews. Optometrists offer counseling for patients undergoing testing and treatment for different eye conditions. This helps the patients understand the procedures they are set to undergo and what to expect for treatment.
  • Working with other medical practitioners. Assessment by an optometrist allows other healthcare professionals to perform different procedures on the patient.
  • Training and research. Optometrists are actively involved in research on vision disorders and other neurological defects.

California State Board of Optometry

The California State Board of Optometry ensures that all patients are protected from substandard and unsafe care from optometrists. This is done by regulating the issuance of practice licenses and setting standards that optometry license holders must follow to ensure the well-being of patients. These laws ensure that licensed professionals offer the right quality of care.

If you violate the standards of care set by the board or commit other violations that could impact your ability to practice safely, the California State Board of Optometry will be notified. The board receives numerous complaints from patients and other healthcare professionals. While most of these complaints are dismissed shortly with minimal investigations, every complaint about your practice or failure to perform is a potential risk to your license.

Common Violation Reported to the California State Board of Optometry

The following are some of the common violations that could cause you to be reported to the board and risk losing your professional license:

  • Incompetence or negligence. The California State Board of Optometry has set standards for the level of care licensed professionals must follow to ensure the safety and well-being of patients. Engaging in negligent conduct can be reported to the board, resulting in severe consequences.
  • Excessive prescription. Obtaining a practice license fraudulently. You must follow the right procedure to obtain an optometry license. This includes undergoing the appropriate years of education and training. Additionally, you must undergo an assessment by the board. Obtaining a practice license fraudulently is a violation that can attract a revocation of the license.
  • Sexual misconduct. Optometrists deal with vulnerable patients seeking care for their eye problems. The board expects optometrists to engage in ethical interactions with these patients. Sexual misconduct against a patient will be met with an investigation and severe disciplinary action by the board.
  • Drug abuse. The California State Board of Optometry is concerned about the impact of drug and substance abuse on your ability to render safe services to patients. Drug use can cloud a person’s judgment and affect their quality of work. For this reason, the board is strict on professionals accused of drug abuse. If there is sufficient evidence to show that you are addicted to a controlled substance, you can be reported to the board and receive severe punishment.
  • Criminal Convictions. In California, a criminal conviction will result in legal penalties and impact your profession. The board will be notified of your criminal conviction if you are a licensed optometrist. Depending on the severity of your conviction, the board can impose different forms of disciplinary action against you.
  • Operating beyond the scope of your license. Optometrists offer critical care services for patients dealing with eye disorders. However, you must always offer services within the scope of your license. Offering services beyond what is stipulated in your license could result in serious negative effects on patients. When such consultation is reported to the board, the aftermath can be a loss of your professional license.
  • Violation of License probation. The California State Board of Optometry imposed probation on professionals accused of minor violations. While on probation, you must follow all the probation conditions. Failure to do this will result in more serious consequences.

Disciplinary Case for Optometrists in California

Your case with the California State Board of Optometry will begin when someone submits a complaint against you. The following are steps that your case will take before you are subjected to disciplinary action:

Preliminary Review

A preliminary review will be the first step after a complaint reaches the board. At this stage, the agency will assess the details provided in the complaint and determine whether the allegations are true and the jurisdiction in which they fall. This assessment stage is performed to prevent further wastage of time and resources on baseless allegations.

During the preliminary review, the board could request more evidence to support the allegations made against you.


The board will thoroughly investigate if the allegations against you are not dismissed during the preliminary review. This is done by gathering more information about the allegations, interviewing the complainant, and establishing the timeframe of the violation.

Administrative Hearing

When you are under investigation by the California State Board of Optometry, you have a right to a hearing. At the administrative hearing, you have the right to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses brought against you by the board. Before you attend the hearing, you must investigate the allegations independently.

Additionally, you can subpoena the evidence that the board intends to use against you. This helps you build a solid defense against the allegations. After assessing the evidence and defense presented at the hearing, the board will determine the right action against you.

Determination of the Penalties

If you are found to have committed the violations for which you were reported, the board will determine the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against you. Some of the factors that could impact your fate after a professional violation include:

  • The type and severity of your violation.
  • The strength of the evidence presented against you.
  • Evidence of rehabilitation.
  • Your criminal history.
  • Strength of your defense

Disciplinary actions by the California State Board of Optometry

After a hearing, the board will determine whether or not the allegations against you are true. The board will impose appropriate disciplinary action if sufficient evidence shows you committed the violation. Depending on the nature of your violation, the California State Board of Optometry can impose the following actions against you:

Public Reprimand

A public reprimand, commonly known as a letter of reproval, is a form of discipline imposed by the California State Board of Optometry on professionals after committing minor violations. This form of disciplinary action is favorable because it does not stick to your record and does not present any license restrictions.

Professional Probation

The California State Board of Optometry can order professional probation for multiple violations, including gross negligence, drug abuse, and incompetence. Although the most favorable outcome of a board investigation is a dismissal of the claim, there are situations when professional probation is the best possible outcome for your case.

Professional probation could last for up to three years, within which you must follow these conditions:

  • Obey all laws. While on professional probation, the board requires you to obey all federal, local, and state laws. A violation must be reported to the board within 72 hours.
  • Report in person. If the board places you on probation, you must be present every time you are called upon for a meeting.
  • Comply with the board’s probation program. You must comply with the optometry board's representatives while monitoring your probation.
  • Out-of-state practice. During your professional probation, you must inform the board of your changes in residence or desire to take your optometry practice outside of California.
  • Supervision. Probation is more lenient than revocation or suspension of your license. While you can still practice as an optometrist, you will be under strict supervision.
  • Submit written reports. Professional probation lasts for up to three years. The board requires that you submit written reports indicating your progress.

License Suspension

For violations that are not too serious to warrant a license revocation, the California State Board of Optometry can suspend your license. In this case, a license suspension could range from three to five years, depending on the severity of your violation, among other factors. A license suspension means you can obtain employment or practice optometry once the suspension period ends.

Your license will not be reinstated automatically after your suspension period ends. Instead, you must petition for reinstatement and provide proof of rehabilitation.

License Revocation

A revocation of your optometry license is the most severe consequence you can face after a formal accusation. In most cases, the California State Board of Optometry will issue this harsh penalty to professionals accused of severe violations or who have shown no signs of rehabilitation from past violations. You can no longer practice as an optometrist if your license is revoked. This will significantly impact your livelihood.

Citation and Fines

If you are reported to the California State Board of Optometry for a minor violation, the board can decide on a citation and a fine. The severity of the fines will vary depending on the exact violation you committed and its impact on your profession. If you receive formal discipline for your violations, the board could still seek to recover the costs used for your investigation and probation monitoring.

Payments for these costs help lessen the cost of licensing. You can enter a one-year repayment plan if you cannot pay for these costs due to financial difficulties.

License Denial

You must formally apply to obtain or renew your optometry license like other professional licenses. Before the board issues the license, they will thoroughly investigate you. If you have drug abuse issues or criminal convictions on your record, you risk a license denial.

Find a Professional License Defense Attorney Near Me

Sight is a valuable sense, which makes eye care a high priority in the healthcare sector. Becoming an optometrist takes several years of education, training, and certification. After licensing, the California State Board of Optometry requires you to practice with specific standards of care and follow the ethical rules they set for the profession.

Your effort and years of practice could go down the drain if you are cited for a violation. In this case, the California State Board of Optometry could hold a hearing to determine the alleged violations' authenticity and the right course of action. Violations like sexual misconduct, negligence, drug abuse, criminal convictions, and misuse of pharmaceuticals could result in severe consequences, including a loss of your professional license.

If you receive notice of a formal accusation or investigation by the California State Board of Optometry, you have a right to defend yourself from possible disciplinary action. You could exploit this right by scheduling a hearing and hiring a reliable license-defense lawyer to challenge the investigation findings. At Monterey License Attorney, we offer reliable legal insight for all our clients fighting a suspension or revocation of their optometry license in Monterey, CA. Call us at 831-296-1191 to discuss your case.

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