Monterey License Attorney



If you’re facing a formal accusation or complaint against your architect license, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks to your profession and livelihood. A license revocation or suspension could disrupt or even end your professional practice, while a citation can create a record that prospective employers and clients can view. Taking prompt action and seeking the assistance of a competent professional license defense attorney can help safeguard your architect license and secure your future.

We at Monterey License Attorney have a proven record of helping architects defend themselves against several allegations. Our team of architect license attorneys can start building a solid defense for you right away. Call us anytime for a complimentary consultation regarding the specifics of your legal matter. We are here to assist you and look forward to helping you.

The Services Provided By Modern Architects

Taking a stroll through the California community reveals a multitude of structures meticulously designed by professional and licensed architects. Through on-site supervision and careful planning during construction, the architects can achieve remarkable results.

The modern architect aims to achieve efficiency, functionality, structural soundness, aesthetic appeal, and safety in their designs. However, meeting municipal building standards and meeting the tastes of clients and contractors isn’t easy. It requires years of training and education, and even obtaining and approving a professional license could be a tiresome and costly process.

However, the unfortunate reality is that losing a professional license is easier than getting it. An architect can be held accountable for any case that arises with any structure, even if they have no involvement in the issue. The failure of the contractor to adhere to the blueprints or a natural catastrophe causing significant damage, despite the architect's best efforts, could be the possible reasons. However, it is important to note that even the most skilled architects can make mistakes, and even minor errors can have significant consequences.

A professional licensed attorney will defend both you and your architect license, ensuring that you can continue your profession uninterrupted. Their expertise covers a wide range of complaints and allegations, so you can have confidence that your legal counsel has dealt with similar situations. Regardless of the specifics of the case, your attorney will build a strong defense for you.

Mission of California’s Architecture Board

California’s Architect Board, operating under the Department of Consumer Affairs, has been in existence since 1901. Its main focus is to protect the general public, not just architects. It is important to note that they’re not necessarily "on your side," as that role is fulfilled by your attorney. However, it is crucial to understand that your attorney is not implying that the board is working against you. Instead, the board's mission is concentrated on ensuring public safety and upholding industry standards at a high level.

That’s certainly a plan that any professional would fully agree with. However, what often happens is that the licensing board's emphasis on the customer could lead them to give credit to false allegations and overlook important elements in your endorsement. Unless a professional license defense attorney brings these elements to light, they could remain unnoticed.

How the Architects Board Achieves Its Mission

The board is responsible for controlling the standards that should be met to have your professional license approved. Additionally, they establish industry regulations and issue various kinds of professional disciplinary measures to either bring perpetrators into compliance or revoke their architect licenses.

The licensing board also receives complaints from various sources and conducts investigations into them. While most complaints or allegations are unsubstantiated and promptly dismissed by the board, others appear to have value but lack sufficient proof to go through.

Urgent and serious charges are given priority, while less significant charges are addressed in due course. The board would appoint detectives to thoroughly examine complaints that appear to be valid. In some cases, they could even conduct sting operations to catch alleged wrongdoers. If you receive a call from the investigators, it’s advisable to first consult with your professional license lawyer before sharing any crucial information with the investigation team or licensing board.

By contacting your legal counsel for assistance as soon as you obtain an investigation notice, you greatly increase your odds of achieving a favorable result. However, your attorney is capable of taking on a case at any stage and achieving the best possible result.

The Administrative Hearing

In many instances, it’s possible to avoid an administrative court hearing. However, if you get a statement of concerns and are notified that a hearing is being organized to address the allegations against you, it becomes necessary to have legal representation on your team.

For minor incidents, a fine, citation, reprimand, or letter could be given as a disciplinary action. Although these actions can result in a negative record, they are considered to be the least severe kind of discipline. It’s still worthwhile to fight against them, as reducing the fines or keeping the reprimand or citation private would be beneficial.

For more severe offenses, there’s a possibility of having your professional license suspended or revoked. Crimes that can result in significant disciplinary actions include:

  • Incompetence or negligence in the execution of your professional duties.
  • Recklessness or willful misconduct.
  • Substance abuse, especially when it occurs while at work.
  • Conflict of interest associated with your position.
  • Unprofessional conduct.
  • Engaging unlicensed people to work under you illegally.
  • Multiple other kinds of fraud.
  • Fraudulently obtaining your license.
  • Discrimination.
  • Having a past conviction record that’s "substantially connected to" your obligations and professional credentials.
  • Already under professional discipline by the licensing agency of another US jurisdiction.
  • Any infringements of the provisions of BPC, the Architects Practice Act, and other relevant laws.

Even in cases like these, a professional licensed attorney can often achieve dismissals by revealing the flaws in the proof, statements, and testimony submitted against you. However, if dismissal isn’t possible, your attorney can often negotiate a stipulated compensation with the Attorney General's Office. This settlement enables you to retain your professional license, even if it means being placed on license probation.

When a lawsuit can’t be won outright or negotiated before a hearing, your attorney will carefully prepare to present the alleged and mitigating proof to the magistrate, who will handle the hearing. Your attorney will have to counter any aggravating elements raised by the prosecutor and demonstrate that you could be required to avoid repeating any mistakes you could have made before, particularly concerning your architectural obligations.

In cases where disciplinary measures are imposed, your attorney still has the option to appeal the judgment within thirty days or within fifteen days of obtaining a citation. It is crucial to learn that the magistrate overseeing your administrative hearing should follow the official disciplinary measures set by the California Architects Board, to a certain extent. However, the judge will also take into account other elements that can either aggravate or mitigate the suggested disciplinary action.

Several factors can affect the outcome, including:

  • The severity and nature of the offense.
  • Whether any actual bodily or financial harm emerged as a result of the crime.
  • The harm that could have occurred as a result of the violation.
  • Prior disciplinary records of the licensee.
  • If you’re facing multiple or a single objection, and if the allegations are of a similar nature or fall into multiple categories.
  • Admission of your mistake or wrongdoing.
  • Whether you’ve taken rehabilitative measures since the violation occurred.
  • Any criminal convictions that are directly linked to your profession.
  • The time frame since the conviction was made.
  • Whether you have complied with court-ordered probation conditions.
  • If a significant amount of time has passed since the violation occurred without any additional violations.

Presenting mitigating elements skillfully can effectively highlight the strengths of your lawsuit and lessen the severity of disciplinary measures.

Criminal Allegations and Your Architect's License

If you’re arrested and charged with a felony or misdemeanor, California’s Architect Board has the authority to seek special restrictions to be placed on your professional license.

Any prior conviction that is linked to your obligations or credentials as an architect could result in the revocation of your professional license, with the maximum sentence being license revocation. The minimum penalty includes a stay license revocation with a ninety-day license suspension with five years of professional license probation.

For current allegations that are still at issue in the court, the presiding magistrate has the authority to levy certain restrictions on your architect license as a requirement for your sentencing, make it a prerequisite for bail being given, or give an interim license suspension until the case is settled.

Allegations that could lead to calls for professional license restrictions include the following:

  • Sexual battery (PEN 243.4).
  • Domestic violence (PEN 243(e), PEN 273.5).
  • Petty theft (PEN 484).
  • Possession for sale of controlled substances (HS 11351).
  • Grand theft (PEN 487).
  • DUID or DUI (VEH 23152).
  • Insurance fraud (PEN 550).
  • Simple possession of controlled substances (HS 11350).

In every case, your lawyer can contest any ruling from the board before the magistrate presides over the criminal trial. Ultimately, the magistrate will make the final decision on whether to permit the ordered restrictions on your architect license, reject the request, or partially award it. Your attorney will represent you at the hearings scheduled by the magistrate to address these issues.

Probation of Professional Licenses

While being on probation with your architect's license is not ideal, it is certainly preferable to a revocation or suspension. At least it lets you continue practicing. A lawyer can bargain, when appropriate, to seek probation for you instead of license revocation. They could also fight to have your probation term shortened to the least duration possible and secure minor restrictive probation terms allowed.

Certain probation conditions are compulsory for all cases, while others are only needed for specific violations. Moreover, some conditions are deemed "optional." The requirements and conditions that you should adhere to during a probationary period can significantly influence your experience over several years.

Note that the board has a cost recovery policy in place. This means that you will be responsible for covering the expenses related to the investigations and probationary monitoring. To alleviate the financial burden, your attorney can negotiate an extended payment period and help you establish a payment plan. It is crucial to understand that failing to settle the cost recovery fees is regarded as a probation violation, which could result in further disciplinary measures.

If you relocate your services out of state or stop practicing during probation, the probation period will be put on hold. The time would be tolled for a specified period in which you’re not practicing or engaging in your field within the state.

License Reinstatement and Denial

An attorney can assist you in navigating the petitioning process to reinstate your professional license if it has already been revoked. This process involves fulfilling paperwork conditions and could require a special court hearing to determine the verdict. It is crucial not to embark on this process without the expertise of a professional license defense lawyer by your side.

If your application for a professional license has been denied, your attorney can offer valuable expertise to assist you. In California, there are more than 20,000 licensed architects, and approximately 10,000 people are currently in the process of getting their architect licenses. It’s not unusual to initially face a denial, but with perseverance, you can overcome it and have your professional license approved. Your attorney can play a crucial role in helping you achieve this objective.

Find a Professional License Defense Attorney Near Me

At Monterey License Attorney, our commitment is to achieve the best possible result for every client we help. With our extensive knowledge of regulations, laws, and certain procedural conditions related to professional license defense, we leverage our expertise to advocate for your best interests at every stage of the process.

Our team specializes in handling license cases in the Monterey area. If you’re facing potential actions against your architect license, have had your professional license application rejected, or need help reinstating your professional license, call us now at 831-296-1191 for immediate support.

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