Monterey License Attorney


Landscape Architect

A professional career in landscape architecture could be highly fulfilling and rewarding. It is one of those careers that relies heavily on public trust because you are entrusted with beautifying and designing outdoor spaces (both private and public) while also ensuring these spaces are safe for everyone.

Unfortunately, this also means any formal accusation or complaint by a client could put your professional architect license under inspection by the licensing board, probably triggering a thorough investigation or disciplinary action. As a landscape architect, losing your professional license could suddenly jeopardize your career, affecting your income and livelihood.

If you are facing a formal accusation or board complaint against your architect's license, hiring a skilled license defense attorney should be your first step for the best possible outcome. At Monterey License Attorney, we understand how stressful it could be to face allegations that could affect a career that you had to dedicate several years to build.

We will aggressively fight for your rights and best interests during these challenging times to obtain a dismissal of the case or a lighter disciplinary action.

Landscape Architectural Practice at a Glance

Landscape architecture is a design profession concerned with planning, design, stewardship, and management of the land. To legally offer your services as a professional landscape architect, you must obtain a license from the LATC (Landscape Architects Technical Committee). To obtain your license documents, you must meet the set requirements to prove your competence, including:

  • Provide proof of your six-year education and relevant training in architecture.
  • Have a great score or grade in your national examination results.

Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, the final product of a landscape architecture project must be environmentally and legally compliant. That is why LATC requires you to show competence and meet specific requirements to obtain a practicing license.

Notable Responsibilities of a Landscape Architect That You Ought to Know

The main responsibility of a landscape architect is to make our outdoor spaces appear aesthetically appealing. Architects combine creativity, skills, science, and the arts to design, plan, manage, and cultivate custom-made and natural environments. Despite their tremendous effort in making the outdoor environment livable and aesthetically appealing, many of us do not recognize or notice their excellent work.

However, we will quickly notice the engineers' work on attractive buildings. Landscape architects are the brains behind the well-arranged residential buildings and the eye-catching gardens you see as you drive through the city. In a nutshell, below are some of the critical roles of landscape architects that you ought to know:

  • They oversee the planning and designing of several projects, including road plans, pedestrian plans, and urban redevelopment plans.
  • They conduct initial research and studies on a proposed construction or project site. Some of the crucial studies they will conduct include ecology, study contours, and soil analysis.
  • Before beginning any project, landscape architects will inspect and evaluate the location to ensure it satisfies the requirements of the owner or investor.
  • Before beginning a project, landscape architects must conduct an EIA (environment impact assessment) because some projects could negatively affect the environment.
  • They provide their clients with proposals, respond to inquiries, and alter the original plan, if necessary, to meet their needs and interests.
  • They frequently visit the project site and communicate with other experts working on it to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • They ensure maximum safety on ongoing projects and compliance with landscaping and local authorities' code.
  • They decide when the assigned project should commence and finish without compromising the quality of the work.
  • They assist in creating the budget for the proposed project, which includes the price of fees, permits, and any other miscellaneous.
  • They create contracts for every project they are in charge of and send out bids to contractors.

Many people confuse landscape architects with landscape designers, but their roles vary. Landscape architects focus on grading, landscaping, safety, and soil analysis. However, landscape designers specialize in blueprints and design. As mentioned above, you must undergo several years of relevant education and thorough training to become a certified and licensed landscape architect.

Therefore, losing your hard-earned practice license due to one or two mistakes is an issue you should never entertain. LATC will not hesitate to suspend or revoke your license when you fail or refuse to meet and uphold its strict standards. Having your well-deserved practice license revoked is the last news you would want to receive from LATC or your licensing agency.

Working with a skilled professional license defense attorney who understands the valuable role of your job as an architect and how suspension or revocation of their license could affect you is critical. A reliable defense attorney can intervene and provide legal defenses whenever a client complaint or criminal allegation threatens to jeopardize your reputation and career as a landscape architect.

The Mission and Responsibilities of LATC

The board is a subdivision or purview of the Architects Board. The board is legally responsible for upholding and maintaining high standards and strict rules within the often-overlooked profession of landscape architecture. Specifically, LATC focuses on creating regulations and guidelines that govern this industry or field and enforcing these and other relevant rules and laws.

According to the Landscape Architect Practice Act, the board has the legal responsibility of imposing disciplinary actions on landscape architect license holders for various alleged violations, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Impersonating a corporation.
  • Acquiring a practice license through misrepresentation or fraud.
  • Intentional misconduct, incompetence, or negligence.
  • Drug or alcohol disorder or abuse, especially when on duty.
  • Insurance fraud or any other type of fraudulent activity.
  • Allowing or permitting an unlicensed assistant to work under you.
  • Advertising yourself as a professional landscape architect without a license.
  • Refusing or failing to adhere to continuing education requirements.

Regardless of the severity of the allegations you are up against, having your professional architect license investigated by the LATC could be unsettling and nerve-wracking. Many landscape architects are unsure how to defend themselves or challenge the allegations they are facing for a less severe disciplinary action or dismissal of the case.

That is where a skilled defense attorney intervenes to help you challenge the allegations and obtain the best possible outcome. Below are the disciplinary actions that you could face if you are under investigation on suspicion that you have committed any of the above offenses:

  • Citations.
  • Civil injunction.
  • License suspension.
  • License revocation.

When LATC receives a complaint or allegation against you from any source, the likelihood of license suspension or revocation is high. Although LATC will dismiss several complaints for lacking sufficient and clear evidence or for being "unsubstantiated," you cannot be sure what to anticipate once you receive an official Notice of Investigation from the board.

When that happens, the most critical step is to hire an attorney to help you prepare and file your Notice of Defense to prevent serious and in depth investigations that would cost you your resources and valuable time in preparing legal defenses. Failing to act on time could also cause the board to revoke your professional landscape architect license.

Once you receive this notice, you should retain the services of a skilled defense attorney to help you challenge the allegations you are up against for the best possible outcome.

How LATC Will Handle Complaints Against Your Architect License

When the LATC decides to pursue an allegation or complaint lodged against you or a loved one, the entire investigative procedure could take weeks, months, or years. However, this happens if the board has reason to believe that you violated or breached the code of conduct for this professional career. The investigation helps the board decide on an appropriate disciplinary action for your mistake or violation.

Once the licensing board takes disciplinary action against you, they will post your details online to inform the public of your violations and the action or punishment taken against you. That means your prospective and current clients will view the action the board had to take against you, which will significantly affect your reputation and credibility.

If a criminal charge against you is already in court or investigations are ongoing, the prosecutor could petition the court for an "interim suspension order," which bars you from doing architectural work until the case is over. However, if you have a reliable and experienced defense attorney in your corner, he/she can take appropriate action to prevent the interim suspension as your case continues.

Retaining the services of a defense attorney also means you will have access to the necessary legal advice as the case continues to avoid self-incrimination and increase your chances of obtaining a desirable outcome.

If your case reaches the administrative law judge's (ALJ) desks, you should be ready with appropriate evidence, including eyewitness testimonies, to challenge the allegations for the best possible outcome.

The ALJ will keenly hear the allegations you are up against and the available mitigating and aggravating arguments, which will significantly affect the disciplinary action you will receive if dismissal of the case is not an option. Below are some of the factors that will affect the ALJ's decision or judgment in your case:

  • Absence or presence of physical or financial harm caused by the violation or breach.
  • The corrective or rehabilitative measures that you have pursued as a licensed landscape architect to solve the issue caused by the breach or violation.
  • The degree or severity of damage that your violation or breach could cause.
  • The nature of the allegations lodged against you.
  • Whether you have previous violations.

Possible Defenses for Formal Allegations

You know your professional license is at high risk of revocation or suspension when you face formal allegations. When that happens, it would be in your best interest to retain the services of an attorney as soon as you can. A reliable defense attorney understands that time is of the essence once you receive this notice.

When you delay or fail to file your Notice of Defense on time, you could lose your legal rights to challenge the allegations. It is also worth noting that you could face two separate cases if you violate any statute related to your profession. Once you receive a notice of formal allegations, you can work with your attorney to access and examine the available evidence the prosecutor has against you.

Accessing the prosecutor's evidence against you helps your attorney identify weaknesses in his/her case and build the best defense arguments. We will utilize various defense theories during the administrative hearing to help you obtain a desirable outcome, including case dismissal or less severe disciplinary action.

Once the ALJ listens to the prosecutor's evidence and your attorney's arguments, he/she will make a recommendation to the LATC. Then, the board will evaluate the ALJ's decision to decide the appropriate disciplinary action against you.

A reliable attorney can help you obtain a stay of revocation (license probation) instead of an actual professional license revocation or suspension. If you win a license probation, you can keep your professional license and use it to earn income. However, you must adhere to the set terms and conditions for the required period.

A reliable and experienced attorney can aggressively negotiate on your behalf to receive the shortest probationary period possible and the most favorable probation conditions.

It is also worth noting that the board's decision to revoke or suspend your architect license is not the end of the road for you. With the help of your attorney, you can appeal the board's decision to obtain a desirable outcome.

You cannot undermine the need for a skilled defense attorney who understands what is at stake if your professional license is under scrutiny by your licensing board. Your attorney will help you unmask the motive behind the allegations and prepare suitable defense arguments to help obtain a case dismissal or a less severe disciplinary action.

Find a License Defense Attorney Near Me

As a professional landscape architect, you understand how important your practice license is in this field, which has several experts. A professional landscape architect's license makes you stand out and shows prospective clients how serious and committed you are to your work.

At Monterey License Attorney, we will keenly investigate your case and prepare the best defenses to help obtain a desirable outcome, including a case dismissal or less severe disciplinary action. We invite you to call us at 831-296-1191 to schedule your initial consultation with our reliable license defense attorneys for the aggressive legal representation you deserve during these challenging times.

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