Monterey License Attorney



Establishing your career as a veterinarian is rewarding, mainly because you help animals recover from injuries and ailments. Since the career field requires specialization, you must have a valid license to continue delivering services. You are, therefore, subject to the formal licensing board mandated to retain or revoke your veterinarian accreditation.

A license revocation may arise after a client complains about your lack of professionalism or negligence when treating sick animals. If so, you may be subject to a formal hearing and investigation to determine whether retaining your license is acceptable compared to the accusations you face. When facing accusations, you must work closely with a criminal attorney to help you defend yourself and justify your position.

At Monterey License Attorney, you will work closely with skilled and experienced license attorneys who understand the importance of helping you retain your veterinarian license. With our help, you can look forward to receiving reliable legal representation during your administrative hearing and assistance in conducting research for your defense. Our services are available to anyone seeking a license attorney in Monterey, California.

The Nature of a Veterinarian Role

Working as a licensed veterinarian is a lucrative and fulfilling career choice, as you are responsible for restoring animals’ health. By extension, you help conserve animal species that may otherwise be at risk of extinction after continuous exposure to injuries and diseases.

As a veterinarian, you must undergo training for years to equip you with the skills necessary to perform your role as expected. You must also apply for a license to practice in the state, a mark of approval for your skills.

When considering opening your practice in California, you must apply for California Veterinary Medical Board accreditation. After receiving authorization to practice, you remain under the board’s scrutiny throughout your career to ensure you comply with the standards and rules expected of all professionals in your position.

The Role of the California Veterinary Medical Board

Apart from issuing a license that allows you to practice, the veterinary medical board is also tasked with additional roles that help uphold the profession's integrity. You may only recognize the board for its licensing role as you undertake your work without facing accusations. However, they undertake other functions that are primarily effective when a disciplinary issue related to a professional arises.

As a party facing accusations of malpractice, you need to understand better the roles the California Veterinary Medical Board may perform against you. In doing so, you are better equipped to prepare a strong defense with your license attorney’s help. Additional roles that the board performs include:

Setting Industry Codes of Conducts and Performance Standards

The veterinary profession involves working for years before receiving accreditation to practice, so the board must include industry codes of conduct. They do so to ensure every veterinarian adheres to the high-performance standards necessary to undertake their tasks and reduce potential animal abuse and exposure to unnecessary risks.

Additionally, since the profession is a sub-branch of medicine, performance standards must remain high to prevent negligence cases and general oversights that could jeopardize your practice. Examples of codes of conduct include the prevention of exploiting animals to protect them from unnecessary pain exposure and prolonged harsh conditions.

Enforcing the Codes of Conduct for All Practicing Veterinarians

Additionally, the veterinary medical board enforces the codes of conduct and professional standards that they create to ensure all professionals adhere to them. Doing so is critical because, with enforcement mechanisms, accountability may be consistent.

You can, therefore, expect the board to send inspection officers, request performance reports, and conduct public surveys as enforcement tactics. They may also roll out punitive measures as a deterrent to unwanted practices, and you may be subject to some of the measures after facing an accusation.

Receiving Complaints from Aggrieved Clients

If a client is dissatisfied with the quality of veterinary services you provide, they are entitled to present a complaint to the veterinary medical board for further recourse. Once the board receives the details, they will assess and process them.

They do this to filter between serious complaints requiring urgent investigation and the non-urgent ones that do not necessarily require a response. The complaints office is always open to receiving complaints, so you should note that an aggrieved person can seek recourse against your actions soon after they occur.

Investigating Your Veterinary Practice

After receiving a complaint, the veterinary medical board initiates investigations against you to determine the exact nature of your unlawful actions. The investigation process can involve sending officers into your offices to obtain relevant information on how you run your practice.

Moreover, you may have to present documents to the board, especially if you face accusations of committing fraud or misappropriation of clients’ funds. Gathering witnesses and obtaining surveillance footage is also a common form of investigation by the medical board, especially if your accusations involve treating animals poorly.

Issuing License Restrictions for Parties in Violation of Practice Standards

When investigations conclude, the veterinary medical board can restrict your license and put you under strict supervision. The decision aims to reduce your involvement in the profession until you demonstrate your ability to reform.

Alternatively, the board’s decision to restrict your actions may permanently force you out of the profession. You are likely to experience this after a serious accusation, like repeated gross negligence, causes the death or disfigurement of many animals in your case. Despite this, your professional license attorney can help you raise counterarguments to prevent the possibility of receiving a revocation verdict from the board.

Possible Accusations that Could Jeopardize Your Veterinary License

While you may do your best to provide excellent veterinary services, your clients or colleagues may jeopardize your practice license, resulting in possible suspension or revocation. As a dedicated veterinarian at risk of losing your license, you need to familiarize yourself with the possible accusations that are detrimental to your business. Accessing the details helps you prepare your defenses in advance, which is advantageous when entering your administrative hearing. The following are accusations applicable to your case:

Showing Up to Work Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Working while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is detrimental to your productivity, as it inhibits your ability to make sound decisions. Being in an altered state of mind can also prevent you from performing your roles properly because you lose your mind-body coordination over time.

Based on this, working under the influence warrants a complaint or report to the veterinary medical board, so you should be prepared to face investigations and possible disciplinary action. After the medical board receives complaints, they are interested in determining the frequency of your intoxication, whether your clients suffered inconveniences because of your state of mind, and whether their animals were at risk. After obtaining the necessary information, the board can make a proper determination.

Practicing With an Invalid or Fraudulent Veterinary License

As a veterinarian, you must complete your education and pass the required accreditation examinations. You need to achieve these milestones to ensure the medical board considers you fit to practice, as you likely lack the proper training and knowledge to apply when handling different animal disease cases.

Using an invalid or fraudulent license may also attract a criminal accusation, as your involvement in fraud involves providing false information to the involved parties. Based on this, you could face stricter inquiries and investigations to uncover your operations toward obtaining an invalid license.

Committing Gross Negligence or Demonstrating Clear Incompetence

Basic veterinary training requires you to follow standard procedures that lay the foundation for more complex operations. If you fail to observe these guidelines, you are more likely to commit negligence and expose an animal to improper treatment.

For example, failure to measure an animal’s weight before administering anesthesia dosages can be detrimental, as the medicine could fail to take full effect. Consequently, you risk exposing the animal to extreme pain and discomfort during the operation, resulting in improper role performance.

Similarly, being incompetent while performing your roles can seriously jeopardize your license, as your lack of experience and training is more apparent. If a client or a colleague notices your lack of basic knowledge when treating an animal, they can rightfully report you to the veterinary medical board for further investigation. Afterward, you could risk losing your license, depending on the nature of the findings they make.

Committing Fraud Throughout Your Practice

Fraudulent activities involve presenting false information or falsifying details to unlawfully obtain authorization, goods, or services. Fraud also involves deceit, allowing the fraudulent party to benefit unfairly compared to someone who undertakes processes correctly. 

Based on the negative elements of fraud, the medical board had the right to order an investigation, especially if the complainant had compelling reasons for presenting the complaint. Additionally, you may have to halt your practice for some time to pave the way for investigations, limiting your ability to continue practicing.

You must contact your license attorney immediately after receiving a notice to suspend your practice. Their involvement will help you fight the suspension orders and justify your right to continue practicing until the board finds incriminating information.

Violating Health Code Guidelines

Animal health is just as important as human health, as they are part of our ecosystem. Veterinarians are subject to animal health codes, and you need to uphold these guidelines to promote proper service delivery in the field. Additionally, observing the health code guidelines ensures you maintain the required safety and cleanliness standards in your clinic and when working on-site.

Violating health code guidelines can adversely affect your practice and prevent you from taking in clients freely. Moreover, your integrity as a veterinarian may also come under scrutiny, causing a decrease in your business line.

You can fight these accusations with your license attorney’s help, and their involvement will be essential throughout your disciplinary case. The applicable health codes should also be clearly stated to protect you from unnecessary scrutiny and possible license suspension.

Hiring Unlicensed and Inexperienced Employees

Many veterinary offices require extra employees to handle service demands from clients. Due to this, you may need to hire additional employees who must be certified and have the relevant expertise to perform their roles. Failure to verify your employees’ experience level can jeopardize your license, as they likely receive direct orders from you. Based on this, you are still primarily responsible for them, including when they fail to meet necessary work standards.

Consequences of a Malpractice Accusation

After the medical board receives a complaint and undertakes investigations to verify the information, they may choose to set it aside or proceed with the case. Cases only proceed if they have merit, meaning the complaint is warranted and calls for your defense.

The board’s first step may thus be to notify you of an interim suspension from your role, meaning that they need you to step aside for a while. Although the suspension is definite, it is inconvenient and interferes with your ability to perform your tasks. Your license attorney can help you fight it, allowing you to continue your practice pending a hearing.

If you and the complainant fail to settle after rounds of negotiation and mediation, an administrative hearing follows. The process involves appearing before the veterinary medical board to present your views and defend yourself against the accusations you face. You should treat it as a trial and have your licensed attorney accompany you, as you need to present structured responses to the board to raise your chances of a favorable outcome.

The medical board relies on the disciplinary guidelines of the Veterinary Medical Board to present a case against you, so you may need to familiarize yourself with the content. Further, your attorney should prepare counterarguments to help you justify your case.

Punishments for Violating Veterinary Board Guidelines

While you may have presented strong defenses for your case, the medical board may still choose to issue punitive measures based on the accusations you faced. The most lenient penalty is a letter of reprimand, which formally warns you against repeated involvement in the accused's behavior. Citations are also a less harsh punishment, but they create a record of misconduct that is accessible to the general public.

Alternatively, you may receive a license suspension order that stops you from performing your veterinary services for a defined time. Afterward, you may resume your practice, but taking time off may harm your clinic and overall business. A license revocation order is also a possible case outcome, and it prevents you from ever practicing veterinary medicine after the order issues. Nevertheless, this is a detrimental outcome that applies only in extreme cases. Your license attorney can also help you obtain a probation order to prevent revocation, making you eligible to work within specific confines. Doing so is better than losing your license, so consider the option.

Find a Criminal Attorney Specializing in Defending Licenses Near Me

Facing accusations of malpractice in the veterinary field can jeopardize your license, leaving you at risk of losing your business. You can avoid the detrimental outcomes by partnering with a skilled licensed attorney who will help you navigate your disciplinary hearing and represent you during your administrative hearing.

At Monterey License Attorney, you receive excellent license law services geared towards helping you retain your practice license. We aim to conduct thorough research and offer legal representation during your trial, giving you a better chance of receiving a favorable case outcome. If you or a loved one needs a licensed attorney in Monterey, California, call us today at 831-296-1191.

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