Behavioral Sciences License Defense Attorney

Protect your Behavioral Sciences license

Unlock Legal represents Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and Associates, Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Associates, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors and Associates, and Licensed Educational Psychologists who have an issue with their licensing board.

  • Was your application to the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) rejected (or you’re worried it will be)?
  • Are you under investigation?
  • Do you have a pending criminal matter or a criminal conviction?

Whatever your concern, Unlock Legal can help you. We are the experts in defending professionals and protecting their licenses. If your license is in jeopardy for any reason, contact us immediately for a free consultation.

Unlock Legal accepts HPSO insurance.​

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About The Behavioral Science Licensing Board

If you are one of the following in California, you need to be licensed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences:

  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers
  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors
  • Licensed Educational Psychologists

The Board’s main focus is on consumer protection. They aim to ensure that service providers follow professional standards for safe and competent mental health services. Accordingly, the Board does the following:

  • Provides standards for licensing of mental health professionals
  • Administers written examinations for each category of mental health professional
  • Drafts and communicates professional standards for mental health professionals to follow
  • Enforces the rules and regulations by taking disciplinary action against mental health professionals who do not follow the rules

License Applications, Denials and Statement of Issues

Applying for your license is exciting because it is one of the last hurdles before you can begin your career. For many the application process with the BBS is straightforward and simple. However, for some, past criminal convictions or other issues can lock them up. The attorneys at Unlock Legal will complete and file your application on your behalf to make sure that you have the best chance of having it granted.

If you have submitted your application and it has been denied, you are not locked out of your career. A denial of your application is called a Statement of Issues. We will defend you to the BBS with the intention that you are granted your license free and clear. If you must be on probation, we will negotiate the best possible terms and conditions. A part of your defense may be cleaning up any past criminal issues to show your rehabilitation to the licensing body.


If someone files a complaint against you with the BBS, the BBS may instigate an investigation against you. The attorneys at Unlock Legal will request a copy of the complaint, assist you in preparation of any statement, prepare you for the investigation interview, and represent you at the interview with the investigator. It is important to have experienced counsel with you at an investigation interview to assist you in answering any questions appropriately, and advising you when not to speak. With the right advice and counsel an investigation may end at the interview stage. If not, your licensing body may choose to file a formal complaint against you called an Accusation.


An Accusation is a formal complaint drafted by the Attorney General’s office. It alleges various causes of action against you which may stem from conviction of a crime, and/or allegations of other bad acts like substance abuse, or deviation from the standard of care. You have only 15 days to send a Notice of Defense once you have been served with an Accusation. If you miss the deadline a default order may be rendered against you resulting in the revocation of your license.

It is imperative that you hire experienced counsel to represent you if an Accusation has been filed against you. Time is of the essence, and your career and livelihood is at stake.

Board of Behavioral Science Enforcement Actions

As a mental health professional, you may be contacted by the Board and informed that you are being investigated for potentially violating professional standards. You should take this communication very seriously because your livelihood can be on the line. Any type of disciplinary action is a weighty matter because it can impact your professional reputation. Current and prospective patients can view disciplinary actions because they are in the public record.

The Board often acts against mental health professionals for the following reasons:

  • Engaging in sexual relations with a patient
  • Violating confidentiality
  • Being convicted of a crime
  • Making a false or inaccurate statement in an advertisement
  • Gross negligence or incompetence in the performance of marriage and family therapy
  • Administering dangerous controlled substances in their practice that injure patients
  • Recklessly causing emotional harm to a client
  • Fraudulently obtaining a license or a renewal
  • Failing to disclose the fee before treating the patient
  • Failure to meet continuing education requirements
  • Continuing education was not accepted by the board
  • Accused of continuing education fraud

Potential Board Punishments

The Board has a large degree of power, and they can impose a wide variety of punishments if they conclude that a licensee broke the rules, including:

  • Suspension or revocation of a license
  • Requiring the licensee to undergo psychotherapy
  • Ordering the licensee to practice supervised by the Board
  • Ordering drug testing
  • Requiring psychological or psychiatric evaluation
  • Mandating additional continuing education

There is a long list of sanctions that the Board can impose, and they may seek more than one of them in a proceeding against you.

What the Board does not have is unlimited power. You have the right to defend yourself and be heard if you are facing possible sanctions. If you find out that you are being investigated, you need to contact an experienced attorney immediately. In some cases, you may be able to head off legal actions by engaging with the Board. In other cases, you may need to vigorously defend yourself from charges because your reputation and livelihood are at stake.

Petition for Reinstatement of License or Reduction of Penalties

If you have lost your license you are not locked out of the career of your choice. After a certain amount of time you are eligible to ask the BBS to grant your license again. In addition, you can generally request that the terms and conditions of probation be modified or terminated early. The legal team at Unlock Legal has filed petitions for reinstatement for many clients who made one mistake, and who have paid the price. We love to demonstrate mitigating circumstances and rehabilitation to the BBS to get our Behavioral Sciences Board licensees back in the office as soon as possible!

Call a Behavioral Science License Defense Attorney

When you sought out your Behavioral Sciences license you were following your passion. It is our passion to keep you doing what you want to do with your career and your life. Unlock Legal will work with you to defend yourself and your license if it is ever challenged by the Board. Call us today at (949) 997-1482 or contact us online to speak with a professional license defense attorney and begin the process of protecting your business and reputation.

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