Occupational Therapist License Defense Attorney

Protect your Occupational Therapist license

Unlock Legal represents Occupational Therapists who have issues with their licensing board.

  • Was your application to the California Board of Occupational Therapy (BOT)) 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 Occupational Therapist License Board

The California Board of Occupational Therapy was created in 2000 by the Occupational Therapy Practice Act. In order to practice in California, occupational therapists must be licensed. The Board has two primary purposes:

  • To license occupational therapists and certify occupational therapy assistants
  • To investigate complaints that allege misconduct by licensed occupational therapists or certificate holders

California has both statutes and regulations that occupational therapists must follow, starting from the time that they apply for a state license. They must be qualified, and pass a specialized exam. Then, they must maintain their license by complying with the rules. If they are alleged to break the rules, the Board can punish them. Any type of discipline is part of the public record. You can go onto the Board’s website and find a list of sanctioned occupational therapists and their license numbers. Regardless of the nature of the behavior, just being on this list alone will have consequences for your reputation and your business.

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 BOT 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 BOT 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.


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.

Potential Punishments for Occupational Therapists

The Board can impose a number of different penalties on occupational therapists, including:

  • Revocation of your license
  • Suspension of your license
  • Placing you on probation
  • Requiring that you be regularly tested for substance abuse
  • Requiring you to take additional education
  • Ordering your practice to be under supervision

There are many things that can happen when the Board informs you that it is investigating. Your conduct during this process alone could be reason enough for the Board to impose discipline. Your reputation and ability to earn a living are on the line, so you need the help of an experienced lawyer to deal with the Board and respond to any complaints against you. Occupational therapists are entitled to tell their side of the story. You can contest the allegations against you. An attorney may be able to head off discipline by engaging with the Board. Alternatively, they may negotiate lesser punishment as part of a settlement.


If someone files a complaint against you with the BOT, the BOT 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.

Reasons Why Occupational Therapist Board Investigates

The Board can act against occupational therapists for a number of reasons, including:

  • Sexual contact with a patient
  • Failing to cooperate with the Board in an investigation
  • Unprofessional conduct
  • Fiscal dishonesty, theft, or larceny
  • Assaultive or abusive conduct
  • Conviction of a crime involving lewd conduct
  • Incompetence
  • Negligence
  • Gross negligence
  • Violation of mandatory rules
  • Failure to meet continuing education requirements
  • Continuing education was not accepted by the board
  • Accused of continuing education fraud

As you can see, there are many reasons why the Board may investigate. All it takes is one complaint from a client to get the Board looking into your practice. From there, the Board may look into all aspects of your business and potentially find more issues for which they can try to punish you. All your hard work and years of building your practice can be gone in an instant if the Board charges you or finds that you violated rules.

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 BOT 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 BOT to get our Occupational Therapists back in the office as soon as possible!

Call a California Professional License Defense Attorney

When you sought out your Occupational Therapy 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. The professional license defense attorneys at Unlock Legal work with professionals to help them keep their licenses and business. Contact us online or call us today at (949) 997-1482 to schedule your free consultation.

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