Respiratory Care Practitioner’s License Defense Lawyer
Protect your Respiratory Care Practitioner’s license
Unlock Legal represents respiratory care practitioners who have issues with their licensing board.
- Was your application for Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP) license 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.
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Respiratory Care Practitioners License Defense
The California Respiratory Care Practice Act governs Licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners in the state. The law is administered by the Respiratory Care Board (Board), which handles licensing, regulation, and enforcement. There have been over 44,000 RCP licenses issued in the state.
Before RCPs can be licensed by the Board, they must meet certain education and experience requirements. They must take law and professional ethics classes. The Board will conduct an investigation of the applicant and administer a written exam before licensing them to practice. The Board will also issue standards and guidance on following them, updating them as necessary to continue implementing the law.
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 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 Board 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 Board, the Board 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.
Why the Board Takes Enforcement Actions
Enforcement is one of the most critical functions as it pertains to RCPs. The Board may initiate an investigation either on its own or in response to a complaint filed by a patient. Once you have been notified of an investigation, you are in a difficult position. If the Board finds facts that allow it to prove that you did something wrong, you can face serious consequences.
Reasons why the Board may take disciplinary action against an RCP include:
- Gross negligence or repeated acts of negligence
- Criminal convictions that bear upon the fitness to practice
- Drug or alcohol abuse that impacts patients
- Unprofessional conduct
- Sexual misconduct with patients
- Unlicensed practice or aiding in it
- Insurance fraud or other fraudulent billing practices
- Failure to meet continuing education requirements
- Continuing education was not accepted by the board
- Accused of continuing education fraud
Some RCPs will end up in trouble for things relating to controlled substances. The Board is very aggressive in enforcing these rules in the name of patient safety.
If the Board learns of the possibility of misconduct, you can be assured that it will perform a thorough investigation. You will get your chance to tell your own side of the story. Preferably, it should be your attorney that engages with the Board in the hope of forestalling an accusation being filed against you.
Potential Penalties for RCPs in California
If the Board finds that an RCP violated laws or regulations, it can impose the following sanctions:
- Revocation of license
- Suspension of license
- Suspended punishment
- Mandatory drug or alcohol rehabilitation
- Public reprimand
Not only can the practitioner lose their license, but they may also be ordered to pay the Board’s costs of investigation and enforcement. Then, the disciplinary action is also a matter of public record, affecting your ability to earn a living or find a job or new patients. While some punishments are less serious and will allow you to continue working, any sanction will harm your professional reputation.
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 Board 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 Board to get our RCPs back in the hospitals or care facilities as soon as possible!
Contact a Respiratory Care Practitioners License Defense Attorney Today
The attorneys at Unlock Legal are experienced practitioners when it comes to professional license defense. We know the boards in California because we regularly interact with them when our clients are facing an investigation and potential punishment. You should involve an attorney immediately as soon as you learn you are the subject of an investigation.