Veterinary License Defense

Protect your Veterinary license

Unlock Legal represents veterinarians, registered veterinary technicians, and veterinary assistant controlled substances permit holders who have issues with their licensing board.

  • Was your application to the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) 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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Veterinary License Defense Attorney

The Veterinary Medical Board Has been regulating veterinary medicine in California for over a century. The board is the chief decision-making body, and it is responsible for licensing, issuing regulations, and enforcement actions. The board consists of eight members, of which four of them are veterinarians. The board’s purpose is to protect both California consumers and animals by overseeing the people tasked with caring for pets.

The board is responsible for licensing a number of people, places, and processes. Both veterinarians and veterinary technicians must obtain a license to practice in California. As part of their application process, they must pass an exam. In all, there are seven different license types.

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 VMB 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 VMB 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 VMB, the VMB 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 Disciplinary Actions Against Veterinarians

One of the main functions of the board is to take disciplinary action against veterinarians who have either violated the rules or have been criminally convicted. The board may investigate based on a consumer complaint or information that it learns on its own. The board invites consumers to report alleged misconduct.

In addition, the board also conducts routine and unscheduled inspections of veterinary premises to ensure that regulations are being followed. They may inspect both the conditions and the records.

Here are some of the reasons why the board may take disciplinary action:

  • Conviction of a crime substantially related to the practice of veterinary medicine
  • Fraud and advertising
  • Incompetence
  • Failure to keep clean and sanitary premises
  • Drug or alcohol addiction or convictions
  • Cruelty to animals or conviction of a charge of cruelty to animals
  • Violations of regulations of other agencies that are related to the practice of veterinary medicine
  • Violation of any Veterinary Medical Board regulations
  • Failure to meet continuing education requirements
  • Continuing education was not accepted by the board
  • Accused of continuing education fraud

Potential Disciplinary Sanctions

If you are charged with an alleged rule violation, the board may take strong enforcement action. You are right to continue practicing, meaning your livelihood and reputation can be on the line.

What follows are some of the potential penalties that the board may impose if they find that you have violated regulations or committed an act worthy of discipline:

  • Suspension of license
  • Revocation of license
  • Placing you on probation
  • Ordering you to practice under the supervision of another veterinarian
  • Placing you into a diversion program for drug or alcohol abuse
  • Ordering you to take additional continuing education
  • Ordering you to take ethics training

All disciplinary orders are made public, meaning that prospective clients may see them. If you learn that you are being investigated or charged with a rule violation, you should immediately contact an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can give your side of the story and informal consultation with the board or defend you if your case goes to a hearing.

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 VMB 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 VMB to get our Veterinarians or Vet Techs back in the office as soon as possible!

Contact a California Veterinary License Defense Attorney Today

The attorneys at Unlock Legal are experienced advocates who defend professionals whose livelihood depends on being licensed. We can help you respond to an investigation or enforcement action. To learn how we can help you, call us at (949) 988-4444, or send us a message online.

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