In California, as in other states, professionals in a wide variety of fields are required to hold a license in order to practice their trade. Such professions range from medical doctors to accountants to private investigators. Each has a licensing board or other authority that makes and enforces rules on competence, ethical standards, and more.
If a professional falls afoul of their licensing board for one reason or another, the board may file an accusation of misconduct against them. The professional will then be given a chance to defend themselves in an administrative hearing, often before an administrative law judge (ALJ). If they are found to have committed some sort of misconduct, punishment can include the suspension or even revocation of their license.
Is it possible to get your license back after it’s revoked? The answer is yes, and you have a couple of options.
Petitioning for Reinstatement
Your license can either be revoked with stay or revoked without stay. A revocation with stay is a type of probation. It means the board will hold off on actually revoking your license for a period of time, during which you must fulfill certain requirements (taking educational courses, for example). A revocation without stay, on other hand, is a final judgment, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have any options left.
Most boards allow professionals to petition for reinstatement after some time has passed. This period can vary, but is usually one to three years. At this hearing, you can show that you have resolved the issue which led to the revocation, call fellow professionals as witnesses to vouch for you, and generally convince the board that there will be no further problems. If successful, the board can restore your license and you will be able to practice again.
Appealing the Board’s Decision
You can always appeal a board’s decision if you believe it was mistaken or unfair. Depending on the particular board involved, there may be an internal appeals process, which must first be exhausted. If you have tried everything at the board level, you can appeal its decision to a regular state court.
The court can overrule the board if it lacked jurisdiction, denied you a fair hearing, or abused its discretion. California courts have recognized license revocation as depriving someone of the “fundamental right” to practice their profession, and will look to see if the punishment was too severe for the misconduct. If the board’s decision to revoke is overturned, it may still impose some other punishment, such as probation or suspension.
Learn More About Your Options
If you are facing disciplinary action by a licensing board or your license has already been revoked, your livelihood is at stake and it’s critically important to have assistance from an administrative law attorney. An experienced attorney can help ensure you receive a fair hearing, minimize disciplinary action, and even get your license back.
Our team of administrative law experts practice all across Southern California. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.