Many dentists in San Diego find themselves facing various accusations and needing the assistance of a San Diego Criminal defense lawyer. There are over 29,500 licensed dentists practicing throughout the state of California. Many of them activate in San Diego. Working within the branch of the dental healthcare industry in which procedures and treatments change every day, is not easy.
The organization overseeing the licensing and the activity of dentists, dental care assistants and any other professionals in the oral healthcare department is the Dental Board of California. Their mission is to protect dental patients’ health and safety from incompetent, unsafe, negligent, and impaired dentists. They do so by taking measures to enforce the compliance of the personnel in the oral healthcare industry with the Dental Practice Act. Including a few other relevant laws enforced in the State of California.
Enforcing compliance often involves taking disciplinary measures. Therefore, it is no wonder that many dental professionals end up receiving a Statement of Issues in response to their license application or, for those who are already licensed, an accusation letter informing them that they are under investigation and they risk losing their license.
When that happens, the best strategy is to consult a San Diego dental license defense lawyer. The stakes are way too high to take chances on your own. The wrong outcome could mark the end of your career, the loss of your source of income and irreversible damage to your reputation.
- 1 Dental License Complaints, Investigations, and the Role of the Dental License Defense Lawyer
- 2 Complaints and Investigations Regarding Professional Negligence and When to Consult a Lawyer
- 3 Criminal Activity Complaints and When They Require the Experience of a San Diego Dental License Defense Lawyer
- 4 Contacted a San Diego Dental License Defense Lawyer Yet
Dental License Complaints, Investigations, and the Role of the Dental License Defense Lawyer
In California, Dental Board disciplinary investigations have several causes. The most common are complaints received from the dental practitioner’s patients, co-workers, and even family members. These complaints can refer to any of the following:
- Patient abandonment
- Accepting rebates
- Abetting or aiding unlicensed practice
- Patient records issues (altered, inaccurate or incomplete records)
- Deceptive advertising
- Solicitors employment
- Inadequate prescribing of narcotics
- Unrefunded overpayments
- Improper use of dental equipment
- Sexual misconduct
- Patient treatment refusals
- Illegal referrals
- Unsanitary conditions
- Denying patients right to treatment
- Endangering patients by consuming alcohol or drugs, and more
These types of complaints usually fall into two main categories: professional negligence and criminal activity. It is important to note that dental practitioners have the obligation to report any criminal convictions when applying for license renewal. If they fail to do so and the Dental Board of California finds out, a thorough investigation and corresponding disciplinary measures will follow.
Ever since dental professionals have to submit their fingerprints in order to receive their dental license, the Dental Board receives conviction reports automatically. Even if they do not, it is in the dental professionals’ best interest to submit complete and clear reports, as they risk more serious repercussions if they do not.
Many times, those who are worried the board may deny their license application or renewal request consult a dental license defense lawyer to protect their interests and improve their odds. A dental license defense attorney can be of great help when it comes to investigations regarding negligence and criminal activity. The best way to understand how they can help you defend your license is to review each type of investigation separately.
Complaints and Investigations Regarding Professional Negligence and When to Consult a Lawyer
When the Dental Board of California receives complaints referring to professional negligence, they investigate and evaluate them to see if they are justified. The board’s investigators will gather information and evidence regarding the complaint, from the dental records of the party who filed the complaint to any additional medical records.
The Board’s dental consultants will then review the records to decide whether the complaint is justified. If they decide the complaint is unjustified, or the available evidence is insufficient, they will most likely close the matter. If this is the case, a dental professional will not need the services of a San Diego dental defense lawyer.
If they find evidence to support the complaint, they will advance the case for further investigations or inspection. The licensee will receive the Accusation letter and they may have to allow inspections of their dental practice, face administrative warnings and receive citations.
Licensees relying on the help of a dental license defense lawyers at this stage usually succeed to dismantle much of the evidence the Board’s investigators have gathered, and they manage to reach a favorable settlement with the board’s representatives, getting away with a fine, probation, or a Letter of Reprimand.
If they cannot convince the Board to close the investigation or accept a favorable settlement, they will have to go through an administrative hearing and even file an appeal, if the verdict of the administrative law judge is not in their favor.
Just like court trials, administrative hearings involve lengthy and tiresome formalities, complex procedures, reviewing consistent evidence, and negotiating important details. The help of a dental license defense lawyer at this stage is invaluable.
Criminal Activity Complaints and When They Require the Experience of a San Diego Dental License Defense Lawyer
When the complaints against a dental practitioner refer to criminal activities, the Board’s investigators step in again. They review records and evidence. They also interview witnesses and do everything in their power to establish whether the dental professional is guilty. They pay special attention to complaints regarding sexual misconduct, drug theft or abuse and insurance fraud.
If they find relevant evidence, they forward it to the California Attorney General, and the dental professional will most likely face prosecution. In turn, the Dental Board will take the necessary steps to revoke or suspend their license.
No dental practitioner should even consider reaching this stage without the assistance of an experienced dental license defense lawyer. Luckily, at San Diego Criminal, our team includes lawyers experienced in both professional license defense and criminal defense, who do not hesitate to work together to protect the interests of our clients.
When dismissing accusations is not possible, our dental license defense lawyers usually manage to turn a license revocation into a suspension, probation, or avoid it altogether by enrolling the licensee in a substance diversion program.
Contacted a San Diego Dental License Defense Lawyer Yet
If you are worried that you could lose your dental license for any reason, contact a dental license defense attorney as soon as possible. You can find an experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated dental license defense lawyer at San Diego Criminal. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation.