Criminal Charges and Your Professional License in Arizona
Administrative Actions Against Your Professional License in Arizona
Just being charged with a crime in Arizona can trigger a tsunami of collateral consequences including suspension or revocation of your professional license or other administrative actions affecting your professional license. When so much is on the line, responding to or defending yourself against an administrative action is never a “do it yourself” job. You need the assistance of an Arizona criminal defense attorney who has experience in handling administrative actions arising from criminal charges.Criminal charges, even minor ones, may prompt administrative actions against your professional license in Arizona, but administrative actions are conducted completely independent of the criminal proceedings. Administrative actions are often taken swiftly, and your professional license may be suspended or revoked log before there is a determination of your guilt or innocents in a criminal court.
Administrative Actions are Independent
Licenses Subject to Administrative Actions in ArizonaLosing your license may have more of a negative impact on you and your family than the criminal charges that triggered the administrative action in the first place. Any license issued by the State of Arizona is subject to administrative actions because of criminal charges. A few examples of licenses that may be suspended or revoked are:
- Driver’s licenses
- Fishing and game licenses
- Trade licenses
- Medical and dental licenses
- Guard licenses
- Other professional licenses
Reporting the Matter May Be as Important as Defending the IssueMany licenses require you to self-report. This will depend on the license and the type of crime or accusation. THE FAILURE TO TIMELY REPORT MAY BE MORE DAMNING THAN ANY OUTCOME IN A CRIMINAL MATTER. And, how you report the incident may also be more important than any formal court outcome. You really need to know when you…
- Are you required to report when being investigated?
- Are you required to report on your arrest?
- Are you only required to report when formally charged?
- Are you only required to report if convicted?
Administrative Hearings in ArizonaAdministrative hearings are conducted like most legal hearings in Arizona but there are some differences. An administrative hearing on a professional license is conducted in a slightly less formal way in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). Typically, an administrative hearing will be conducted like a bench trial: no jury present. The ALJ alone will make the decision about the fate of your professional license, and like any court trial, the ALJ may allow your attorney to present evidence and testimony to support your case. One of the biggest differences with an administrative hearing is the lower burden of proof and how the rules of evidence and other rules are not as strict in administrative law hearings. Unlike a criminal trial where the State is required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, the administrative hearing only requires the State/Board to prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence…. in other words, is the evidence more likely or not that you violated whatever rule or standard you are on trial for. Some examples of professional license administrative case heard by administrative law judges in Arizona are:
- Complaints against psychologists and therapists
- Complaints against nurses
- Suspension hearings against behavioral health professionals
- Hearings involving pharmacists
- Hearings against real estate professionals
- Disciplinary hearing against doctors and physicians
- Hearings against contractors